Tag Archives: Paul

The Mind of Christ – How Can I Grow in Humility?

As discussed in The Mind of Christ – Are You Experiencing the Love of ‘The One’, the key to experiencing victory in life and the fullness of the love of God is to develop and the mind of Christ.  Our ability to cultivate and operate in the realm of humility, prayer, seeking the face of God, and obedience ultimately decides the extent to which we experience heaven on earth. Now, if our minds are ever to be re-programmed to resemble the mind of Christ, we will have to renew it with the Word of God – for it is the Word of God that conforms us to the image of Christ, breaks the barrier between the realm of the mind and the realm of the Spirit (see Hebrews 4:12), and transforms our mind into the mind of Christ (see Romans 12:2). The bible puts it this way:

“Like newborn babies, thirst for the pure milk of the word so that by it you may grow in your salvation.” – 1 Peter 2:2

So there it is! It is the Word of God that causes our soul (mind) to grow (develop) so that we experience salvation (deliverance) from the filth of this life (fear, doubt, pride, lust etc.) and instead experience the gift of the God (heavenly things such as joy, peace, love) right here on earth!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: It is nigh impossible to fully develop the mind of Christ (and so experience the fullness of its riches) without immersing ourselves in the Word of God!

Note: We know that Peter was talking about the salvation of the soul rather than the salvation of the Spirit from eternal separation from God because he explicitly states it earlier in his letter (see 1 Peter 1:9). Second, we know that the salvation of our spirit comes through confession that Jesus is Lord (see Romans 10:9 – 10)

So you say I have been studying the Word but it has not produced the mind of Christ in me. Why? Hopefully we can come to some answer by looking at the qualities that make up the mind of Christ. Let’s start with humility.

How Humility Grows

As we continually hear and/or read the scriptures, the water of the Word begins to infiltrate the gaps of our stony hearts and begins to soften the soil of our hearts. As our hearts soften, it becomes receptive to receive the seed (or substance) of the Word of God. Once implanted in our hearts, we start to gain an understanding of the enormity of God (His power, His might, His love) and if we are honest with ourselves, begin to realize that we are but mere nothingness in comparison to Him. We start to realize that our hearts cannot even begin to compare to His heart; that while He killed Himself to restore our unworthy selves to Him, we kill our neighbors just because they do not look like us! See, it is only through the watering by the Word that humility (having a modest opinion of ourselves) which leads to surrender to God is developed.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Honest self-examination (in comparison to God) leads to true humility. True humility leads to surrender to God – His will, His truth (word) about you, His promises, His statutes, and judgments.

So, it is clear that the way God intends for us to come to the point of humility is by studying His Word – this is why the bible says that all scripture is profitable for reproof and correction (see 2 Timothy 3:16). Unfortunately, many of us choose not to allow the Word of God to humble us but instead allow the circumstances of life to bring us to our knees in surrender.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Since humility in life is inevitable, we are wise to humble ourselves voluntarily before God than have the crisis of life humble us!

Can life-long humility come from a crisis? Yes! However, the humility that comes through crisis tends for many of us to be temporary as it only lasts for as long as the crisis remains – because we see Jesus only as our Savior (deliverer) and not our Lord (master). Without fully immersing ourselves in the Word and gaining an appreciation of His love and our reliance on Him during our crisis, it is likely that we simply surrender to our own foolishness once more as soon as He rescues us – how ungrateful of us! Yet, how merciful of God! Thus we go from crisis to crisis because we often revert back to our own mindset. If we are to follow the example of Jesus, we should not allow crisis to bring us to the point of humility. He humbled Himself out of love for the Father and us. We ought to develop the same mind of humility in love.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: It is the knowledge and appreciation of the extent of His love for us that keeps us surrendered in humility.

So then, some practical steps to develop a mind-steeped in humility are as follows:

  • Be honest with ourselves about who we are (in our heart) – take our focus off what we do
  • Stop comparing ourselves to other people but only compare ourselves to God
  • Study the Word to specifically find out about the love of God – to know how His ways are so much better than ours

And here are a few reasons to develop humility

  • Honor, riches, and life (see Proverbs 22:4)
  • The acceptance and attention of God (see Psalms 51:17)
  • Promotion (see 1 Peter 5:6)
  • Power and favor (see James 4:6)

Food for Thought:  A mind steeped in love is a mind that is steeped in humility

4 Comments

Filed under Victorious Living

I Am a Good Christian, So Why Am I Not Being Blessed?

What Am I Doing Wrong?

