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|Written by drk|
|Friday, 27 March 2009 13:24|
Dr. Kluane Spake
We need to understand that somehow old Beelzebub speaks his words into our mind. He tries to copy the way God speaks -- by planting words into our garden (i.e. “Hast God said?”). Those words become thoughts (doubts, obsessions, and feelings) that grow. Those swarming and confusing thoughts (darts) firmly affix within our un-renewed soul. If one of those thoughts becomes planted, it could bring forth fruit of calamity. Bad actions become the fruit of bad attitudes.
The soul seeks to discern those thoughts, but like we said, an unrenewed mind can’t accurately process that information. Our human reasoning cannot discern lying imagination from fact as, ever so subtly, the devil whispers untruth. His shrewdly chosen words veer only slightly off reality; still close to what we can agree. The enemy whispers lies that our five senses desire, those that may seem true in the natural realm. We must not be ignorant of his devices as he speaks enticing words that flow through the airwaves and into the minds of our unprotected children. Wicked principalities and powers speak as intruders into our lives. We may not want it to happen, we don’t want his music, his voice, or his pictures, but somehow he has full access to our carnal minds.
Uncontrolled thoughts often become strongholds from which the enemy carries out his schemes. Sometimes wicked communications come through our disconnected thoughts and fears, somehow hounding us all day long. These wandering notions that just rush in and take control disturb our security and peace.
This conflict enrages until we have a type of Armageddon in our minds – a personal civil war. Armageddon means “The place of final conflict of good and evil.” The choice of two trees. There, between our ears, we find the valley of decision -- the battleground for good and evil. There our soul attempts to determine the source of a thought and the resulting action.
Adam and Eve weren’t supposed to eat of the “tree of the knowledge of good and evil” because they were not able to discern good from evil. There’s no automatic built-in mechanism in humans to know the difference. That’s why we can never lean toward our own understanding. Hebrews 5:12-14 explains the differentiation by saying that, by constant use, the mature person trains himself to distinguish good from evil. King James says that a mature person has “exercised his senses,” in other words, only a fully developed person with a mind continuously exercised (strengthened and changed) by the Word can discern properly. If we captivate our thoughts to the obedience of Christ, then we have power over negative suggestion.
To lapse into apathy and indifference means certain death. Carnal thoughts establish the seal of man upon our forehead (666). The full mind of Christ establishes the a different seal of the Father upon our forehead (Ezek. 9:4, Rev. 7:3, 14:1-5, 22:4). It’s time to shake yourself! Don’t be led by your five senses -- but from exercised senses that inhabit a renewed heart). Gird up the spirit of your mind until discernment comes. Only the transformed soul properly discriminates if words and thoughts are from God or the devil.
* God speaks words that become thoughts.
* The devil speaks words that try to become thoughts.
* Our carnal nature also devises thoughts against (anti) our Christ nature.
* We speak words that become thoughts.
* Our soul is the decider. A carnal soul can’t discern.
For me, a renewed mind is the exact opposite of my old mind. When we understand how strongly the past holds us, then we can summon the strength necessary to deal with it -- once and for all.
1. Decide to face your problems without excuses.
2. Decide to plant good seed. Each seed …grows up and becomes greater” (Mark 4:32).
3. Be good ground plowed with praise (Judah).
4. Water the ground with the Word of God.
5. Tend and guard your heart with daily repentance.
6. When you catch yourself being negative, then immediately refuse to dwell on those disempowering feelings or thoughts. Think with focus about God’s solutions -- not the problems.
7. Call the next problem a “challenge.”
8. Be encouraged – smile -- you’ve made good progress down your road.
s believers, we must identify with the Lord Jesus, our substitution, Who died to unite us with His life.[ii] To the extent that we totally die to the influence of the vanity of our own mind and the spirit of this age, we awaken our God-given potential and possibilities to succeed. Let’s look at 3 John verse 2, “Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things (in every way) and (that your body) be in health, just as your soul keeps well and prospers” (AMP)
The author of this passage, John, had been the special friend referred to earlier as the “one Jesus loved,” being at both the transfiguration and the communion supper. We remember his unique sensitivity, as he laid his head on the Master’s chest and listened to the beating heart of God. Later, this intimate friend waited in the Garden of Gethsemane, and he was the only disciple who stood at the cross. Keep this trusted relationship in mind, as you meditate on 3 John 2. John, the favored friend, wished above all that you might prosper and be in health even as your soul prospers. Then he said (verse 3), “... I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in the truth.” It’s a truth that your soul can prosper.
