Continue in the Faith IV (Transforming the Mind)
Proverbs 23:7 - “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
What does “thinks in his heart” mean? One explanation could be “that which has been stored collectively in one’s memory”; another (more accurately) is stored in the sub-conscious; Understanding the man’s make up is Spirit, Soul (mind, will, emotions) and body, one could say that “thinks in the heart encompasses spirit, soul, and body. He thinks it, so he believes it; he acts it, and becomes it.
Human action/reaction generally begins in the soul (mind, will, emotions), by thoughts, whether instigated by habits (automatic responses) related to our environment, current desires for gratification and/or pleasure, or spiritual inspiration. We humans are notorious for seeking and finding the easiest path to “gratification and pleasure”. That pleasure can be mental or physical. The physical world we live in seemingly provides all sorts of pleasures, but underneath the surface, the majority of them are not conducive to developing into the spiritual beings we were intended to be.
A wise man once said, “just because you believe something doesn’t mean it is true”. We can believe a lie as well as the truth! Yet we find ourselves believing things that are simply not true, or beneficial to us.
Man once believed that the earth was flat and that the sun revolved around the earth. Man once thought that singing in harmony was from the devil, and later that certain musical beats were straight from hell. However, God created everything (even music) and He called it good. It is how man chooses to use it that it is considered bad or evil.
Here’s something to think about:
“Your actions confirm or deny what you believe. They determine how your beliefs make a difference in your life or how they don’t really affect it at all. Many people say they believe something but lack the faith to live a life that expresses that belief… Will you live a life that never breaks out of the confines of comfortable living? Will you let fear hold you back from even trying?” Davis, Aaron (2015-05-01). Quantum Christianity: Believe Again
Some people talk about their lives and what they believe, yet their actions contradict what they say, revealing what they truly believe.
So the question to ask is, “What do you believe about God? Jesus? Does God exist?
“God exists whether or not men may choose to believe in Him. The reason why many people do not believe in God is not so much that it is intellectually impossible to believe in God, but because belief in God forces that thoughtful person to face the fact that he is accountable to such a God.” —Robert A. Laidlaw, writer and philanthropist
The next question becomes, “How does the degree of your belief or faith influence what you are seeing or experiencing in the moment?” I have heard it said that “perception determines reception” or “reality is context dependent”.
What do you want to believe? If God doesn’t exist, then I can do anything and live any way I want to because that is life on this planet. All humans live and die, with no accountability to anything but the laws of the land. “There is no supreme being. We live and we die, and that’s the end of it”. (Some actually believe and speak these things)
Yes, you may have heard of God, you have visited a church, possibly belong to a religion, and consider yourself a Christian or even “spiritual”. You may have seen some church goers who don’t act the way your “perception” of what a Christian should be, and decided that he/she was a hypocrite and you could never be that way. (“after all, every man (person) seems right in his on eyes”)
Or maybe you deny the existence of God or a supreme being of any kind. And declare yourself as an atheist or agnostic. Better yet, you could lean towards Buddhism or Hinduism, or even Muslim, because they seem (outwardly) to pray and meditate openly…..seemingly so religious or spiritual, as if we can “see” spirit.
This state of mind is considered unbelief, and “unbelievers”. Here’s what one writer said about unbelief:
“Unbelief will rob you of what God desires to do through you. If you allow unbelief to get in you, it will cause you to rationalize what God is capable of doing and what you are capable of doing in Christ. Rationalism is an enemy of faith and causes people to take on a mindset that says, “If I cannot prove it, if I do not understand it, then I cannot accept it.” The reason many people do not see the power of God operating in and through their life is because they are bound in a mindset of rationalism, and rationalism facilitates unbelief because intellectually we all have different capacities; therefore we all have certain limitations. There are going to be many times in your life where you will have to understand that God will desire to do things that go beyond your intellectual capacity and you’ve just got to be willing to step in faith and go with it.” Jay Haizlip, pastor of the Sanctuary Church in Southern California,
Proverbs 21:2 - “Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs and tries the hearts.”Acts 14:22
“We can so easily become attached to our own ways of doing things that we forget about God’s ways. We can get so immersed in our agendas, our ideas, our vision, our desires that we forget to say, ‘Your kingdom come, your will be done.’ For some people, the greatest obstacle to getting unstuck and beginning to make progress in life is their unwillingness to change. A new thought, a new habit, a new perspective could revolutionize their present and jump-start their future, but so many times they find it difficult to change and do things a different way.” — John Siebeling, Momentum: Five Keys from the Lord’s Prayer to Getting Unstuck and Moving Forward
We are in an era now where God has revealed a little bit more about Himself, and His relationship with us. The small amount of knowledge is another brick in the foundation on which we can build more confidence in His ability to lead us into and through the process of transforming our minds. The transformed mind becoming the “mind of Christ” is the reward to submitting to God the Father, allowing Him to show more of Himself to us, and filling us with His limitless power by the entrance of the Holy Spirit.
