Sunday, 9 February 2020

Renew Your Mind

Scripture: Ephesians 4 v 22 - 24:  "That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness."

Romans 12 v 2: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

When we come to know Jesus we carry our baggage with us instead of leaving it at the Cross.  This baggage is stored in our souls. Our soul consists of mind, will and emotions which tend to dominate our spirit and flesh. We override Bible wisdom and instruction with our common sense and logic, which satisfies our flesh but it does not please God.

Our "old man" dies when we are baptised which should take away our worldly habits, flaws and desires. However our will and emotions join up to remind us of the pleasures of sin. The spirit is willing to follow Jesus but the flesh is weak. We have good intentions but procrastinate and forget. Or we are just plain stubborn and cling to our "old man" like a baby to its teddy bear. One day you have to chuck that habit. You can't sit in a boardroom clinging to a tattered toy.

Its only when we are willing to accept separation from the old sinful way of life that we truly enter into the body of Christ and the blessed fullness of the life of abundance through the new birth. We can only experience it when we courageously put on the New Man (the likeness of Jesus) and enter in to the Invisible Body of Christ. Then we know what righteousness and holiness means.

God created this new man and Jesus Himself was the first to put it on. That means it transfers to us when we are baptised in water. We don't really have a choice but until we renew our mind by filling it with heavenly treasures our old man will continue scratching in the dirt. So choose today if you will put off the old and put on the new so that you are free to enjoy the fruits of righteousness.

The way to renew your mind is to actively assess what is stopping your full and active spiritual growth. You need to fill your mind with good thoughts, clean speech, Bible reading, praise singing and prayer for others. While doing that observe when your focus wanders and distractions enter. Satan jerks your old man into service when you get close to discovering the truth of walking in the light of Jesus. So learn new Godly habits. Get rid of all uncleanness and your mind will be renewed daily. 

The biggest hindrance to a renewed mind is when you continue to conform to this world.  Any church that is a community service civic asset doing social work has lost its spiritual compass.  The social community is not transformed by humanitarian aid, it makes the crucifixion of no account.  The mission of the church is to save souls and empower them with the Holy Spirit, not to serve the unregenerated world. 

You need to determine and perform the perfect will of God to renew your mind.  Get your mind off yourself and your own needs and be led by Jesus to the needs of others.  Without any help from you, your needs will be abundantly met when you focus on bringing spiritual aid to those who are floundering.  Subdue the temptations that spring into your mind to block you from doing what Jesus is asking you to do.  Do not let the enemy distract you even through things that seem reasonable and full of common sense.

A servant of Jesus has long ago discarded common sense for the unique pleasure of having the mind of Christ.  It's not just thinking outside the box, it is never even noticing that there is a box.  When your mind is renewed to flow in the power of the Holy Spirit without fear or doubt you have become an effective instrument in the hand of God.

Prayer: Father God, help me to discard my old fallen nature that clings to me because I am afraid of change. Rejection and scoffing by friends is my big fear but I need to surrender my mind and will to You.  Let Your love shine through me and renew my mind to Your standard. In Jesus' name. Amen.