Let’s face it. Let’s look back to our own experience. Let’s get a little rattled at the idea that the truth which sets us free might not be the same truth we think we know.
EVERY believer comes to Jesus with certain old “mind sets” of misinformation. If these mind sets are deeply entrenched and resistant to RENEWAL, a believer can come dangerously close to MISHANDLING God’s Word. Inside every one of us is a picture of God formed by what we have read, what we have been taught, our personal experiences and our past memories and feelings. We can actually have two pictures of God — what we learn we should believe about Him and what we ACTUALLY DO BELIEVE.
What we learn about God has to filter down through the EXISTING BELIEFS in our mind. Make sense? This fact is not ALWAYS understood by Christians, laypeople and leadership alike. Many in leadership assume that scripturally correct teaching will AUTOMATICALLY clear up any wrong ideas someone might have about God. Theoretically, scripturally correct teaching on trust, love and faith should enable ANYONE to trust and love God with complete faith, thus coming to the point of relinquishing not only sexual sin but all sin. And it usually will.
A serious problem sometimes exists: even scripturally correct truth cannot always penetrate a soul that is filled with STRONGHOLDS. God can sovereignly impart revelation knowledge any time he wants to, but – judging from my own experience – I believe his work of renewal occurs WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF OUR OWN MINDS, WILLS, EMOTIONS, MEMORIES, EXPERIENCES AND BELIEFS. He does not change, bypass or override – he just keeps offering his love and truth until we finally become willing to EXCHANGE our old beliefs and ideas for them.
How well I know the truth that an UNRENEWED MIND, rigid in mind sets formed from WRONG SOURCES, can distort the most beautiful spiritual truth. The frightening reality about this comment is that we spend most of our lives in the prison of strongholds without knowing it.
We are Christians and we are brothers in Christ. But the Christian’s mind is NOT AUTOMATICALLY RENEWED at the point of new birth. So many of us think it is, but the truth of the matter is that we are STILL living in the old mind sets! Denial and ignorance are powerful, powerful tools of the enemy.
Precisely because the mind is NOT automatically renewed when we are born again, there must be a continuing process of washing in the Word. Key words: CONTINUING … WASHING … WORD. It’s what God EXPECTS us to do. So many well-intentioned people think that mumbling the sinner’s prayer does it all for us.
Christ already did it ALL for us at Cavalry, yes – but since most of us can’t/won’t/refuse to believe that we are ALREADY FREE, we hang on to the old mindset and continue to act accordingly.
We need to go to the river every single day of our lives and get dunked in the Word, boys. Eventually, the truth WILL sink in – we will understand what really happened at the Cross, and it will TRULY set us free! But if we choose to be couch potatoes and make only an occasional obligatory trek to the river to relieve our conscience, we may as well stay home and watch Oprah.
The old mindset can be KILLED, but only by the power of the Word. God, in his omnipotence, could do it for us – but he is not likely to. He’s given us the most powerful weapon in the world, the Bible, to crush that sucker (old mindset) once and for all.
P&M will fade to a foggy memory, and the only “desire” we will know is a righteous desire to love God and allow him to love us in return.
Be blessed in HIM, beloved brothers.
Ezekiel 36:24-27 24″`For I will take you out of the nations; I will gather you from all the countries and bring you back into your own land. 25 I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.
Acts 15:9 He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith.
Titus 2:14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.