Tag Archives: Mind of Christ
God stepped in and changed my life after eight years of spending my days in the futility of my own thinking and chasing after cleverly disguised foolishness. No more was He going to standby and allow me to waste all the ability and promise He had placed within me when He molded me. Instead, He used the veiled death trap of pride and fear I had unknowingly built around me to bring me to my knees. He gently and methodically unfolded the straight jacket that had constricted me, kept me in bondage, and restricted all freedom. I thought I was free but I was not; I thought I had the mind of Christ but I did not; any mind that is not the mind of Christ is the mind of bondage. Now that the shackles are gone, all I can do is give Him praise.
I caused death and destruction in my foolishness, but I know my Father who rescued me from myself is more than able to undo to the uttermost all the mess that my foolishness may have created in others.
He is God and so worthy to be praised. Draw near to Him and He will draw near to you. Give it all to Him and He will turn your tragedy into a trajectory towards wholeness, beauty, and victory. He has and is doing it for me and will do it for you. He will not despise a broken and a contrite heart (Psalms 51:17).
My story is that of a Superchump – the state of a man who lives outside of Christ! But now, it has turned into that of living in Christ – thereby allowing Him to daily turn me into a champion for Him. I am not a good man but simply enjoying the goodness of God by daily crucifying myself so He may live in and through me.
The story begins with Diary of a Superchump, but I do not know where it ends! All I know is that the end of a matter is better than its beginning (Ecclesiastes 7:8). I am walking a path that leads to nowhere I know but I am determined to walk it nonetheless for I know He who directs my path. I know the end is going to bring fame to my King. To Him belong all the glory, all the honor, and all the praise!
What is your story? What are you thankful for? What are you thanking Him for?
While humility, prayer, and seeking the face of God are the first three legs of our race towards victory, obedience is the power that pushes us across the finish line and unleashes the blessings of God in our lives. This analogy to the relay in track and field illustrates that obedience is only powerful when done out a heart of love – a heart set on humility which in turn leads us to prayer and seeking the face of God. If our obedient action is not motivated by love, then it is motivated by greed or by fear. Too many of us are obedient to God because we simply want to use Him as our cash cow!
Jesus gives an example of obedience that does not please Him when he describes the people that put ashes on their cheeks to show they are fasting. Although they were being obedient to fast (for Christ says when and not if you fast), the motivation behind it all was the adulation of the people around them. In actuality, their action had morphed into a form of idolatry, with their god being the need to be recognized. Since the penchant to be glorified rather than give God all the glory comes out of fear (of not being good enough, or of rejection), we see that it cannot please God for it is not done out of love. This is why Cain’s offering was not pleasing to God; why Jesus called the seemingly perfect and obedient keepers of the law brood of vipers; why our obedience at times do not yield any fruit for us
Since the opposite good is evil (wickedness) and anything that does not flow out of God (love) is no good, it becomes clear that the command to ‘turn away from our wicked ways’ is not simply talking about turning away from disobedience, but is also addressing obedience that is steeped in fear. Therefore, the only way to turn away from our wicked way is to turn to love. Why turn to love-driven obedience? We do it so that healing can take place in our life and we can have peace. See, while our obedience can yield fruit in other people’s lives, why we are obedient is what determines whether fruit is produced in our lives. A fantastic example of this is Prophet Jonah. Although his preaching of the Gospel yielded the fruit of deliverance for the people of Nineveh, it produced bitterness in him because He was not obedient out of love. This is why Jonah asked God to take his life even when Nineveh was spared. Sheesh!
Once we have truly developed the heart of love behind obedience, the question is how do we put it into practice? How do we ensure we do not fall into the trap of looking at ourselves in the mirror and forgetting what we look like as soon as we leave – of falling into complacency? (See James 1: 23 – 24).
Some Practical ways to ensure we do not fall into complacency and into disobedience are as follows:
- Read the Word (Give no place to the devil – Ephesians 4:27): We do this by arming ourselves with the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). We have to get to the point where we are so filled up with the Word of God that it leaves no room for any junk to enter.