1. Does your soul prosper?
2. Does your body prosper?
3. Why should you have prosperity?
We all know Joshua 1:8, which says that if we meditate day and night on the Word and observe to do all that’s written therein, then our way becomes prosperous. The Amplified Bible says that meditating on God’s Word yields the ability to deal wisely in the affairs of life. Once again, it’s our choice to fill our hearts and minds with the Word. If we do, our life becomes prosperous.
Now, lest you begin to see dollar signs lighting up the midnight sky, let’s discuss this soul prosperity that John prays for above all things. Are we still the people who want expensive cars with no car payment? A gigantic house without any worries about how to get it? Free sex with no responsibility? I’m telling you, these are not the areas of God’s best.
How does your soul prosper? When wickedness bows its knee and no longer rolls out the red carpet for anger, bitterness, envy, or jealousy. Godly prosperity means that you don’t have to stay wrapped up in the darkness that has ruled your life. Thoughts no longer have to control and depress you. When the Spirit of Life enters into your mind, then spiritual soul-realm prosperity begins. A prosperous soul inherits the kingdom of God.
So we see that prosperity doesn’t mean just a lot of money now. John specified soul-realm prosperity. The Hebrew word for prosperity means, “to push forward.” This pushing means to exceed, to bring success on a journey, to complete a mission, or to increase in an endeavor.[iii] We should have prosperity in every area of life.
1. Prosperity is profound and deep, not just the secular American dream.
2. Prosperity is progressive and not instant gratification; it’s a journey.
3. Prosperity demands the maturity to handle it.
4. Prosperity is proportional and not absolute to
5. Prosperity is providential, not according to my
ability, but God’s.
6. God plans to prosper me and not harm me, to
give me hope and a future (Jer. 29:11).
7. True prosperity obtains all you need to
accomplish what He’s called you to do.
Rewards of a prosperous mind (heart):
1. Fills itself with love and forgiveness.
2. Sustains a well-balanced life.
3. Learns new information and remembers facts.
4. Responds correctly to facts and then applies correct action to a problem.
5. Maintains enduring friendships.
6. Radiates peace, wisdom, faith, and understanding.
7. Immunizes itself from self-limitation.
8. Exhibits good physical and mental strength. [iv]
9. Shows vitality and excitement.
10. Recognizes the goodness of the image of God in others, rather than allowing the human nature to be offended.
Even now I remember the flavor of that dark mud while hearing my mother’s yell from the other side of the door, “No. Stay outside and quit your crying.” Just mentioning it, reminds me of the embarrassment that welled up inside. Over forty years have passed since my neighborhood playmate smiled and singsonged, “Close your eyes and open your mouth…” then threw a handful of wet dirt in my mouth and disappeared. Yet the shock of that trick, and the anger of my mom’s voice all linger clearly today as one of my first memories of life.
The recalling of our past gives us the sum of our individuality and determines why and how we express ourselves. Out of the gallery of our past comes our personality, behavioral quirks, and sense of self. Those miles left behind are called the “mind-set.”
Have you ever wondered where you get your thoughts?[v] I admit, sometimes I root around trying to figure out why I’m thinking certain ways. Truth is, most of our input comes from before we can remember. A newborn baby’s soul could be compared to a blank computer, waiting to be programmed in order to function properly. You’ve been programmed continually since birth. Without realizing it, precept-by-precept your mind-set gathers data about the world. It is like a giant filing cabinet in the brain, storing everything you’ve ever done, seen, heard, wanted, tasted, or smelled.
Your mind (heart, garden, and soul) stores as memory everything you’ve ever imagined - whether it actually happened or not! We’re talking about every sad tale, obsessive desire and seemingly ironic twist of chance. This information (imprinting of your personality) may be positive or negative. These inputs become your frame of reference. Then, it thinks about what has been put into it -- whether that be soap operas, scriptures, or pornography.
Like a built-in blank computer, our mind stores and retrieves huge amounts of past memories. Only the mind is far superior to a computer in many ways. Even those inputs now unremembered can hurt. A smell, for example, can trigger emotions and pictures of long-forgotten times. Every previous experience in life etches an indelible souvenir within our sub-conscience, giving us a rigid mind-set and predictable response.
