Showing posts with label Word of God. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Word of God. Show all posts

Monday, July 6, 2020

What On Your Mind

Most believers know the importance of reading and studying the Word of God, which is good, but most do not take the time to meditate on God's Word. We have stressed the need to being born again and to live a godly life, but most new believers do not receive much teaching or encouragement regarding the necessity of having a renewed mind. Isn't it interesting the enthusiasm and joy that comes with the born again experience, but unless a new believer engages and feeds on the Word that joy will eventually die out.

The mind is similar to a sponge when it comes to knowledge. However, most knowledge comes by-way-of our five senses giving the mind will and emotions control over a person. But when one feeds on the Word through meditation, the mind slowly but surely becomes renewed. As the mind is renewed, the Word is then lived out because faith continually grows. Eventually, the spirit begin to take control and the mind then comes into fellowship with the spirit. This is very important principle for all believers not only new ones. Many Christians are led by the mind, will and emotions because their minds are not being renewed and their spirit is being starved of the truth.

The apostle Paul shows us two important aspects of the born again life in regard to the physical body and its thinking process, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2) Take notice that believers are to present their bodies, which holds the five senses to the Lord. This is in the sense of the Old Testament priest offering a sacrifice on the alter to the Lord. It is a dedication of yourself to the Lord for His service, which is a reasonable thing to do. Why? Because no matter how long you have been born again, every persons mind has been influenced by the things of the world. For many, worldly concepts have had you under their dominion and you have not come to the freedom that comes by the truth.

Many today live in a semi-spiritual darkness still finding it difficult to know and understand the true nature, character, will, purposes and plan of God. Many continuously go to a church leader to deal with issues that never seem to leave because they have not taken it upon themselves to renew their mind. But as one renews his/her mind, they will come to know the Lord in a deeper personal manner. Not only that, but as ones mind continues to be renewed they will not be satisfied with the acceptable and the good will of God but will want to know what is the perfect will of God.

One of the ways that you can gauge if your mind being renewed will be seen in how much your faith is growing. A person who year after year shows little faith is almost invariably a person whose mind is not being renewed. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4:16 "Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day." The inward man is your spirit and as you feed your inward man the Word, your mind also becomes renewed.

Finally, take to heart what the Lord spoke to Joshua concerning His Word, "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success." (Joshua 1:8) Through meditating on the Word day and night you will come to walk in God's will, recognize that His ability and strength has been given to you as well as the promise that was given to Joshua, "For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success" so it shall be with you. Amen...

Monday, December 4, 2017

Not Natural, But Supernatural

It has been said, "Our attitude toward the Word determines the place that God holds in our daily life." In other words, it is not simply making statements like, "I believe that the Word of God is infallible" or "I believe God's Word is true" or "I believe in the inerrancy of God's Word" which statements are true concerning God's Word, but moreover, are we settled in our thinking to the place where by faith we act on God's Word? What is meant here is, are we going to allow dogma and doctrine, to continue to hold the church in bondage or are we willing to let every Word of God loose? Jesus, in speaking to the devil said, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4; Luke 4:4)

What we need to see here, is Jesus, God the Word made flesh (John 1:1, 14) does not say that man lives on dogma, doctrines or creeds developed by man concerning the Words that God speaks, but man is to live by every word that God has spoken. The entire Word of God should always be received as though the Father is speaking directly to us. It should never be like the message from an ordinary book. It should be as real to us as though Jesus Himself is in the room and speaking to us personally. We must see the Bible as a supernatural book containing the supernatural, life changing, powerful, Word of God that does not change! (Malachi 3:6; Mark 13:31; Hebrews 13:8)

We must see that although Jesus is at the right hand of the Majesty on High, that God's Word, the Bible, is taking Jesus' place in His physical absence because He and His Word are One. To have God's Word, the Bible, is to have Jesus presence with us. Jesus tells two things that need to take hold in our hearts and minds concerning God and the Word, "God is Spirit..." (John 4:24) and "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63) The Holy Spirit through the Apostle John also tells us the same, "For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one." (1 John 5:7) In the Revelation of Jesus Christ, we see, "He was clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God." (Revelation 19:13) Do we see the connection that God and His Word are One?     

The Word of God is Christ (God the Word) revealing Himself. It is God Himself present with us, speaking the living message that transforms lives. (Hebrews 4:12) Jesus said, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last." (Revelation 22:13) This means that Jesus is not bound by time or space, He is ever-present. It also means that as Jesus is, so is the Word. The Word is not bound by time or space, it is always now, ever-present, to the world today and every day. It is the very voice of God speaking His message to us. It is living, powerful and limitless. It is God's mind and will spoken to humanity.

