Monday, March 11, 2024

Renewed Mind

The soul is an immaterial part of a human being. It consists of the mind, will, emotions and intellect. Our mind is the element or faculty of consciousness and thought. When one confesses Jesus Christ as Lord and takes Him as Savior, the unregenerate human spirit becomes alive, it is Born Again, with the very life and nature of God. (John 3:3-8, 10:10; 2 Corinthians 5:17, 21; 2 Peter 1:4) However, the soul is not immediately transformed as the spirit is. Jesus tells us, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh (body and soul) profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63) Jesus is not telling us that we should become mindless, but that the Holy Spirit and His Word brings life to our recreated spirit which in turn renews the mind and brings the body into subjection.

The Apostle Paul tells us how we deal with our two unregenerate parts, also known as the flesh, "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) This is something that must become apart of our daily lives. Everyday we should make it our declaration that we choose to use our bodies as instruments of righteousness (Romans 6:13) and renew our minds with God's Word. (Proverbs 4:20-22; John 6:63; Romans 10:17) Paul also shows one particular way to adjust our thinking, "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy, meditate on these things." (Philippians 4:8)

Why is dedicating our bodies to the Lords service and renewing our minds everyday of the utmost importance to all believers? Peter tells us, "your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) The adversary has not changed his tactics. He does the same thing today as he did in the Garden with the woman. He works at getting believers to use their mind, that is, their intellect, to figure out what God said, His Word. When the believer does this, they will eventually reason God's Word away and act out through their body in the same manner that thw woman did. (Genesis 3:1-6) Paul warns us, "the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be." (Romans 8:7) He also tells us, "But the natural man 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." (1 Corinthians 2:14) This very thing is what has become a natural occurrence in the church for centuries and seems to be even more prevalent today.

Notice, what Adam and the woman did, after they chose to listen to the adversary rather than God, "Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden." (Genesis 3:7-8) They hid, covered, themselves from one another and hid, conceal from view, themselves from God. They had lost their spiritual connection with God and now relied on their mind, their intellect. Now guilt, condemnation and unworthiness had replaced innocence, approval, and nobility. 

However, it did not stop there. Look at Adam and the woman's response to God, "Then the man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.” And the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Genesis 3:13) The guilt, condemnation and unworthiness, the consequences of their acting upon their mind with their bodies, was so strong, that they could not even admit what they had done. Instead, Adam blamed God and the woman, and the woman blamed the serpent, the devil. This brings us to the point. Many times, believers will blame God, for things that are actually the works, lies, deceptions of the devil, without actually saying it. 

For instance, sickness and disease continues to ravaged the Body of Christ. Many have been trained through church leaders and theologians that God permits sickness and disease to be apart of the believers life for some benevolent reason that no one, except He, knows. They are taught, that healing today is not in the redemptive work of God in Christ, but only belongs to the believer if God gives one faith to be healed. If He does not give you faith, there is no need to struggle for your healing from God, you simply put up with it or better yet, go to a physician for healing. The question that we need to ask ourselves then, is, if benevolent is defined as well meaning and kindly, then why would one go to a physician and work against God doing some that is well meaning and kindly?

That fact is, "...For I am the Lord who heals you" (Exodus 15:26); "Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses) and carried our sorrows; (pains) (Isaiah 53:4); "that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses" (Matthew 8:17); "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him" (Acts 10:38); "For I am the Lord, I do not change;" (Malachi 3:6); "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1); "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth." (John 1:14);  "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Hebrews 13:8)

Notice, not one of these scriptures insinuates that God has anything to do with sickness and disease other than to heal. If you read the Gospels, you will find that the majority of Jesus' earthly ministry was to bring healing to the sick and diseased. We also see that Jesus tells us numerous times and in various ways, "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 6:38)  So then, if God is the God who heals; if Jesus only did the will of the Father; if Jesus went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him; if God has not changed, then it goes without saying, that God still heals today and all sickness and disease is not of God, but from the adversary!

Think about it, disease is, dis-(cut off)-ease. Disease is pain, weakness, loss of ability to bless and help. It makes slaves of the people who care for the sick (not that caring for the sick is a bad thing, it is actually a good thing to care for those who cannot care for themselves). The loved ones who are up day and night taking care of the sick ones, are robbed of joy and rest. Most importantly, sickness is not of love, and God is love. (1 John 4:7-8, 16) Disease is a robber. It steals health; it steals happiness; it steals money we need for other things. Disease is an enemy because it comes from the enemy and is not a benevolent work of God. All of this is of the devil. We see in Luke's Gospel that "there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity. And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God." (Luke 13:11-13)

Naturally, Jesus doing the will of the Father dealt with the issue. However, the religious intellects of the day began to criticize because Jesus healed on the Sabbath, "But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”  (Luke 13:14) However, Jesus goes to the heart of the matter, "The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound, think of it, for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” (Luke 13:15-16)

There are five things that we can take from this passage. First, the woman was dealing with a spirit of infirmity. There is not one verse of scripture in the entire Bible that even suggests, that a spirit of infirmity is of or from God. Second, Jesus heals the woman. Third, as it was then, it is today in many portions of the church, the religious intellects always have something to say that is contrary to the will, nature, character, purpose and plan of God due to their lack of faith. Four, we see clearly that this spirit was of and from Satan himself. Five, we see healing, not sickness or disease, glorifies God!!!

As I had mentioned before, God is love, sickness and disease is not of love. If sickness and disease is the will of love, then love has turned to hatred. If sickness and disease is the will of God, then heaven will be filled with it. Jesus said, "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:9-10) No, sickness and disease is the will of hate, the will of Satan, due to his hatred of God, His children, and in fact, all humanity. Sickness and disease were never and are never the will of the Father. To believe that they are, is to be deceived by the adversary. If healing had not been in God's plan of redemption, the Father would not have taught it in His Word.

Finally, Jesus healed all who came to Him, Jews and Gentiles alike. He was carrying out the will of the Father and so should all believers, "And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18) However, for many believers, their mind must be renewed and their bodies dedicated to the service of the Lord daily so they can shed the doubts, fears and unbelief that thwart the church from releasing God's Kingdom, as well as His power and glory to the entire world. The struggles that most believers face is not with the adversary, per se, but with a mind that has not been renewed by the Word of God, "For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12)         

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