- Have Accountability Partners (Bear one anothers burdens – Galatians 6:7): We help each other lift our loads when we do not forsake godly gatherings but keep each other accountable to lead a godly life
- Stay Away from Ungodly Company (A little leaven leavens the whole lump – 1 Corinthians 5:11): We have to ensure we rid ourselves of the sin (leaven) that is leavening our lump. At times, that means we must distance ourselves from people who do not care to discard their sin for any leaven is infectious and has a tendency to spread. Once the leaven is removed, the fellowship may be restored. Note that the relationship was never broken.
Food For Thought: Those who love God obey Him because they love Him
Humility is a must if we want our prayers not just to be heard BUT accepted by God (see ‘The Link between Humility and Answered Prayer’). When we humble ourselves and pray to the Father, for many of us, the first thing that He shows us is the reason why He has not been able to say yes to us. When we go to God in humility, He shows us the true condition of our hearts – those portions of our heart that have not been broken up and so cannot bear the good fruit we have requested. The truth is that when we go to our watchtower – that quiet place where we cannot be reached or disturbed; that place of solitude where we can humbly set our sight on God in prayer – our vision becomes clear and we can through His help see the true and full layout of our land (our heart). I love the way this truth is written in the book of Habakkuk. There, the word of God says:
I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, and watch to see what He will say to me,
and what I will answer when I am corrected – Habakkuk 2:1 – 2
It is through fasting and praying that we stand our watch and set ourselves on the rampart. When we do this, God reveals to us what we truly look like and corrects our prideful and flawed attitudes and image. If we are at all smart and want to shorten our wilderness experience, we will not try to argue with God when He corrects us but instead will apologetically fall on our face, say sorry, and agree to what He tells us to do.
After we have sought the Lord and He has corrected us, the right response is to break up our fallow ground. If we do not, anything we do is simply a waste of time – just as a farmer who plants on soil that has not been prepared is simply wasting his seed. The house of Jacob did not understand this during the time of Prophet Isaiah. They did not understand why God was not responding to their fasting, praying, and reading His Word. They asked God ‘Why have we fasted and You have not seen? Why have we afflicted our souls and You have not taken notice?’ To this, God in essence replies ‘You have sin. You keep on doing the ‘right’ things but you have not corrected your erroneous ways’. The 58th chapter of Isaiah describes this very well – one excerpt from the chapter is given below:
“Tell my people their transgression, And the house of Jacob their sins. Yet they seek Me daily, and delight to know to know My ways, as a nation that did righteousness, and did not forsake the ordinance of their God…they take delight in approaching God – Isaiah 58:2
Our refusal to be corrected by God is the biggest impediment to us progressing in life. No amount of fasting, prayer, seeking or any other magic formula will do. We can ask, but His response will always be ‘Clean house in this area I have shown you first’.
Just as a piece of jewelry is just another lost item in a very junky house, the seed of the word of God gets lost and quickly losses its value if not sown into a receptive heart. The word of God tells us that the pre-requisite to seeking the face of God (seeking the word of God) is breaking up our fallow ground. Once prayer has revealed the location and depth of the ground we must break up, we must actively begin the digging with the help of God by exercising forgiveness, letting go of past baggage, journeying through our childhood to rid ourselves of past hurts, and laying all of what we are at His feet.
Glory to God that we do not grow weary in seeking His face but persevere, we will find it and He will shower us with the riches of His inheritance. Hallelujah!
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the LORD, till he come and rain righteousness upon you – Hosea 10:12
So, why is important to pray and seek the face of God? It is the only way we can experience the flood of His goodness (righteousness) in our lives.
Here are the practical steps we have seen so far to set ourselves up to experience the flood of His goodness:
- Humble ourselves (see How can I grow in Humility?)
- Fast and pray to discover unsavory areas of our lives (see Habakkuk 2:1 – 2)
- Deal with the junk that God reveals is present in us by His power (see John 15:2)
- Seek His face (His word)
Food for Thought: We experience the blessings of God when we till the land of our heart