Series: Renewal of the Mind
Sun am 22nd January 2012 – Kobus Swart
Matt. 5:1-8; (Eph. 4:23); 2 Cor. 10:5; (Prov. 23:7); (Rom. 8:14); Gen. 1:26-27; Job 38:4-7;
Eccl. 3:11; Col. 1:27; Col. 3:2; Phil. 2:13
The renewal of the mind is not just learning new concepts or principles, or changing terminology. Paul says in Eph. 4:23, “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.”
The brain is where there are a hundred billion connections between cells (synapsis). It is here where mindsets are formed, and when that happens, it blocks you from receiving new insight. Paul suggested a way to deal with such mindsets. We aredestroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). It comes by impartation, sometimes by repeated impartation. The reason why it is important to listen to a Word more than once is because of the resistance of old concepts in your mind and intellect. Your mind always wants to take dominance. Your intellect wants to be boss. That’s where rebellion comes from. It is the intellect trying to step in and block renewal from coming to you.
Your conscious mind or intellect is fed and programmed by all the signals and input coming from around you. The subconscious (sometimes called the unconscious) is where you hear the voice of God. Your subconscious is a thousand times more conscious that your conscious mind! The wise man said, “As a man thinks in his heart, (or ‘spirit man’) so is he” (Prov. 23:7). It doesn’t mean as a man thinks in his intellect or mind. That is where the Holy Spirit comes into the picture. Those who are led by the Holy Spirit (not by their logical mind), those are the sons of God (Rom. 8:14). The leading of the Holy Spirit is hardly ever a loud, domineering voice.
The Church has unwittingly constructed a god that is not quite Scriptural in many cases. We will have to break down certain obstacles and re-define what we mean. Some of these things we will have to face head-on with one thing driving us, a hunger and thirst to know the one and only GOD! You want more than a ‘going to church’ ritual; you want to move forward in Him!
Let’s look at some of the beatitudes (Matt. 5:1-8) as recorded in the Message translation. When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Not all the crowds climbed with Him. This is where we are going to separate from the crowd to be those who are true disciples.Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. The crowds were no longer there. This is what he said: “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. God knows the end from the beginning and is calling us to the finishing line. With less of you there is more of God and his rule. “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Does is make sense to the logic mind? Sometimes God wants you to do something that is not logical. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you. You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less.The more and the less comes through the intellect by impressions fed to it by the spirit of the age. You allow people to define you by the place where you were born, by what you own etc. What God wants to for you this year is to discover the real you. You are going to have an amazing surprise when you discover who is at the core of you. It is not going to come in a volcano or in a cloud of fire or earthquake. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought. You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat. Churches must not cater for the consumer mindset; ‘give me what I want or I will leave.’
What does it mean to be poor in spirit? If we can find out, we will have the first obstacle out of the way. No baggage! No false identity! That is being identified by things you own and things you have. What is my true identity? Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; …. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. God is not male or female; God is spirit. The “let Us make man…” The Lord your God is one God. Who else was there at that time? The book of Job was the first book written. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding, Who set its measurements? Since you know. Or who stretched the line on it? “On what were its bases sunk? Or who laid its cornerstone, When the morning stars sang togetherAnd all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7). God has also put eternity in the heart of every man (Eccl. 3:11). Add Paul’s understanding under the New Covenant: To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory (Col. 1:27).
We’re conditioned Bible readers and often we miss deep truth.
To find our DNA, the real me, we have to go to our genesis. Over the centuries and millennia we have allowed layer after layer of other identities and we have adopted and accepted the world’s definition of “who I am”. What defines you? The car you drive? The dress you wear? We have allowed the opinions of others to clutter who we really are. We have failed to probe the truth and go beyond the religious layers. Who discovered the pattern Son born in a the manger 2000 years ago? Strangely, astrologers from the East! His own people missed Him, regardless of all the prophetic Scriptures. Will the Christian church miss it again? When the (corporate) Son begins to make His appearance, will the Western Church be too busy with their own programs to see what is happening in their midst?
People allow themselves to be defined by what they have or do not have. If I want to reach the real me, it’s not about what I have or I don’t have, it is about… I AM; the real me! It is about being. To be authentic means to be real, to be genuine, and not adopting anyone else’s identity. This will put more light upon Colossians 1:27. Who is Christ? He said, “Before Abraham was, I AM.” You won’t find Him until you look deeply into the mirror! And all of us, as with unveiled face, [because we] continued to behold [in the Word of God] as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are constantly being transfigured into His very own image in ever-increasing splendor and from one degree of glory to another; [for this comes] from the Lord [Who is] the Spirit. (2Co 3:18). Throw off the false identity that systems and people have put on you.
Do not listen to the noise from the intellect but to the still small impulse from the Holy Spirit; then act. The word “meditation” is normally identified as a term from the East. Hungry seekers after God will have to learn afresh what it means to wait upon the Lord. Meditation has virtually become a lost art in the Western world. When Jesus died, the veil was rent from top to bottom. Access was given to the Holy of Holies. Unfortunately the veil has been ‘re-stitched’ by institutionalized Christianity.
For it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13). You don’t have to wait for a special manifestation; it is God who is at work inside of you. The only reference I have now is, “I am a new creation. I am re-created in Christ.”
Take more time off by yourself, shut the door. Wait upon the Lord! (Is 40:31)