Many of us miss out on the blessings that God wants to bestow upon us because we think we have not sinned – that we have no sin to confess. We say ‘I have not done anything wrong, so I have not sinned and so have no sin to confess’. We say this because we erroneously think that sin occurs in the doing; in our actions. But this is not what the bible teaches us about sin. See, if sin was solely based on actions (obeying a set of rules), then apostle Paul would have been sinless! We know this because he tells us that he was blameless (guiltless) with regards to the righteousness (purity or holiness) that comes from the law or works (see Philippians 3:6). But Paul knew better than to think he had no sin because he was flawless in obeying the ordinances of the law. He knew his righteousness was like a filthy rag (see Isaiah 64:6) in the sight of God and that only God could impart righteousness onto him (see 2 Corinthians 5:21)!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: We can be perfect in our actions and still be full of sin, for sin is not measured by how well we are able to keep the law.

The question then is this: If sin is not about actions, when have I sinned? Jesus gives us the answer in the following passage:

“But I say to you that whoever looks at woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” – Matthew 5:27

Jesus is saying here that adultery (which is a sin) has already taken place when it reaches our hearts. In other words, we have to pay attention to our heart intentions. It is important to state that Jesus did not say ‘committed adultery with her in his mind’. If Jesus had said this, then sin would occur the moment we are tempted in our minds. But this is not so, for temptation is not sin. The scriptures tell us that Jesus Himself was tempted as a man in this world, but he did not sin (see Hebrews 4:15). Therefore, Jesus did not sin not because He was not tempted, but because He did not allow the temptation to reach His heart; He did not allow the temptation to linger long enough in His mind to enter His heart, but rather rebuked it away with the Word of God. Hallelujah!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: Temptation only becomes sin when it crosses the barrier between our mind and enters into our hearts.

It is because sin has already taken place when temptation enters our hearts that the bible tells us that we deceive ourselves and that the truth is not in us if we say we have no sin (see 1 john 1:8). So you ask – how can I not sin? Well, here it is. The only way not to have any sin in our heart is to walk non-stop in the Spirit; we have to walk perfectly in the Spirit like Jesus did. Note that the bible tells us that if we are not walking in the Spirit, then we end up walking in the flesh or in sin (see Galatians 5:16). So, if you can master walking in the Spirit 24/7 for the rest of your life, then congratulations! You have no sin. If like us mere mortals (and you are being honest with yourself) you slip out of your Spirit-walk, then you have to confess your sins (see 1 John 1:9). The Hebrew word for sin (hata) literally means to ‘miss the mark’. We miss the mark when we are not walking in the Spirit. Conversely, we do not miss the mark when are walking in the Spirit (abiding in Him); this is why the bible says that whoever abides in Him does not sin (see 1 John 3:6). See, the challenge we fail is that of abiding in Him. It is not enough that He abides in us (that we have the Spirit), but we have to abide in Him ( walk in the Spirit). This is what Paul implores us to do (see Galatians 5:25).

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: If we say we have no sin, we are saying that we are walking perfectly in the Spirit. If we say we are walking in the Spirit perfectly, we have already deceived ourselves.

Now that we know we have fallen short, we have to check our hearts to see what is in there that is keeping us from God’s best. Is it the sin of unforgiveness? Is it lust? Is it envy or jealousy or pride? What is it? See, just because we put up all the barriers and boundaries we want so that we do not act on what is in our hearts does not mean we have no sin. All it means is that we are at best trying to keep ourselves and others from harm, and at worst hiding who we truly are by saying ‘see, my actions are flawless, therefore I am a righteous person’.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: We fool ourselves when we do not take care of our sinful hearts (not sinful actions). While our actions determine whether other people are blessed, it is our heart intentions that determine whether we are blessed for those actions – for God cannot bless sin and disobedience.

Yes, God in His mercy can still pull us undeservedly out of situations and grant us favor, but with sinful hearts, we never experience the fullness of the riches of the inheritance that He has for us. To keep our hearts from being infiltrated by the temptations we endure, we must guard it with the sword of the Spirit (meditating on the word of God), prayer, command our angels to do battle on our behalf, and rebuke the enemy with His words flowing from our mouths. We must stay vigilant, humble, and surrendered.

When we fail to realize that sin occurs in the heart, we fail to put up barriers between our mind and heart and so we fall into sin immediately. Most of us spend our lives putting up all sorts of barriers (including locking ourselves away from the world because everything causes us to fall) between our heart and our actions without realizing that we have already sinned. It is those of us that do this that are always wondering why God is not moving in our lives! To this we usually fall into the trap of more legalistic law keeping or we simply convince ourselves that God does not have particular goodies for us! As if God withholds goodies from His children (see Matthew 7:11)

Food for Thought: If you are not eating of the good of the land, go to the doctor (see Paging Doc Jesus) to check your heart for you may very well have heart disease.

3 Comments

Filed under Success