God wants to intervene into your old way of trigger responses and cause you to think His way. If you program that computer correctly, you’ll be amazed at the potential. So, decide now that you need to change.
Penalties of unrenewed mind-set:
1. Negative and mediocre thinking. No self-worth.
2. Mental and physical ailments.
3. Fear, worry, anxiety of every kind.
4. Poverty, misery and lack of direction.
5. Wasted life of bitterness and emotional control.
6. The spirit of death.
Our present reality is our perception. That perception results from the way we were raised to see things, or how we interpreted what happened to us (the way things seem). The Bible calls that carnal nature our “old man.” Perhaps I think that I’m unlucky, or not good in math. Or maybe, I’m emotional and just can’t help it. I approach my life from unconscious preset patterns of behavior that have ruled since childhood. This habit pattern (mind-set) swivels around bitter-memories that remain unseen, but growing. As long as we endure these weeds of inferiority, fear, depression, self-destruction, hurts, and bruises then we’ll not try to change them.
An unfortunate example of a sadistically abused child is Saddam Hussein. Saddam’s father deserted his pregnant wife who, in despair, continually beat her stomach trying to kill her unwanted child. Later, she remarried and abandoned Saddam. This forsaken child followed her like a little puppy only to be beaten daily and forced to steal. His new dad called him, “Son of a whore.” Hurts like these left unchecked and unhealed cause dysfunctional rage; he first murdered at the age of ten. Saddam still rages like a child. His unredeemed mind reminds him of the past –- and the past hurts.
Our mind is what we think we are. Every event contributes to our personality. Even our decision on what we think is funny depends upon our mind-set. The character that outlines the base of our identity decides what we DO. All of our attitudes are unconsciously (or preconsciously) preprogrammed from the past. This mind-set is sometimes labeled, “The hypnosis of social conditioning.” It’s also known as our personal identity, or the bedrock of our worldview. We may say, “I was born this way. My mom is this way... I’ll always be like her.” Our perception of the world causes us to develop into an inevitable victim of the ragged collage of our past.
Without Christ, only hopeless assumptions and incredibly define our world. If we don’t change, then our old man continues the attitude of limited vision. Believe it. The mind is where the game is won or lost. Our mind-set defines our individuality, and creates the boundaries of our existence. It controls every decision in our business, health, family and what we do with our spiritual life. Our potential and capability depends upon this mind-set.
è Even our physical health results from patterns learned since we were born.
è A whole and healthy mind is not optional; it’s a must.
Everything you do depends on how you interpret situations. Do you see the glass half full or half empty? It all depends on how you see THROUGH your past. It’s you who assigns the action toward right thinking. When you finally yield to the transformation of your old way of thinking – to exchange that old way you live and think – then Life comes.
è Wrong thoughts create unhealthy emotions.
This is what happens: Every experience of our former life meticulously files itself in our memory (heart, garden, and soul). Amongst that recall, bundles our feelings about the situation. Our sub-conscious memory stores our entire life. When those memories are triggered, then our past lives again. It feels like the same thing happens to us over and over again. Our past actually overwhelms the present, and once again we become prisoners of our past.
The older we get, the more we’re apt to relive painful incidents. Memories refuse to be overlooked. With each remembering, they enlarge – even though many are half untrue or absolute misconceptions. Each remembrance gives greater dominant strength to a stronghold.[vi]
Let me give you an example. Meet Susie, a discouraged Christian who cites imagined scenarios of what should have been. She’s long-accepted inaccurate views of herself, and … things haven’t changed.
Confusion robs Susie’s happiness as she endlessly recounts the circumstances that led to her misery, “I’m sick of these church people. Especially the ones that always tell me what to do…they’re… boring, boring.”
“At first I tried to please everyone. They made me stop coloring my hair bright red. Then, no more make up and earrings -- I mean -- I feel like a fake. They said the devil was after me because my skirts were too short, and too tight. ‘Look’ I told them, ‘I just want to stop the bad thoughts.’”
Even though Susie started wearing long dresses with long sleeves, still her wicked thoughts raged; she even stopped smoking!
She quit every external action -- nothing helped.
She almost gave up.
I tell her to sit down to discuss the problem --she gives me that patient-but-terribly annoyed look and says, “Now I don’t want to try anymore. Just go away and leave me alone.”