I believe that revival, even a third awakening, would break out if God's Word was as real to us today as it was to the early church. The book of Acts reveals this over and over, "But the word of God grew and multiplied." (Acts 12:24) and "So the word of the Lord grew mightily and prevailed." (Acts 19:20)  Look what happens when the Word of God is spoken from the mouths of faith, "So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs." (Mark 16:19-20) Unfortunately, in many sectors of what we refer to as Christianity, the word of man has gained more influence and authority than God's Word.

Because there is a failure to acknowledge this, then it is obvious that one or all of the following conclusions exist; God's Word has changed with time; His Word is not being preached; We lack faith in His Word or He is no longer I AM but I was. However, the truth is, the Word is alive and talks to us. God is I AM. He and His Word are now. It has the same authority that it would have if Jesus Himself stood in the room and spoke it. If we say we have faith in God then we are saying we have faith in His Word. Jesus said, "According to your faith let it be to you.” (Matthew 9:29) As we consider the Word and act upon it, it will become real to us. It is the very Bread of Heaven to those hungry in spirit. (John 6:35-40)

Food for thought. If believers want to build the highest type of faith, then they must become a faithful person by believing and acting on every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God. In doing so, God's Word will transform our lives "from glory to glory" (2 Corinthians 3:18) and "from faith to faith." (Romans 1:17) Do not be a hearer of the Word only, but a doer of the Word. (James 1:22) What one does with the Word of God will determine what God's Word will do in and through that one. By letting God's Word go to work in us, it will build the life of Jesus in us. God's Word will build life, faith, love, grace, strength and on and on into us as we continue in and abide in it. God's Word will reveal the very riches of our inheritance. (Romans 8:16-17) It will build the very character of Christ us. It has the power to save the lost; it has the power to heal the sick. So, let us let the Word of Christ then dwell us richly (Colossians 3:16), because His Word is not natural but supernatural.

Monday, June 20, 2016

What do You Think

The  mind can either be a wonderful or detrimental thing to use. For some time now there has grown a movement that promotes "The Power of Positive Thinking." The power of positive thinking is a mental attitude in which one expects good and favorable results. Put another way, the power of positive thinking is the process of creating thoughts that create and transform energy into reality. A positive mind waits for happiness, health and a happy ending in any situation. Notice that it is the transformation of energy into reality. In every sense, it is simply mind over matter, that is, the use of willpower to overcome problems, whether physical or mental. This all comes down to philosophy or psychological science.

However, we need to understand that the unregenerate mind can be a powerful tool, but its power does not come from above, but is from beneath. The Apostle James tells us, "Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there." (James 3:13-16) Notice that James is talking about people who are self-seeking. In a sense then, the power of positive thinking evolves around "I." James continues, "But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy." (James 3:17)

Although James is talking about wisdom, keep in mind that wisdom teaches how to use knowledge effectively. There is certainly nothing wrong with positive thinking. The question we must ask ourselves is, what or who is behind it our positive thinking? For believers, it is through the Word of God that the mind is renewed, faith is increased, (Romans 10:17) and thoughts are transformed. Unfortunately, though, most believers thoughts and confessions are mostly negative, due to a lack of meditating and studying God's Word. (Joshua 1:8) 

The teaching behind the power of positive thinking is not only taught in the world, but it has also infiltrated the church. Many church leaders today have gathered a large following because they have reduced the Word of God to nothing more than a philosophy for life. Although cloaked with verses of scripture, in reality, it takes the focus off of Almighty God and puts it on self. The Psalmist David wrote, "The Lord is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1) Jesus said, "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing." (John 15:5)  

Teaching a philosophy for life from pulpits rather than God's Word is a very dangerous concept because it eliminates faith in Jesus Christ, and turns ones faith, to faith in what can be accomplished through their own ability and or strength. In actuality, this is nothing more than the power of positive thinking cloaked with scripture. We should never forget the devils tactic that led the woman away from the truth to believe his lie, "...And he said to the woman, “Has God indeed said...Then the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God..." (Genesis 3:1, 4-5) I believe the deception behind this teaching is what the Apostle Paul tells us concerning what will happen to many believers as we draw closer to the end, "But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves...lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power." (2 Timothy 3:5) 

The Apostle Paul tells us, "giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us (has given us the ability) to be partakers (to enjoy our share) of the inheritance of the saints in the light." (Colossians 1:12) When one is born again, they immediately received God's nature, (2 Peter 1:4), that is, His substance, His life, and along with new birth He gives the Holy Spirit to dwell in your body. When Jesus promised that the Holy Spirit would come and lead us into all truth, (John 16:13), He meant exactly what He said. God's ability is freely offered to every one who confesses Jesus as Lord and takes Him as Savior. Another deception behind the teaching of the power of positive thinking in the church actually alienated believers from the life of God. (Ephesians 4:17) However, the moment that ones spirit is recreated, the mind may be renewed and brought into perfect harmony with the recreated spirit by the study of God's Word. It may take a little time, but it is worth the effort. When the mind is renewed with the Word of God and brought into fellowship with the recreated spirit, then the reality of all the blessings and promises of God become ours, not by positive thinking, but faith in Jesus Christ.

