Ever since mankind lost his Edenic blamelessness, there has remained a part of him that he has constantly failed to fulfil: his identity. From a Biblical perspective, mankind was created with an identity and purpose perfectly carved out into his God-breathed make-up. Mankind was delicately tuned to be in a good healthy relationship with his designer and maker, and that relationship was to bring man all he needed to understand the Father's love for him. Man's fall from grace, however, meant his godly identity became isolated and unobtainable for a fallen being; hence his eternal need for a satisfying, purposeful replacement. This was never going to happen, it could not happen. His God-given identity was part of God himself, born out of God's own image. This could never be replaced, except by God himself. Driven on by a need to be accepted, man chased an identity he could not meet himself. Everything became task orientated with the false belief that if he worked hard enough he would be accepted and all would be well.
I know many, including myself, who brought this thinking into their Christian walk with Jesus. constantly seeking to develop their, 'ministries/identities', to be the best they could to impress their Father, making one poor choice after another trying to earn an acceptance that cannot be earned. Deep spirituality, the deeper the better, became the Christians vision, without really understanding that we are already accepted in what Jesus has already done, Jesus became sin for us and we received his righteousness- 2 Corinthians 5:21. We have the mind of Christ- 1 Corinthians 2:16: and best of all we have a new identity in Christ:
2 Peter 1:3-4.
3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [a]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature.
So you see if you are still striving to reverse the consequences of the fall in order to be accepted by God, attempting to regain your old identity, don't bother, you don't need it. God has given you a new one, a better one, one which is motivated by the greatest love of all, that of the son of God, Jesus.
Romans 12:2 gives us a very clear statement about the world and its lifestyle, we are NOT to conform to it.
The world has very clear statements of its own to make, some of which put the Christian into some very difficult dilemmas. Dilemmas which cause Christians to have to make choices about how they embrace what the world says and how they make room for the world without compromising what the Bible teaches. As a consequence, often Christians are tempted to take a softer route towards the inclusion of the world than they ideally would like to. The pressure on our minds and thinking processes to formulate, 'a way forward', to include the world, is uncomfortable. This is the point at which we are tempted to exchange what we believe God would have us uphold for something that makes our life easier, something that takes us out of the firing line of the world and its accusations of religious bigotry. If as Christians, we are to stand on God's word and not conform to the world's influences, we must be prepared to engage in this conflict and be prepared to taste the bitterness of separation from the world and its ideals. Anything that demands that we conform to the world is not of God no matter how plausible its arguments may be.
God expects us to be responsible and accountable for what we allow to pass through into our mind, especially if we are going to use it to form our responses and reactions.
Today, more than ever, there are constant bombardments of verbal and accusatorial pressure, designed to malign our right and our ability to think, and pursue our thoughts, which would empower us to independently act, think and choose.
Today, more than ever, the need to challenge our own personal beliefs concerning ourselves, the world and God, has never been more crucially important to the health of those beliefs and to the fruit they bare. The renewed mind, especially the pursuit of the renewed mind, is the real theatre of spiritual warfare for those choices and beliefs to gain and hold strategical ground. Cognitive and spiritual strongholds are the places where the Christian will potentially sustain their greatest injuries, but it is also the place where the Christian has a right to claim to his victory through his new identity in Christ.
There are a number of reasons why Christians fail to live out of the renewed mind. Below is a list of just some of them.These are just some of the issues that the Rethink workshop on 10th February 2018 will explore. So if you have not booked a place on this workshop then do it sooner rather than later.
They are: ... a Christian's,
1. Inability to process information appropriately.
2. Unawareness of the need for the renewed mind.
3. Neglect to nurture the renewed mind.
4. Unawareness of the Position, Power and Purpose of the
5. Unawareness and/or disregard for the spiritual strategic
value and purpose of the renewed mind.
OK, so we've been giving some thought to the question:
'In biblical terms, which of these two words:
behaviour - thinking, do you think have a closer link to the word, repent?
The Greek word the New Testament uses for repent is metanoeō. It means to, 'think differently', literally to, rethink.
Many people interestingly, but not surprisingly, have problems with the general interpretation of the word repent, very often associating it with behaviour and not thinking. The problem has been because of the weight of association that many speakers have put on the word repent to mean change behaviour and miss out altogether the weight of meaning of, change your THINKING. Consequently, many listeners to what has been said have made the mistake of putting all their efforts into changing behaviour, whilst leaving their thinking unchanged and unchallenged, hence the problem of not being able to change their lifestyles, they have made constant effort to change behaviour and getting discouraged when very little, or nothing changes for them.
when the NT uses the word repent, it is not asking you to change your behaviour directly, this is one of the failings of trying to keep the Law in the OT, it is asking you to change your thinking, generally after having been given more information to think about. Our behaviour is the result of what we believe, or what we choose to believe, and what we believe is the result of our thinking based on the information we've gathered. More on this later.