Soon afterward, like a lot of us with impressionable ways, she stomps off saying, “I shoulda’ never started this church stuff in the first place… I’m supposed to get saved and live happily ever after—you know… I just, just, just…”
The diagnosis? Her life’s a wreck! She trips over her own introversions and thinks that she can just wish things away. It’s all because of thoughts about what could have, should have, or would have been -- IF. But, her own miserable flatness of memories imprisons and determines her future. This dejected woman is the sum total of her choices and doesn’t know it.
The problem? Bruised feelings, distant memories, and unexplained sensations block her conscious mind. They pass into her actions without resistance. Her present life is an exact replay of her past. Nobody explained to Susie that her spirit is saved, but not her soul. Her emotions rage out of control because she doesn’t know how to master her mind. Lingering chronic doubts compose a constant re-run of sadness that re-feels wrong emotions.
Susie’s problem is pretty typical… how about yours? Here we are, born again, spirit filled ambassadors for Christ, robbed and powerless. Have you mastered your mind, or does it master you? The enemy sent darts into Susie’s mind. And, just like Susie, we’re loaded with backpacks full of darts.
Have you noticed how those defeating thoughts seemingly come out of nowhere? “I have a brain tumor. I’ll live and die in poverty. Nobody loves me. My pastor hates me...etc. etc.” Like Susie, we allow quiver loads of evil darts to penetrate our mind. Usually we’ll do anything to avoid personal change, but if we choose to take those on again, off again darts within our flesh (carnal mind) -- then we’ll lose.
Lets look into Susie’s brain and see her mind-set.
DIVORCED – wounded, distrustful
LONELY – forsaken, nobody loves me
ABORTION -- guilt
BAD PAST – hurt, abandoned
BAD TEMPER -- angry
BAD THOUGHTS – swearing in her mind
DEPRESSED – discouraged and sorrowful
DOUBLE-MINDED – indecisive, confused
BAD MOOD – bad attitude, insecure
SHAME – emotional wounds
Can you relate to her? Her mind’s a mess. Susie’s attachment to her memories creates an endless reservoir swirling with imagined introspection. This ceaseless mantra about how hurt she’s been produces her identity; she can’t move on because she’s stuck in the past. Susie interprets her present life by every former encounter -- the people she’s known, the jobs she’s held, experiences and dreams – which all comprise the landscape of her journey as a sad-addict. She sleeps, exhausted. The past forms the entire reality of her life, invading every moment, shaping her emotions, controlling her decisions – all leading to nothing.
People can shout and try to cast out the demons of loneliness and depression. But, most likely that momentary effort will be without lasting effect. She needs deeper ministry. Can you see how Susie’s memories weave together to form the pattern and meaning of her life? Her hurts, whether conscious or not, remain stored in her memory banks. Daily, Susie’s soul encounters these memories, and ascribes interpretations that may or may not make sense.[vii] She needs to renew her mind -- quite a challenge, to say the least.
è Our past can’t be an excuse to stay in bondage.
è We cannot change what has happened in the past.
Her troubles don’t just apply to women. Everyone must war against the defeat of human thinking. Even while writing this book, I’ve had to continuously re-establish Godly principles within my own thinking. Failure wants to follow us. Everywhere we go, it comes right behind. Worse, most of our “so called faith” comes from our past experiences, rather than from the Word of God. That’s one reason why Paul said we have to forget those things that are behind and press forward.[viii]
AUTOMATIC THINKING: Have you ever noticed that sometimes you act without thinking? If we’re not in charge, then who is? Why do we make vows that we don’t intend to keep, sleep all day, secretly binge on chocolates during our continuous diets, gossip about our best friend, shriek uncontrollably at our mates, compulsively shop, and blurt out just what we’re trying to keep secret? Why do we buy what we really can’t afford, exaggerate, tell white lies, and lust after impure thoughts -- and worse? From time to time, all of us respond impulsively, and that’s when our good intentions really go haywire. Ah, but here’s the rub. Impulsiveness really isn’t random; it’s pre-set and predictable.
That’s because the consequences of the vanity and futility of the mind firmly establish themselves before the age of 15. That’s also why children allowed to run unrestrained, permanently fix inappropriate behavior very early in life. Even though they may continue upper education, memorize chapters of Scripture, move to a new country, or get a new job, their behavior and approach to life are stubbornly incorporated. The “old nature” vehemently resists all change.
