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Posts Tagged ‘old thinking’

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“And Simon answered, ‘Pray for me [beseech the Lord, both of you]’’, that nothing of what you have said may befall me!”  Acts 8:23

Have you ever considered the freedom you have been given by God as dangerous?  Have you ever regarded your freedom to perceive or think, to have a personal perspective, or to hold attitudes of your heart as a liability?

I want you to consider that. For it is possible for you to have experienced salvation, and yet to continue to exercise a heart that resists conviction, and continues to operate on attitudes of your old nature.  It is the presence of such old attitudes that can not only bear dangerous, evil fruit, but ultimately can usher you into eternal condemnation.

Consider the life of Simon from the Book of Acts Chapter Eight.  Simon was a magician of great skill and success. But when he encountered the power of God operating in His servant Philip, Simon became a believer.

And when he watched the signs and wonders Philip operated in, Simon coveted this ability as a new money making strategy. It was as if he was saved from the natural realm as a magician, but now thought he should be a supernatural magician.

Simon was seeing the free gift of God, the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, as a money making endeavor. His heart was not right before God. And as it is with the heart that you believe, his believing was thus also like his heart… corrupt.

The Apostle Peter gave Simon a scathing rebuke in response to his request to purchase and thus receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit:

Destruction overtake your money and you because you imagined you could obtain the [free] gift of God with money! You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is all wrong in God’s sight [it is not straightforward or right or true before God]. So repent of this depravity and wickedness of yours and pray to the Lord that, if possible, this contriving thought and purpose of your heart may be removed and disregarded and forgiven you.”  Acts 8:20-22 Amp

Now, before you jump the gun and sympathize with Simon, hear this clearly!  This was a warning from the Holy Spirit, delivered by Peter with the intention of rescuing Simon from his old heart way of thinking.  It was for Simon’s benefit and not harm that it was delivered. It was a serious wake-up call from the Lord, that Simon’s old way of perceiving was not gonna cut it anymore.  And if there was to be any hope for Simon, it would be through his repentance!

A great rendering of the meaning of repentance can be found in Acts 2:38 (Amplified version of course):

“…repent (change your views and purpose to accept the will of God in your inner selves instead of rejecting it)….”

To accept the will of God in your inner selves actually means to accept God’s will in your soul.  It means to have surrendered your right to hold an opinion that differs from Gods.  It means the giving over of your right to yourself, and coming along side God and agreeing with Him.  You are letting the opinion and will and purpose of God rule in your thinking and being.  At that moment you are trusting and obeying God.  You are leaning your entire personality on Him!  That is actually the exercise of faith!

So what is the danger here?  What is the jeopardy that you potentially face in living in God’s freedom?  It is to accept God’s atoning sacrifice on the Cross to save you, but to deny Him the full right to be Lord over you and to allow His Kingdom to then rule in your hearts and mind.

You have the choice continually before you at every turn to resist and refuse God’s leading.  When He shows you the truth of your heart and how you have been petty, uncharitable, selfish, evil and murderous even in your thinking …, He also is giving you the chance to repent and carry His thoughts and opinions and His life therefore, instead of your own.

This is actually where we miscalculate.  We think that we are still allowed to indulge, and live by, and harbor our own way of thinking and believing, even though we have been saved.  But this is itself wrong.

Scripture says in 1Cor 6:19-20 that you are no longer your own. You have been bought with a price (that means redeemed – bought back by Christ’s sacrifice).  So you are admonished to honor God and bring glory to Him in your body.

In other words, you give glory to God when in your natural body you show yourself to be ruled by His supernatural thinking and His life!  You have thus lost your lower life, and have found your higher life (God’s life) in you!

God is not going to be mocked in this, nor will He be fooled be mere pretentions…. That is, you cannot “call Him Lord and yet not do what He says.”(Mt 7:21)

When you profess Christ as your Savior, but persist in old ways and patterns of thinking from your old man nature that is still allowed to rule in your life, you risk your very eternity before God.  When you say God is your savior and believe you are working for Him even, but you harbor malice, hatred, or un-forgiveness in your heart concerning the way you have been treated … you are in grave danger. 

When you say you are a believer, but still persist in making decisions based on your flesh that bring you into sin … you are in danger, and you are calling into question the very truth of your salvation.

Romans 6:16 is at once a lovely and terrifying verse for the truth it contains:

Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)?”

Simon was diagnosed by the Holy Spirit as being a slave to sin when he was told:

For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in a bond forged by iniquity (to fetter souls).” Acts 8:23 Amp

Simon, hearing this, beseeched them to pray for him that nothing of what they said would befall him.

But unless Simon, himself, repented and was willing to change his mind and receive God’s will in his inner man, he would continue on a destiny of destruction – even though he had confessed Jesus as Savior!

The need for all of us is the same….