For everyone who is born again, you have God's nature, God's ability. You are God's child. God
is the strength of your life. He is made unto us wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. (1 Corinthians 1:30) We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10) We are the victorious and triumphant ones. (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Corinthians 2:14) These wonderful things are ours. We are not slaves, but free. This New Testament is the "Good News" of our emancipation"
and of God's participation in our lives here on earth. If He was made these thing unto us, this is what we are!

Finally, the Apostle Paul reveals some more incredible truths, "But the natural man (anyone under the influences of the mind, the senses, and not the Holy Spirit) does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned...For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ." (1 Corinthians 2:14, 16) Why would one desire to be limited by the power of positive thinking when the born again believer can be led by the Holy Spirit and be unlimited in the way Jesus was in His earth walk? The reality of Paul's prayer to the church at Colosse belongs to every believer, "For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge (complete, concise, precise knowledge) of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." (Colossians 1:9) PTL...       

Monday, February 15, 2016

Survival of the Fittest

"Survival of the fittest" is a phrase first used by Herbert Spencer after reading Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" in which he drew parallels between his own economic theories and Darwin's biological ones, writing, "This survival of the fittest, which I have here sought to express in mechanical terms, is that which Mr. Darwin has called natural selection, or the preservation of favored races in the struggle for life." In Christian terms, in a sense, we can term survival of the fittest as the struggle between the spirit and the flesh. The Apostle Paul reveals a very important point concerning these two entities, "For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." (Galatians 5:17)

When the Bible uses the word flesh, it indicates the combination of the body and soul (mind, will and emotions). (Genesis 6:3; Romans 7)  Although at the moment when a person confesses Christ as Lord and receives Him as Savior the Holy Spirit takes up residence, many believers are still controlled by the flesh as though it did not die with Christ and was raised up again in Him. (Romans 6:4-5) The problem comes because they have not truly believed in the accomplished fact of Christ's death and resurrection for them. This does not mean that they are not saved, it simply means that they have not acted upon the Word of God and the call of the Holy Spirit to follow the principle of death and resurrection, that is, "walk in newness of life." According to the finished work of Christ, at the moment of regeneration all believers have died and have been resurrected with Christ. Accordingly, it is every believers responsibility to die to self and live to God. (Romans 6:11)

This condition is nothing new to the church. The Apostle Paul confronted this very issue with the church at Corinth, "And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?" (1 Corinthians 3:1-4) We see that the Apostle Paul divides believers into two categories; spiritual and fleshly or carnal. Today, many view the spiritual believer as abnormal or even fanatical, yet he is actually normal. It is the
fleshly or carnal believer who is abnormal. The church at Corinth were believers, but they were fleshly, not spiritual.

When we speak of regeneration, it is a birth by which the innermost part of man's being, as the Apostle Peter says, "the hidden person of the heart" (1 Peter 3:4), that is, the hidden spirit of a person, is renewed, recreated, and indwelt by the Spirit of God. When regeneration occurs, it requires time for the power of this new life to penetrate the flesh and bring it into dominion to the recreated spirit. Therefore, we cannot expect to find the strength of "the young men" nor the experience of "the fathers" manifested in the life of a newly born child of God. (1 John 2:12-14)  No matter how much the new believer may love the Lord or love the Truth, the facts is, he may not understand just how strong his flesh is. So, what are the reasons why many believers do not grow from babes? 

I believe it stems from three main reasons. One is that church leaders (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, or Teachers) neglect to disciple them properly, that is, "teaching them to  observe (hold fast; continue in) all things" commanded by Christ (Matthew 28:20). This lack prevents the believer from moving beyond intellectual or theoretical knowledge, to experience, believing and acting on the Word of God. Secondly, it may be that the believer has convinced himself that spiritual advancement is not necessary. This is shear ignorance of coming to the reality of "that which is flesh is flesh and that which is spirit is spirit." (John 32:6) Thirdly, the believer is just unwilling to grow in their faith. This is a reflection of one who is stubborn and unteachable. No matter what the case, all are schemes of the devil to keep believers complacent and lethargic. It is not God's intention that believers remain babes "who are tossed two and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting." (Ephesians 4:14) 

Although the Bible does not expect a new believer to be spiritual instantaneously, however, if they should remain as a babe after several years, their situation is sad to say the least. Paul himself points out to the Corinthians that he had treated them as carnal, fleshly, because they were new born babes in Christ, but at the writing of his epistle to them, they should have grown into manhood. They had instead, wasted away their lives by remaining as babes, and were thus still fleshly. Although the church at Corinth was established in a sinful, hedonistic society, it does not necessitate as much time as we think then or today for one to be transformed from the fleshly into a spiritual believer.  It is apparent that Paul thought the same about the church at Corinth.