Like a tourniquet applied to a deep wound over time results in gangrene, our wounds grow sour and fester. Our subconscious thought isn’t necessarily true, and it doesn’t need to be true for us to believe it. Sometimes, if what we think we believe is incorrect; then we must find out the truth and accept that. Otherwise, unless the Lord intervenes, the remainder of our life will consist of unknowing responses to those indelibly etched pre-set programs.
TRIGGERS: Trigger situations always result predictably. It’s usually an if/then situation. For example if someone frowns at you, then you react. Triggers put you on automatic pilot, so that once again you respond without being aware of why. In general, the problem isn’t the trouble, but a trigger caused your response like a well-rehearsed performer in a long-running melodrama. Phrases heard long ago vigorously survive in the memory and reproduce themselves in predictable enactment.
Susie’s soul-realm choices have caused a power failure. Something happened to her expectation – hope is gone. Behind the loss of hope lies anger; behind the anger is unforgiveness, and behind unforgiveness -- pain. It’s much like having had a broken arm as a tiny baby, and as a middle-aged adult it still remains unset, and unusable. Her depression will lift only when she changes her thought processes -- and that can only be accomplished with the help of the Holy Spirit and a sincere intention to change. James 1:21 enlarges this understanding, “Therefore, lay aside all filthiness...” (Who does that? Say, “I do”.) “Therefore, lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word which is about to save your souls.” This means that Susie must intentionally replace her old thoughts with the Word of God.
Susie’s spirit is already saved. Still, if she’s running around getting depressed (drunk, lonely, or whatever) every night, then her thought-realm remains unredeemed. Only the engrafted word can SAVE HER SOUL. The hard truth remains that Susie will find that the road to recovery involves a heavy dose of right thinking. There’s no magic wand, but there is life beyond hopelessness. The cure? It’s up to her; it’s up to us.
The soul-realm chooses: either your old mind-set or God’s position in Christ. Repeatedly, you make these soul-realm choices – every day, every minute. For instance: have you ever gone to bed determined to pray 30 minutes the next morning. You desire it, and intend to do it... except your body wants to sleep. Even though your spirit wants to pray, your body complains, and your soul decides. It’s the same way with exercise. I never want to do it in the morning. See why it’s important to redeem the soul? The soul decides everything, and your unrenewed soul can cause you to not prosper spiritually.
Your soul refuses to accept new information unless emphatically directed to do so. Like a prescription, the soul needs to swallow the Word in regular doses -- by methodically and deliberately putting it inside. Only the Holy Spirit can cause the Word of God to implant and save your soul.
è Choice is a soul-realm process.
è Make up your mind to not give up until you possess your inheritance.
So far, most of us have been armchair Christians. We just don’t want to change. Listen, it’s one thing to want to follow God, and it’s another thing to actually do it. It’s easy to find a reason not to change: Remember, anyone can find fault, be lazy, poor, and pitiful. Anyone can cuss, backslide, or have lewd thoughts. Anyone can give up, be gloomy, discouraged, a quitter, or get angry.
It takes a real dedication to rise above the mundane and become a positive influence in the world. Nobody can choose life for us.
We’ve looked through the veil to find Susie’s God-like identity cloaked from her own understanding. That veil is Susie’s OLD NATURE. Her past dark and distorted reflections prevails. For Susie, where’s the battle? In Susie’s head. Where will she be defeated? In her head. It’s not the outward or external things that need changing (rules and regulations – sleeve lengths and haircuts). It’s not the outside of the cup, but the inside (the soul) that causes defeat.
Her thoughts are strongholds that need to be pulled down (2 Cor.3). Thayer defines the word translated here as strongholds to mean “arguments and reasoning by which a disputant tries to fortify his opinion in order to defend it against his opponent…” In other words, Susie needs to stop thinking like a loser!
You can change
Jesus paid an infinite price for your total redemption. He loves you unremittingly, with profound unguardedness… and He wants you to make it! You weren’t created to be left out, to live with neglect, suffering, poverty, domination, manipulation, or abuse. What’s more, God never planned for you to be a failure. It is important to realize that all the promises of the Scriptures are yours because God is no respecter of persons. If wounds still hurt you, you need to know that someday, you’ll be whole – if you want to be. The process (journey) to personal holiness allows you to be in a position to inherit wonderful benefits. You need merely to look into the laver, the mirror-fountain of His Word, and wash yourself.
