I’m Going Through…you?

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This thought came to mind earlier this week. I do not know if you watched the high wire event this past Sunday or not. When I went to the Discovery channel to watch I was like, this is crazy. Who in their right or wrong mind would do such a thing? What in Nik Wallenda’s mind made the reward of the accomplished goal greater than the risk of the journey? (Ooohhh that was good right there, I have to stop and think on that myself) Here is this 34 year old man, husband and father with so much to lose walking a cross a 1600 foot gorge over 1500 feet high on nothing but a 2 inch wide suspended steel cable. No big deal, right? You could not pay me all the tea in Walmart to do what that young man did. No safety line, no net…. no way!! Dangerous yet intriguing, frightening yet mesmerizing, crazy yet challenging, impossible yet possible…and these were my thoughts and emotions and I was just sitting in my comfortable chair. What in the world was he thinking? To top it all off, the television would occasionally show shots from a camera that was hanging from Mr. Wallenda’s neck that focused on the wire he was walking and his foot placement as he himself would see it. HOWEVER, you could not help but see pass the wire and see the arms of the canyon bed rock 1500 feet below that waited to embrace him, yes even gleefully beckoned him if he would have just one misstep. Oh and in the midst of that canyon bed view there was woven a river, curving, snarling, almost smiling to welcome his misfortune. What a walk, what a sight!! My old mind said crazy, stupid, what the what…but my “nu mind” said learn the lesson, dig, find the hidden treasure. Ok since this is a Word blog and not a TV show review blog I guess I should insert a scripture verse or two. (smile)

2 Corinthians 5:7 (KJV) say “For we walk by faith, not by sight.” I like how Young’s Literal Translation says it, “For we walk through faith, not through sight.” As you can see what jumps out at me is the word “through”. Somehow to me it has a different connotation, a different meaning then the word “by”.

In the English language the word “by” denotes the using or the medium of the route. “By” denotes the agent in a passive way or conveyance. “Through” designates particularly immediate agency or instrumentality or reason or motive. Here is something else, “through” denotes a means, but it also denotes a place and even time. I can denote the ground or reason by which something is or is not done.

Walking through faith is not ignoring the reality of the “sight”, but faith is looking beyond the sight to the reality of the substance, the evidence of the not seen in manifestation YET! Hebrews 10:38 – “Now the just shall live by faith:” Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” So our walk, our journey through this life should not be predicated on the reality seen but the reality not seen.

Question how is faith obtained?

Paul in Romans 10:17 says in the KJV, “So then faith [cometh] by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” So it is by the trust in the word of God that faith (trust) comes? Yes and no! What I mean by that is this. The original Greek does NOT say “and hearing by the word of God”, it says “but hearing through the word of Christ”. The same…no, there is a BIG difference. Ok, I heard someone say “what you talking about, Willis?” (hahaha)

Read Leviticus 26:13 – 33. It begins “I [am] the LORD your God, which brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bands of your yoke, and made you go upright.” Who is speaking? God!! Throughout this passage He says… “If ye will not yet for all this hearken unto me, then…” Then what? “I will punish you, I will set my face against you, and ye shall be slain before your enemies: they that hate you shall reign over you” OMG!!!! “I will also send wild beasts among you, which shall rob you of your children”. That’s God talking.

Somebody HELP!! I am not capable of hearkening to all God’s commandments! I am TOAST!!! Sssshhh! Quite! Listen! Do you hear it? A voice, listen… “And, lo, I am with you always, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.” “And I if might be elevated from the earth, all (the consequences of sin’s judgment, I will haul to myself”. Thank you Jesus!! “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child (me speaking …what is the greatest attribute of a child? COMPLETE trust (faith)!), the same is greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven”. “…Whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck…” Same entity (3 in 1), dissimilar position…different lesson. Which “hearing” words build faith? Just saying!! (Moving on, smile)

What Nik Wallenda’s walk illustrated to me was lesson in concentration, focus, dedication, preparation, determination and confidence (trust). As I am sure you are aware there were many comments and conversations, both negative and positive about that feat. And even though he had to stop, kneel and let the path settle, he did not quit pursuing the ultimate goal. Even though there was the distraction of the wind gusts he remained vigilant. I hear the Psalmist in Psalm 23 “Yeah though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil (failing, falling or loss)…because THOU art with me.” Did you hear his declaration throughout his journey? It was televised and heard by over 13 million people in over 210 countries. Thank you Jesus. You are good Lord. I love you Jesus. Over 13 million people heard him speak those words as death eagerly had her opened mouth waiting to receive him below. What are the words people in your house or on your job or in your school hearing from you as you journey “through” a challenging time or place in your journey?