Two things that are necessary for believers to act upon daily, to break away from the works of the flesh are laid out in the Romans. Paul tells us, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." (Romans 12:1-2) We see what believers are to do concerning the body and the soul, that is, the flesh. This is an act of ones will, as well as the work of the indwelling Holy Spirit. As believers resist the flesh by an act of their will and yielding to the Holy Spirit, there recreated spirit will eventually have dominion over their flesh and the Christian experience will become more challenging and exciting. To sacrifice, means that something has to die, the flesh. To renew the mind is to fill it with the Word of God. 

If you struggle with the works of the flesh, begin to apply what Paul tells us in Romans 12:1-2 as well as asking the Lord to give you the grace to separate you from the struggles that you face in this life that try to steal your peace and joy. Remember, Jesus said, "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10) So, grab a hold of Jesus, let faith arise, be led by the Holy Spirit, and experience the abundant life that He has given.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Prayers that Bounce

Did you ever send an email and have it return without reaching the recipient that it was sent to? If you use email enough sooner or later it will happen. In computer jargon, this is called a bounced e-mail. It is and email that has been sent that never arrives in the recipient's inbox and is sent back, or bounced back, to the sender with an error message that indicates to the sender that the e-mail was never successfully transmitted. In a similar manner, did you ever pray and it seems that your prayer never reached it's recipient, the Lord? Well there are reasons for this, so let's explore some things and get some answers.

First, in the natural, a soldier engaged in combat must have absolute confidence in his weapon. He is depending either on the manufacturer's instruction manual or on his drill instructor that he has been given the correct information on how to use and care for his weapon. When the soldier enters into combat, other than his fellow soldier around him, his weapon is the most important thing that he has. It actually becomes an extension of his body because he literally lives with it even when he sleeps. Not only does it protect him, but it helps him drive back the enemy.

In a similar way the believer also has a weapon, "...the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God." (Ephesians 6:17) Like a solider in natural combat, the believer in the realm of spiritual combat, must have absolute, unshakable, unwavering faith in the the Word of God and its ability to stop the enemy's (the devil)  activities in their life. One of the major differences between physical and spiritual combat is that when you shoot a physical weapon you can usually see the damage that has been inflicted by the bullet. In spiritual combat you must depend entirely on what the manufacturer's instruction manual (The Bible) says that the damage will be when you use your spiritual weapon.

For instance, James 4:7 tells us, "Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." But because you can't physically see the devil in the act of fleeing, you have to believe with total faith and confidence that when you resist the devil and use the Word of God that in the spirit realm, that is exactly what is taking place. "But it doesn't feel like he is fleeing," you say. "The symptoms are still there, the problem is even worse than it was. It seems like my finances are in worse shape than before I prayed. It seems like the pain in my body is worse now than it was before in prayed. How can the devil be fleeing if the circumstances are worse than before?"
Again, the answer to your questions are found in the manufacturer's instruction manual, the Bible. Does it say you have to feel good, better or different to prove that your weapon has worked and the devil is fleeing from you? No, it doesn't say that. The only condition James 4:7 emphasizes is that you have to be submitted to God when you resist the devil. "Therefore submit to God..." That condition must be met in your life if you ever expect the devil to flee from you.

Are you submitted to God? Are you staying free from sin and keeping your fleshly desires that aren't pleasing to God under control by the Power of the Holy Spirit? Is Jesus the Lord of your life? Are you living according to His will, in humility and obedience? If not, you could be giving the devil place, an open door in your life which gives him a right to not only hang around, but to also continue hassling you. "nor give place to the devil." (Ephesians 4:27) If you have any sin in your life, you must repent and get the door closed top the devil first, before you begin striking down the wiles of the devil with the Word of God.

If you are submitted to God and your heart doesn't condemn you, then you will have total confidence in your weapon and know that the bullet (God's Word) hit the target exactly where you aimed it and that the enemy is on the run. "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. ( 1 John 3:21-22) However, the devil will try to deceive you. He will tell you that you missed; That God's Word didn't work for you; that God doesn't really love you; that God's Word doesn't work that way; and on and on. He will say anything to make you doubt God and His promises in His Word. However, Jesus tells us, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes." (Mark 9:23) He also tells us, "...Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mark 11:22-24)

These are promises from God's Word that we can count on because God does not lie (Number 23:19) He means what He says and says what He means. If He didn't mean it, He would not have said it. So as Peter said concerning the devil, "Resist him (the devil) in the faith..." (1 Peter 5:9)  we also must, "take up the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one." (Ephesians 6:16) and stand in faith on God's Word knowing, "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him." (1 John 5:14-15)