Your life is important. You’re important. You’re especially selected for a particular purpose and task. No one else is like you, and no one has the same purpose or potential. Just as no two snow flakes or fingerprints are the same, no one is like you. You were created to be healed and whole. As a child of God, you were designed for kingdom rule and created as God’s “image-bearer.”
è God’s plans are for you to be a success.
è You always pass failure on the way to success.
Failure comes only when you accept yourself as a failure. Do you know that when Henry Ford built his first car, he to put reverse in it? Then there was Einstein, who failed math in high school, and failed his entrance tests into the universities. Was he a failure? Do you know that you fail every single time you try something until it finally works? If you don’t give up, then you will eventually succeed.
The problem is that you receive thoughts of failure. If you think you’re ignorant, then you act that way. It’s true. You say, “I can’t do anything because I came from a dysfunctional family.” Well, then you can’t. Or, “My life would be different if my parents had loved me.” You see, the battle is in the mind. The truth is that you were born-again for excellence, not mediocrity; health, not affliction; abundance not insufficiency; confidence not fear; and holiness not sin.
Philippians 4:13 shatters every negative accusation that anyone could hold: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” You must internalize this forceful principle so that you can become what God intended. To be whole, you want to have a proper sense of self-worth. You must believe in the God in you, and live the life God has planned for you. Yet at the same time, you want to be careful to not be self-ish. This balancing act may be tricky, but critical. You must always be considering this symmetry. You can do all the things that He calls you to do.
Susie must let go of her past failures – or, more precisely, be healed and then forget about the disappointment that they caused, while retaining the lessons learned from them. She should realize that every mistake could really become one less mistake to undergo in the future, as long as she learns the lesson it was meant to teach. Taken another way, overcoming mistakes pole-vaults her into her future success. We know that when Susie wins the battle in her head, and conquers the repressed feelings and false beliefs, then she wins the battle – and finds His design unfolding inside.[ix]
Greatness (in any endeavor) lies within one’s ability to persevere until all obstacles have been surmounted. The “average” individual utterly lacks this resolve -- which explains why success is such a rarity. Each triumph brings precious lessons of enrichment that reap big rewards. So keep trying, and never give up. Don’t cheat yourself out of your future. Your power to think correctly produces a better tomorrow.
We’ve established that when the human spirit initially gets born again, the soul remains unregenerated with bad thoughts that fester and seethe. Clearly, all our future progress seems to hinge on the soul transformation. The question that is rarely answered is: What do we change toward? The answer is the Holy nature of the Living God. We change to think His thoughts, speak his Words, and pray His will. That’s real prosperity. We must ask ourselves, “Has the Godly life invaded my intellect, and become my passion? Does my soul prosper?”
Discovering the key influences that lie hidden underneath the “noisy details” of your life eventually brings release. Your person-hood of feelings – self perceptions, what you do, what you know, your awareness, decisions, and knowledge – all are invested in your soul. You need to know yourself. A form of necessary self-detective work reveals the problem areas of your soul.
While this is the place in your journal for some introspective analysis, prepare to not camp out here for long. Sometimes it helps to identify the formative influences in our lives. But, we don’t want to be maudlin about our mistakes, or stay forever reliving our past – concerned only about inner healing. For that reason, do this assignment and then move on. Okay? Let’s heal the unresolved grief of the past. Write a fairly extensive profile of who you are. What past events have defined your life? (Some people get the best results when they start at the end, that is, determine where they are now and work backwards.) You really need to write this down.
1. Use the following suggestions to help organize the assignment:
a) What was the basic character of your parents and teachers?
b) What was their method of discipline?
c) Where did you live? Why?
d) How do you estimate yourself at this moment? Do you like yourself? How do you feel about yourself?
e) What are your most vivid memories?
f) What are your strengths? What do you fear way down deep? How do you respond – through control, compulsive criticism, by clinging to someone?
g) In what specific areas have you resisted change?
h) In what areas do you now desire to change first?
i) Do you believe that your choices in the past have created the life you are living today?
j) What do you enjoy doing with your time? What makes you happy? What makes you cry?
k) What were your life’s biggest disappointments? Why?
l) Do you avoid other people?
m) Does your soul prosper?
n) Do you ever think of giving up? Are you frustrated?
o) Are you willing to just maintain, or will you pursue and change?