It is still not an easy task from there, but at least you'll be up the right ladder and up the right wall.
And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.
Good morning guys.
I would like to set you a simple challenge today.
Take some time out and ask the Holy Spirit to show you what lies you are currently believing in about yourself, others and the world around you.
Then ask him what you should do about it.
Inbox me with what God says to you, I would be very interested.
Have a blessed day ...
When the Spirit of TRUTH comes, he will guide you into all the TRUTH, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
How often do you challenge the validity of what you think, especially your conclusions?
This is a much greater problem than you might imagine.
If you have ever discussed someone’s personal issues with them, the chances are that at some point you will have unearthed a lie, or maybe several lies, they hold about themselves; a lie so engaging that it had hijacked their whole pattern of life and beliefs.
For some people, when confronted with the truth, find it easier to believe the lie:
there is a cost when seeking the truth and sometimes an even greater cost trying to embrace it.
I wonder if that’s what was in Jesus’ mind when he spoke about the difficulty of putting new wine into old wineskins? Mark 2:22.
The old wineskins are those whose, ‘truth and reality’, would not stand the test of trying to embrace a new truth: the cost being too much for them as it might destroy what they already had. Of course, Jesus was referring to the impossibility of combining Law and Grace, but the principle overlaps many situations.
The renewed mind doesn’t come without there being some sort of change in what we think, and/or, the way we think.
The Holy Spirit is committed to leading you into all truth, an essential ingredient for the renewed mind, but it is for you to embrace it.
When God's word comes to our mind it doesn't just sit there waiting for its shelf life to expire.
God tells us that:
The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12.
The Word of God is,'living and active', it carries with it a Royal and sanctifying commission direct from God to bring and fulfil his purposes into your life; see Isaiah 55:8-11.
It seeks out those things in our lives that are incompatible with what God desires for us and seeks to bring their power into submission to His will, whilst revealing the beauty and wonder of His grace.
It is very sharp with the ability to discern between the thoughts and intentions of the heart and aids us in knowing when we operate in the soul and when we operate in the spirit, not even the best self-help and psychology books have this power.
The Word of God is a wonderful gift to have, no wonder Satan hates it.
The renewed mind depends on the active work of God's Word to be present in a person's life if it is to understand God's purposes and if it is to be strengthened to understand God's will in a person's life-see Romans 12:2.
I believe without the active work of God's Word in the mind there is little hope of us living out of our new identity in Christ.
If the Word of God is not present in your life, and if it is, and you're not responding to it, then don't expect the renewed mind to be yours anytime soon and don't expect the things you struggle with in life to just disappear.
Wake up, stay alert, don't get distracted by, and react to, what your physical eyes see, don't use emotional responses to deal with spiritual moves of Satan against the Kingdom of God. Seek the Mind of Christ, understand the Mind of Christ, work out of the Mind of Christ. Be aware of being drawn into strategical mis-information tactics of Satan, who's purpose it is to distract and unsettle the peace of God in our hearts and minds; and to replace it with anger and a deep sense of injustice to bring about unspiritual and fleshly responses.
Satan wants to capture your ability to think from a renewed mind by stirring up your emotions and to operate from a futile mind that produces death....Ephesians 4:17-23, Compare Romans 12: 1-2
Stay in the Spirit, Walk in the Spirit, walk in the light and let no darkness masquerade itself as light, do not grieve the Spirit but let Him guide you to work out from your identity in Christ as children of the light.
May the God of Peace keep you and sustain you and enrich your journey with Him.
2Th 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,
2Th 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.
2Th 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
2Th 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
2Ti 3:1 But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty.
2Ti 3:2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good,
2Ti 3:4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,
2Ti 3:5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
2Ti 3:6 For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions,
2Ti 3:7 always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth.
Cultivate you relationship with Jesus by allowing the Holy Spirit more room to reveal Him to you.
Steve Howell has been a Christian for over 44 years. About 15 years ago he founded Rethink: a biblical initiative that assists Christians towards a renewed mind and thinking processes. Steve has spent the last ten years developing Rethink and using it widely in churches, schools and rehab centres. He currently concentrates his work on the South West of England and the West Midlands.