Thursday, August 18, 2016
Saturday, August 13, 2016
Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6 ESV)
In order to know the mind of the Spirit we must immerse ourselves in the Word of God. As we offer up ourselves as "living sacrifices" we are better able to discern what the Holy Spirit is saying. In the school of the Spirit we learn to follow Jesus down the narrow path of life. When I'm living contrary to my new nature in Christ, I often find that I have no sense of direction, and the Spirit of God is grieved. I lose my sense of peace, when I veer off the path of holy living. That's when I realize my utter dependence on God the most.
We are like God, in that we were made in his image, and he created us as eternal spirit beings. We must learn conformity to God's will and his words, and it's not something we can do without supernatural assistance. Denying the flesh dominated life, is the only path to true peace. When we practice submitting to God and resisting the devil, we become fruitful, and more easily led by the Spirit. To have the mind of the Spirit is to surrender our will to the will of the Father, just like Jesus did.
To have a Spirit dominated mind we must engage in deep meditation on the Scripture, and be a person of prayer, and worship. To effectively posture ourselves before God, we must learn the art of solitude. The place of silence and solitude before God is the most contested place we seek to inhabit. This is where the world, the flesh, and the devil seek to distract us. Solitude is where we allow God to examine us as we embrace his nearness. It's a scary place for most of us, because we feel vulnerable before this great God, that knows us through and through.
The Father desires to make his presence known, and to reveal things to us in that place of silence. He may not speak at that moment, or in the way we might think. His communication to us is always in his timing, and in the way that he determines. The point is that being alone with God changes us over time, and makes us more sensitive to the Spirit. And it puts us in a place where we can as Jim Hylton says, "think with God." - Bobby
Wednesday, July 20, 2016
"To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory."
(Colossians 1:27 ESV)
To feel at home in heaven we will need to have the mind of Christ now. Many of us allow our bodily appetites, and bad thinking to dominate our inner person. We are spiritual beings with physical bodies. And until we allow the Holy Spirit (who is in all believers) to dominate our thinking, we will live a life ruled by carnal and negative thoughts, which produces less than desirable behavior in our lives.
Our outward behavior is a reflection of our true spiritual condition. If we are true believers, then we have been justified by our faith in Jesus Christ, which means we have been made right with God. But God wants more than reconciliation, (which is just the beginning) he wants a living, active relationship with us. So, we must allow Him to correct our thinking. Repentance is giving up our thoughts, and opinions, and replacing them with God's thoughts, and his truth.
True repentance results in a change of behavior. But this is an ongoing process, so we have to live a life of repentance, which is life lived according to the Kingdom of God (the rule of God). I'm not talking about the repentance that leads to our initial salvation experience, but to that which leads us to greater intimacy with God, on a daily basis.
Many in the Evangelical Church seem to neglect the reality of the indwelling Holy Spirit. Without a good theology of the work of the Spirit, and our ongoing communion, and fellowship with God, we tend to become legalistic, and spiritually dry. It's vital to the life of the believer, and the life of the Church as a whole, to rediscover the third Person of the Trinity.
"Christ in you, the hope of glory" does not make us little "gods" in the way that new agers perceive themselves. We must acknowledge that we are not divine, but are in desperate need of the life of God inside of us. And God has given us access to that life, through the Holy Spirit.
The two excllent books that I'm presently reading on having the mind of Christ are: "Being At Ease: Thinking At Ease-Lessening Disease" by Jim Hylton, which is deeply thought provoking, and an academic, but readable book, "The Mind Of The Spirit"by Craig S. Keener. - Bobby
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
Thursday, June 30, 2016
And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads. (Revelation 13:1 ESV)
And the beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven. Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation, and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. If anyone has an ear, let him hear: If anyone is to be taken captive, to captivity he goes; if anyone is to be slain with the sword, with the sword must he be slain. Here is a call for the endurance and faith of the saints. (Revelation 13:5-10 ESV)
Some say the Beast of Revelation is a diabolical individual who will rule the world for a short time, others say it is a political system. I believe it may be a combination of both. But of this one thing I am sure, we live in world system that is opposed to Jesus Christ, and his eternal Kingdom.
Those that are most vulnerable to the Beast are individuals that desire radical social change apart from the Kingdom of God. This worldview invites a totalitarian form of government, that has no concept of how Christ Kingdom works. The Kingdom of God is "righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit" and is based on servant-hood, and sacrificial love, not bullying.
This present anti-Christ environment in the western world has used a distorted view of Jesus, as merely a social activist, or as in the case of the EU (European Union) they don't use him at all, because they are atheistic to the core. This worldview rejects Christ teaching on sexual ethics, and his authority over their personal lives. And it attacks those that oppose their evil plans.
Globalization, "free trade" and the internet have been used to advance the Beasts' agenda. The minds of individuals are literally being re-wired by digital addiction. Our children are spending much of their days being brainwashed through gaming. Facebook and other on-line activities are gradually causing us to lose touch with reality. These networks can be used for God's glory, and for good purposes, but overall its' users, are being programmed by an anti-Christ system, that is negatively effecting the way we think and reason.
The Beast has always had his minions in every segment of our society, opposing Christ, and his people throughout the history of America. But in recent years 'it' has become more brazen. So, a false narrative has been created that intolerant Christians are the reason for our societies lack of social advancement. Ultimately through digital addiction, economics, false religion, and the desensitized masses, the Beast and his dark forces, at some future time, will temporarily enslave the world.
Our call as Christians is to make disciples of all Nations, and to resist this darkness until the Prince of Peace returns. He will return and give his followers, real peace, and prosperity, and a new age called, the Kingdom of God. The Beast will be defeated at Christ appearing. We must align ourselves with King Jesus, doing his work until he comes. Until then, be careful of all those voices that preach world peace, and are not following the Prince of Peace. - Bobby