2. Realize that every thing about your past now brings you to this new incredible opportunity of choice. Every peak and valley of life collected to create the form of who you are. This isn’t a time to feel guilty or overwhelmed, but once you know who you are, it’s much easier to mesh into your future direction.
3. Remember that not all choices are entirely good against evil. Sometimes alternatives really lie between something that seems good and God’s best.
4. Write the following statement. Lots of people decide to use both their right and left hands, wanting to inform their whole brain what is going to happen by seeing, saying, writing, and hearing. Whatever way you choose, as you write, say it out loud. “Dear Father in heaven, I decide with my will that I (______________ your name) hereby give the Holy Spirit complete liberty to transform my mind. I yield today to the dealings of God. He wants me to be blessed and not mastered by circumstances. In Jesus name. Signed ___________________. Date ______________”
So, now it’s time to put away the silver spoon, the brass ring, the lucky rabbit’s foot, the horoscope, and the shamrock. No more tea leaves either. That means to step outside the pattern of suffering and see what it means to come through it all. What was once a highway of dangerous curves, now straightens into a path of personal responsibility that leads to adoption, son-ship, unity, and marriage. By means of infinitely greater resources than chance, we WILL obtain constancy of character, become principle driven, and engulfed in moral uprightness. We will become motivated and courageous, goal driven and optimistic, hopeful and fearless.
Today’s potential is too valuable to be controlled by the past. Let’s face our former life and realize that, what the enemy intended for evil, God plans to turn for the good. Our personalized Holy Highway brings us to where we’re released from the effects of our past.
Not only does God love us; He’s able to adjust history to protect us. And we know, abide in, and believe the love that God has for us (1 John 4:16). We respond unconditionally, without strings, and beyond understanding. There’s no fear (phobias or cowering thoughts) in this wondrous love, because His perfect love casts out fearful tormenting thoughts (vs. 18). By the riches of His glory, we’re strengthened in our inner man that Christ may not just live but be at home in our hearts through faith (Eph. 3:16-19). That we might know (epignosis or have full revelation) beyond what we are capable of comprehending, of how much Christ loves us.
è The Holy Spirit leads us in the same way He led Jesus.
è Jesus learned obedience through the things that disciplined Him.[x]
Time after time, I’ve found myself once again caught up in a cycle of frustration and depression. I seemed to always have problems -- but changing myself was never high on my list of possible solutions. After all, I was too “intelligent and realistic” to try to change myself. But in fact, I was being incredibly pessimistic, trying to protect myself from the pain of another failure. I would do anything to keep from being hurt again. But this protection became a barrier from the very solutions that I needed the most.
Like me, many Christians fail right here – and don’t change. It’s never easy to change your belief system. If your family has always behaved a certain way, then you’re probably stuck in this rut of emotionally reacting in the same way (within your unrenewed soul). “Prosperity” hinges on soul-realm renewal.
The next time those ominous night-reflections of darkness endeavor to grab you off the road of your journey, the next time the calliope of life wobbles and starts to come to a halt… remember: God expects you to transform your mind to His holy image. Just like Susie, we all urgently need to be familiar with what Paul meant when he said, “And do not be conformed to this world (don’t look like it, or act like it) but be transformed by the renewing (not removing -- but exchanging) of your mind, that you may prove (you can prove) what is that good and acceptable and perfect (perfected) will of God” (Rm. 12:2 NKJ). Essentially, this verse tells us that in order to prove what is the will of God, our mind must be transformed.
“Transformed” means to be changed completely, to be adapted to a special environment, or to exchange. What do we transform? Our carnal mind, our soul. “Renewing your mind” means to change your conscious thinking. While most Christian minds are tuned to secular thoughts, you decide to make the effort to renew your attitudes. Stop talking and “walk the walk.” Renewing doesn’t mean to just tack on some more knowledge; it means exchanging the control on your life, and gaining a new way of thinking. No longer is it mind over matter, but spirit over mind.
The renewal of your mind brings you into the perfect will of God. He says, “I am the Lord, and I change not.” That means that you’re the one who changes. God doesn’t change. You’re changed like a tadpole to a frog, from carnal to spiritual -- that’s a radical alteration of inner character and nature which the KJ version calls “reasonable service” and the NIV calls “spiritual worship.” The Wuest translation of Romans 12:2 says:
I therefore beg of you, please brethren, throughout the instrumentality of the aforementioned mercies of God, once and for all make a presentation, to place your body at the disposal of God. A sacrifice, a living one, a holy one, well pleasing, your rational sacred service. And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within, but be a representative of your inner being by the renewing of your mind.
