Series: The True Image Restored; Renewal of the Mind
Sun am 18 December 2011 – Kobus Swart
(Eph. 4:23); (Prov. 23:7); 2 Thess. 2:3-4; 1 Cor. 3:16; 2 Cor. 6:16;
Rom. 8:5-8; Col. 3:1-2; Phil. 4:4-7; Isa. 9:7
When the apostle Paul said, “Be renewed in the spirit of your minds” (Ephes 4:23), he touched a fundamental principle that needs a lot more attention in the times we live. The spirit of the mind has more to do with our sub-conscious mind. How often does the average Christian switch off the TV, the radio, the phone and just get in touch with his/her inner person?
Most people – and too often that include “believers” – base their actions and responses upon impressions and signals absorbed in their conscious minds, from the news, cross-currents and energies from the world around us. There is a need for us to shift consciousness. Those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God (Rom 8:14).
Solomon wrote, “As a man thinks in his heart, (soul, living being), so is he” (Prov. 23:7.) What you allow your inner man to be programmed by, will define you. That is why it is so important – especially when you sit under a living Word – to make sure you’re on the right frequency (Heb 4:12).
What did Jesus mean when He said, “repent and believe…”? (Mark 1:15). Authentic believing cannot come from the conscious mind only. That’s why He said first repent! That means to turn your mind around; change the way you think. Then repentance is simply part of the process of believing.
And this is where the great war is taking place. Stop looking for “Armageddon” (A mountain near Megiddo. Rev 16:16) somewhere in the Middle East! We have to move on from the dispensational interpretations that coloured our understanding of “end time” events. The war is taking place in our minds! Jesus was crucified on a hill called the “place of the skull.” And it was by His death that He was able to reproduce Himself many times over (Jn 12:24 Msg). In order for us to become part of this many-membered Christ in the earth, we have to identify with Him in His death (Jn 12:25).
The story of Eden and the two trees in the middle of the garden, also conveys a deeper principle. Watch where the battle ground is: For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death (see the tree of the knowledge of good and evil), but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace (the tree of life)… Notice the war in the mind affecting the choices we make. Where does sin begin? It is first conceived in the mind. Once it is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death (James 1:15).
Who is the anti-Christ? Where does the anti-Christ function from? What does the word anti-Christ mean? It means “against and in the place of Christ”. Let no one in any way deceive you, for it will not come unless the apostasy comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction, who opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, displaying himself as being God(2 Thess. 2:3-4). Where is the temple of God? Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? (1 Cor. 3:16). Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God (2 Cor. 6:16).
For too long even believers have looked in the wrong direction, waiting for some “anti-Christ” to appear in the “rebuilt” temple in Jerusalem. In the meantime we have allowed attitudes and mindsets such as rebellion and lawlessness opposing and taking the place of God. This is the spirit of the anti-Christ operating from the very temple of God – our mind! This is why there is such an emphasis upon the need for the renewal to take place in the spirit of our minds; …because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God (Rom. 8:5-8).
How often have we seen even Christians oppressed as a result of dysfunctional mindsets lining up for the visiting evangelist to come and lay hands on them, and yet the war in the mind continues. Something needs to change in the minds of Christians. Here is an important key: Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is (that does not mean in the sky), seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth (Col. 3:1-2). Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension (mind), will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Phil. 4:4-7).
Learn to discern between those thoughts in the conscious mind, where we are being bombarded by anxieties etc, and the subconscious, where there is a huge investment of many years of a living Word. Our thinking about the world’s economy and about money must change. Our thinking about our identity must change; our thinking about acquiring, about having or not having must change. Be anxious for nothing, and the peace of God will rule your heart and mind. Peace is not always the absence of conflict, but the presence of justice, of government. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end (Isa. 9:7).
Take some time off and meditate on the Word of God in your heart! Set your mind on the things from above ie. things not of this world!