Maybe if we truly understood this next quote, we could live the life God has purposed us to live on the earth, to live in His Kingdom while here, demonstrating the works he designed us to work. Some would call it supernatural, in the God’s Kingdom it’s normal.
“You are called to enter into and engage in every earthly sphere of this world with a supernatural ability to manifest what God’s kingdom looks like. You are uniquely qualified to solve problems nobody else can solve! When you do so, you “show forth the excellence of Him” and build a platform of profound credibility from which you can teach others His ways”…. Lance Wallnau
What are some steps to begin “transforming the mind”?
2 Peter 1: 2 - 11
2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, 4 by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.
5 But also for this very reason, giving all diligence, add to your faith ,virtue, to virtue (add) knowledge, 6 to knowledge (add) self-control, to self-control (add) perseverance, to perseverance (add) godliness, 7 to godliness (add) brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness (add) love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For he who lacks these things is shortsighted, even to blindness, and has forgotten that he was cleansed from his old sins.
10 Therefore, brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble (fall); 11 for so an entrance will be supplied to you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
God has already given to the believer, “the “measure of faith… all believers have the same measure. However, Peter elaborates on other attributes that we are to add to our measure of faith.
These are attributes we have the ability to develop and keep.
· to your faith add virtue [virtue; moral excellence];
· to virtue add knowledge [knowledge of God, Jesus, Wisdom)
· to knowledge add self-control
· to self-control add patience [or perseverance]
· to patience add service for God [devotion; piety; godliness];
· to service for God add kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ [affection for fellow believers; L brotherly love/affection.
· to kindness for your brothers and sisters in Christ add love [C Greek: Agapē].
(While meditating on the scripture references above, I asked to give me understanding regarding what they mean to us today. He answered and I think I listened close enough to remember what he said. The question’s ultimate motive was to explain how do I and others “get” these attributes. The answer was: “you already have them; just act like a person of virtue, knowledge, self control, patience, kindness, and love. You are born again and the Holy Spirit lives in you. You have the mind of Christ. All of their gifts are yours. Believe that they are in you and take action.”)
I do believe that I, and many who read this article, could do ourselves a great service by gaining “knowledge” and “understanding” regarding the development of these characteristics in each of our lives. Maybe we could reduce the number of times we stumble and fall. When I stumble or fall, it hurts not only myself, but it could cause suppose others to stumble as well. What about you?
So we continue in faith, transforming our minds, receiving the mind of Christ!
Father God, thank you for this day and for every breath we are allowed to consume, for it is only by your presence we live and have our being. By your grace we live, by your love we know of you, by your spirit we are empowered by you, and through your Son Jesus we are saved….invited into Your Kingdom and received as unblemished children through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. No human language or tongue has the ability to adequately express how great you are, nor can they verbalize the gratitude mankind could utter that would be worthy enough for your acceptance.
As the creator of all things, you deserve more than any human words can express, yet we feel the desire in our hearts to sing your praises, and offer a simple, heartfelt “Thank You”. Let it be that our entire being, every cell, every atom, every breath, every heartbeat lives in “Thank You”, so that we are in constant contact with you. You are all knowledge and all wisdom; all mercy and all love; all grace and power. As we receive all from you, let us share it all through a continuous life of faith, love, and virtue towards others. Your word says that “we have not because we ask not”. And, “I will never leave you or forsake you”. So Father we can enter into the rest that faith in you so generously provides, knowing that when we pray, or just ask you, we already have it by faith.
Father, we “Thank You” and look to you for all things pertaining to life and liberty as we participate in bringing your Kingdom into this earthly realm …. In Jesus name. Amen.