The Jews understood the significance of sacrifice because it meant that the animals offered would die. “Sacrifice” means to give up something of value. The difference here is that you willingly offer yourselves. Your sacrifice begins in unseen places of the heart. The word “offer” in the Greek aorist tense means a decision with permanent results, or intentional finality. Soma, the word “body” means that which has substance. Therefore, our lives should be lived in a manner of continuous resolution.
1. Sacrifice because we give up our own way.
2. Holy because we live life His way.
3. Living because He lives in us.
4. Acceptable because we want to please God.
Many have likened this process to changing a baby’s dirty diaper. The FIRST step: Take off the old, dirty diaper before you put on the new one! If you just keep putting on successive layers of diapers, the stink remains and the baby will still be crying. In the same way, you must remove the old way of thinking (take off the old used diaper). Don’t just try a big cover-up, take it off. Just like you take off your dirty shirt – you unbutton the front, take your arms out, and take it off. God doesn’t do it for you. You take off the old and then you put on the new.
This transformation also compares with the caterpillar that uncomfortably waits in the cocoon to be metamorphosed. Except, you’re not supposed to turn into a little pale-brown, scrawny moth that flits. No, you were created to become a bright and colorful butterfly free to glide through an exiting life. You become a delight, no longer gritting your teeth to do holy things, but rather, impassioned to soar.
It all starts with you. You trans-form rather than con-form. Afterall, life’s plights are usually painful – and almost always involve others. Still, these happenings ultimately perfect you even though the people involved may be entirely in the wrong. God can use any circumstance. The constant working of pressure and heat reforms you from glory to glory. The awareness of how to rightly deal with this pressure becomes the correct warfare. It’s not about rebuking the devil, but learning how to cross over to the other side, even when it seems that no one else cares.
Decide to take off the old man. As you begin that action, the Holy Spirit makes the change. That’s why I want you to have a burning desire to make the most of your mind – it’s critical that you decide to allow the Holy Spirit to take over. The Lord wants to interact and teach you. It would be ridiculous to turn away from His help.
The Phillips translation of this scripture (Rom. 12:2) puts it this way: “Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mold, but let God remold your mind from within so that you may prove in practice that the plan of God for you is good, meets all His demands and moves toward the goal of true maturity.”
è Everything you hold away from God turns to defeat.
è Everything you give to God turns into Resurrection life.
è You’re in control of this choice; you decide to be transformed – no one can do it for you.
This new man that you put on is made free from sin, created after righteousness and true holiness.[xi] This new man is changed (morphoo) in character and conduct to conform to Christ. Remember, resurrection life is a choice -- a closure of the old man and the revelation of the Bridal Company that stands as an overcoming, metamorphosed (Rom. 12), many-membered body.
Jesus demonstrated this transformation when He transfigured before Peter, James, and John on the high mountain. His face shone like the sun and His clothes were white as light (Matt. 17:1,2). This experience enabled the men standing nearby to see the glory that now permeated His flesh and His clothes. We must come to our own mountain of transfiguration – where the light of God’s Presence radiates from our face and we “shine forth as the sun” (Matt. 13:43).
1. Make a habit of transforming your mind. Find ways to motivate yourself and make it fun. List what you can do to motivate yourself to be teachable.
2. Memorize the following Scriptures: 1 John 1:9, Ephesians 5:18, and 1 John 5:14, 15. Say them every day for a month, and mark it off on a calendar. As you recite these verses, ask yourself if you are applying them to your life.[xii]
[ii] Romans 6:5
[iii] See later section on Pushing.
[iv] Lost reference
[v] Neighbour, Ralph, Jr. The Arrival Kit, Touch Outreach Ministries, Singapore 1544
[vi] David, Jonathan ibid. pg.94
[vii] Johnson, Ben Campbell pg. 23
[viii] Phil. 3:13,14
[ix] 2 Cor. 3:18
[x] Heb. 5:8.
[xi] Eph. 4:24
[xii] Douglas, Stephen B. & Roddy, Lee, “Making the Most of Your Mind” Campus Crusade for Christ, Here’s Life Publishers, Inc. San Bernardino, CA 92401
|Last Updated on Sunday, 12 February 2012 12:09|