- Category: Emotional Wholeness
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For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies:
Do not conform yourselves to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by a complete change of your mind. Then you will be able to know the will of God---what is good and is pleasing to him and is perfect.
Which Knowledge Rules?
We are told that real change involves the renewing of our mind. We renew our mind in two ways:
1. the way we process information
2. we exchange bad information with good information
We change the way we process information by no longer allowing just anybody or anything to have access to our mind. We learn to reject the thoughts and feelings that are not consistent with the Word of God. We change the way we process information by giving the Word of God, not our opinions, the final say. If we are going to believe something, then it has to be consistent with the Person of Christ and with His redemptive work on our behalf.
Everybody accumulates a body of knowledge to which they give themselves. This body of knowledge has many contributors but is shaped and formed largely by the desires of our heart; we tend to pick and choose according to what we want, i.e., that which is consistent with our heart. The problem is that our heart, if not led by the Word of God will mislead us. If our heart, rather than the Word of God decides what is true, then anything or anybody can contribute to this body of knowledge.
This is why we need the oversight of the Word of God; we have to change the way we process information. In order to renew our mind we bring ourselves under the rule of the Word of God by allowing only what is consistent with Scripture to become part of us. We no longer allow just anybody, or anything, to bring their thinking and their values into our mind, but we test everything by the Word of God.
If we have not given ourselves to the inward rule of God's Word, then spiritual Darkness continues to have influence over our thinking; it contributes to the body of knowledge that rules over us. If we want God to rule over us, then we must renew our mind with His Word, and as we renew our mind we are transformed inwardly.
Emotional wholeness is the fruit of a heart and mind renewed and directed by the Word of God. The Word of God replaces bad knowledge with good knowledge. It replaces dysfunctional thinking with emotional wholeness. The Scriptures tell us that while on earth we will be opposed by spiritual Darkness whose sole purpose is to steal, kill, and destroy the message of Christ and those who put their faith in Him.
We see this struggle played out in the lives of people who have not submitted themselves to the renewing power of God's Word. Many, many people chronically suffer with depression, fear, anxiety, etc.., and one of the main reasons is they have never learned to renew their mind. They continue to labor under a body of information that cannot liberate, but makes them sick!
Darkness has one goal which is this - to contribute to the body of knowledge which rules over you. When you give yourself to the rule of God's Word, then you defeat all the power and all the tricks of spiritual Darkness.
Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path, Psalms 119:105
This battle is not always apparent or visible, but it is ongoing and real, and our challenge is to learn to think thoughts that are true. The cunning of Darkness lies in his ability to deceive, to manipulate, and to make evil appear as good. The strength of the Christian is found in the Lord and the truthfulness of His Word. His Word is truth and His Word gives us the power and the ability to recognize and stand against the lies of Darkness.
Our Mind is Always On
Our mind is always "on" and always under the influence of something or someone. If we have not learned to set a guard over our thoughts and feelings then the Father of Lies will have an easy time with us. We are told he prowls like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. Darkness is looking for the person who does not understand the importance of setting a guard at the entrance of their mind. This guard is the Word of God, and we give it the final say over our mind, we let it decide what goes in and what must come out.
An undisciplined mind is like a radio that can be tuned to any channel. As the People of God, we learn to turn the channel of our mind to the Word of God; this is what we are told to do. We are called to live by faith. We turn our mind to the truth of God's Word, not occasionally, but hour-by-hour and moment-by-moment, as a way of life.
God gives every born-again Christian the power to control his mind. This self-control and is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is called "temperance", Gal 5:23. We take control of our lives by not allowing ourselves to live in the realm of the untrue. We stop allowing allowing ourselves to dwell on anything that just happens to come our way. In the same way, we cannot allow ourselves to feel any just any feeling that comes; we have to win the battle of our thoughts and our emotions. Either we control them or they will control us.
We win by learning to tell ourselves the truth. If we have no control over what we think and no control over what we feel then we give Darkness the power to order our lives. Listen to Proverbs in describing the person with no self-control.
Proverbs 25:28 He that has no rule over his own spirit is like a city that is broken down, and without walls
As Christians, our challenge is to take control of our mind and "tune" it to the channel of God's Word. The Word of God contains the power of God and as we internalize it, we will be renewed and healed. It is food for our soul.
If we chronically think thoughts that are not true, it is like daily sipping on a bottle of poison, eventually it will kill. Darkness attempts to define truth by offering us the poison of our opinions, our wisdom, our values, and our personal preferences, none of which define what is real or true. The Word of God will teach us how to think and how to live in ways that bring life. Listen to Psalms 1
Psa 1:1-4 GNB
Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God. 2 Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the LORD, and they study it day and night. 3 They are like trees that grow beside a stream, that bear fruit at the right time, and whose leaves do not dry up. They succeed in everything they do. 4 But evil people are not like this at all; they are like straw that the wind blows away.
It is the truth of God's Word that strengthens us for life, and in addition, prepares us for heaven. It empowers by allowing us to see with God's eyes. David said, "Thy Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path", Psalms 119:105.
The Serpent Tempted Eve
The Serpent tempted Eve with a promise of Godhood. In the same way, we are tempted to deny God by valuing our own opinions, our wisdom, our intelligence, and our personal preferences over His Word. We are tempted by the same Enemy that deceived Eve. He offers the same bait but now dressed in contemporary clothing.
Our Enemy assures us that our values are good, our wisdom is sure, and that it is our prerogative to choose our own way. Since the time of Eve, the poison of confident self-centered rule has been the apple offered by the rulers of Darkness.
The message is that if one is sincere then he can safely choose his own way. But we should remember that that message brought death to the entire human race.
We are never told to look within for truth, but are always told to look to God. The scripture tells us that "the fool trusts in his own heart," Prov 28:26.
A Renewed Mind Protects From Darkness
Remember this, the message of Darkness is not offensive. It is an appealing message, custom made and crafted to appeal to our sense of self-worth, i.e., the message is that we are capable of choosing our own way! Only a renewed mind has the insight and strength to resist.
It is through a renewed mind that we have power and ability to recognize and overcome the lies of Darkness. According to Scripture, there is only one source of all lies - the Father of Lies. His lies are found everywhere: cultural values, media, music, books, friends, government, educational institutions, churches, and often the desires of our own heart are what opens the door to the lies of spiritual Darkness.
But there is also one source of Truth, which is God. He gives us His Word that we might recognize and stand against all lies for they will ultimately destroy. If our mind is renewed by the Word of God, then we will be surrounded by the power of God and able to stand against Darkness. If the Word of the Lord lives within, and rules over our heart, then the result will be fruitful living through emotional and spiritual wholeness.