We all need to be vigilant in coming before the Lord, allowing Him to search our hearts and minds, to reveal any wicked way in us (Ps 139:23-24) … but don’t then ignore what He points out!

Rather confess and repent, once again so that your hearts will become straightforward and right and true before God.

 

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“For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds,…” 2Cor 10:4 Amp

“Lest you be self-opinionated (wise in your own conceits), I do not want you to miss this hidden truth and mystery, brethren: a hardening (insensibility) has [temporarily] befallen a part of Israel [to last] until the full number of the ingathering of the Gentiles has come in,…” Rom 11:25 Amp

“Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].” Rom 12:2 Amp

“There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit, and, The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire.” 2Pet2:22 Amp

Dog vomit…. It does not pose a very attractive picture. Nor does the believer, who becomes stuck in his old patterns of thinking, resistant to the very word of God to free him by the power of the Holy Spirit – to renew his thinking.

Understand in this day many believers remain stuck – even immovable by their own preference for indulging fleshly, soulish thinking.  Once having developed an opinion on a matter – it remains to them as “Gospel Truth.” Yet on the contrary, it is full of dark perspective and has not been renewed by the light of God as it is brought captive to the obedience of Christ and is corrected.

Not one believer can claim to have never been stuck in this way. We all have. And it is the grace of God that brings a wreaking ball of His power to expose and sift our fleshly thinking, that it can been transformed into kingdom thinking.

The wreaking ball of God frees us from returning as a dog to his vomit!

Think of Job. He had developed some dark, fear-based thinking about God. God addressed these patterns of fleshly thinking that kept Job captive as He confronted Job: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?”(Job 38:2)

Thus…wreaking ball breaks inaccurate thoughts about God…

Jobs thinking is flooded with the light of truth and he declares: “[You said to me] Who is this that darkens and obscures counsel [by words] without knowledge? Therefore [I now see] I have [rashly] uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” (Job 42:3)

The plain fact was, as good as Job was, as blameless as he was, he had areas of his thinking that were stuck and needed to be unstuck. They needed to be renewed. They needed the weapon of God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds.

Only God could do it for him, and only God can do it for us! You and I can not run a self-diagnostic to indicate such harmful thinking. You and I cannot self-diagnose or self-treat. But the Holy Spirit is very faithful to put His finger on problem areas! He guides us into all Truth, and He takes what is of Christ (His Truth) and He reveals, discloses, and transmits it to us! (Jn 16:13-14)

This means the Holy Spirit is not only showing us truth as information, but He is actually importing truth into our very spirit! The problem occurs when I am not open, teachable, or humble before God for such a learning experience and such a transformation. Enter then, the wreaking ball!

How many believers have you witnessed as being stuck. Maybe it concerns their doctrine – things that make them uncomfortable and they fear they will lose control.  Maybe it is their own pet-perspective, some cherished myth about God not based on truth. Whatever it is, you will be able to recognize it because this error will be revealed through their speaking. It will reveal the very local of the initial corruption, because out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. (Lk 6:45). As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. (Prov 23:7) It is with your heart you first believed (Rom 10:10), and this is true for righteousness as well as retaining error. 

It is the corrupted heart that is hardened or insensible to God’s call. It is the hardened heart that persists in thinking that is adversarial to God’s truth.

Where your thinking and believing in your heart are not overturned by truth and the word of God, you will persist in error. Corruption will openly lodge in your heart, and your spirit will immediately reflect such a state. The dog turns back to his vomit. The sow has been washed only to wallow again.

This is the reason victory seems illusive in a believer’s life. This is why breakthrough seems unavailable.  But the shortcoming is not on God’s side, it is on ours. We have failed to have error overturned by truth. We have resisted and protected our own putrid thinking. Ultimately, we have regarded our own thoughts as superior to God’s truth: we have moved in idolatry maybe without even realizing it.

Are you a believer that has professed Christ for many years and yet, while you have read and studied the word of God, it has not been given freedom to know and study you? It has not been able to overturn favorite, protected ways of thinking? It has not been allowed to be light that pierces the darkness? Dog vomit.

Do you find yourself repeating the same confrontations, with the same arguments, and you are in the very same position you were years ago? Playing out the same exact struggles? No change? Dog vomit.

Beloved it does not need to be so. God is ready to disclose and unveil your personal error in thinking. But it requires your letting go, willingness to be found out, sacred tables to be overturned.

We must come before Him as a little child (humble, lowly, loving, and forgiving). We must repent ( change, turn about our thinking), or we can never enter the kingdom of God.

This year, make a change. Get off the Merry-Go-Round. Dis-engage the do-loop. Stop singing: “She’ll Be Comin Round the Mountain.” Trust Him enough to become like this little child. You have nothing to lose but the chains and bondage of dog vomit thinking.

Shalom

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