The reality is we are all on a wire, high above a gorge, untethered, no net… walking one step at a time. Who are you calling on? Who is with you? What are you declaring to the atmosphere, to the world, His greatness or your weakness? Remember death and life is in the power of the tongue, your spoken declaration. We are all going through…but how? Through faith (trust) or through sight? (Don’t look down)

His Mind, Not Mine

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1 Corinth 2:16 – For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.

Phil 2:5-6 – Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:

Romans 12:2 – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what [is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

The mind is the key to living a successful Christian life. Our thinking must be changed (transformed) from an old, un-Christ like way of thinking into a new way. What we know in our minds to be true forms a conviction in our hearts of that truth, and that conviction in our hearts translates into action. The scripture back this up by saying in Proverbs 23:7 “As a man “thinketh in his heart, so is he”. Therefore, it becomes imperative that we renew our minds. The question then becomes how do we renew our minds? How are our minds to be transformed? Most of us have lived our lives with a certain mindset, a way of thinking that has controlled our conversation, our plans and our choices. Even Christians have lived their lives according to a certain denominational doctrine yet has it been based upon the truth if God’s Word? The only way to replace the error of the world’s way of thinking is to replace it with God’s truth, and the only infallible source of God’s truth is found in His revealed word. Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them (purify and separate) in the truth; your word is truth” (John 17:17).

In 1 Corinthians 2:16, Paul quotes Isaiah 40:13 and then makes a statement concerning all believers: “We have the mind of Christ.” The believer then has a responsibility to allow the Spirit to transform and renew his mind (Romans 12:1-2).

As we begin to change the way we think, it will open the door to the blessings that God had for us. We actually limit God by our natural mind, how we think. If, at your core, you have a negative way of thinking, it will manifest in your life. If you see yourself broke, sick, or a failure, it will become a self-fulfilling prophecy. On the other hand, if you see yourself prosperous, healthy, and successful at your core, that will be what manifests in your life. So it’s important that your philosophy be based on the truths of God’s Word. We also must understand that what is in our core is generally what we speak. Death and life is in the power of the tongue. If you are always talking about your problems, do not be surprised if you are constantly living in a state of perpetual defeat. The nature of the world is to see the problem and wonder about a solution.

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed…” According to Webster, you don’t have to CHANGE to conform to something. You just have to be INFLUENCED! Paul was telling us, don’t be influenced by the world, but be transformed…
Being transformed is a COMPLETE change, not just being influenced. Second Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” All things? Yes…all things, including how I think.
Philippians 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
The question is how do we do it? “Lord, what do I have to do? How can I ever be like you and have your mind?” We must meditate on God’s Word.
When we meditate in God’s Word for one day, we can’t expect to see results the next day. Having our minds being renewed is a process. And we can’t meditate in His Word one day and then live differently the other six days. We must continually meditate, which means to “murmur” on His Truth.
The Word will transform us so that God’s perfect will for us comes to pass. That’s the promise of God’s Word. Roman 8:6 says, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
Being spiritually minded is being Word minded and God’s Word is the seed. Our hearts are the soil. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:5)
One of the most needed things among the body of Christ today is for the rich knowledge of the Word of God to be revealed to us so that it might be manifested in us. Not a religious concept or philosophy, but His Word. It is through His Word that our born-again spirit is renewed in knowledge after the image of Him that created him, Col. 3:10 says “And have put on the new [man], which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:”. First Corinthians 2:16 says “But we have the mind of Christ,” and 1 John 2:20 says “But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.” These scriptures show us that our spirit man is complete in Jesus. Eph. 4:22-24 – “That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.”
Our soul, the place where we think, plan, and experience emotions, is the master control over our whole person. For the born-again man, the spirit is the life-giving force, but the soul has the last word, it makes the decision, the choices because of free will. God will not violate our free will. Therefore, it is necessary that we get this “mind of Christ” (which we have received in our spiritual man) functioning in our soulish minds so we can make the right choices. We only can be transformed in our minds by studying the Word of God. However just to have knowledge of God’s Word is not enough. We must have spiritual understanding because God’s Word is spirit and it is life (John 6:63).

Again, how do we receive the Word of God being made alive and powerful in our lives? By meditating on God’s Word. This can explain why the Word of God seems to work for some people and not for others. The Word of God must be allowed to transform our thinking so that we think like Christ. Christ always came from a perspective of victory not defeat. If our starting point is the opposite of His then we need a mind renewal. Reject the “lying” symptoms of your “old” mind. Who are you really? What is your new mind confession? In the next entry we will take a look at some of our confessions and see if they line up with a transformed mind. They can be well intended but do they line up with a renewed transformed mind?