All of Hollywood looks forward to the Academy Awards (which just took place on Sunday this week.) Stars don their most fabulous and expensive outfits and are greeted by a swarm of photographers as they step out onto the red carpet. As the ceremony begins, millions of people from over 200 countries tune in to see which actors will win a coveted “Oscar” which honors them for …
…. pretending to be someone other than who they are.
You know, believers spend a lot of time unintentionally, and even unconsciously, doing the same thing. When you accept Christ as your Savior and acknowledge Him as Lord of your life, your spirit is made new and you become a new creation. In Ezekiel 36:26 God says, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. That’s God’s promise for what happens to you when you become a Christian. You have a new heart. Your spirit comes alive, and the essence of who you are is changed. Yet so many Christians revert to their old ways and live a life as if they are someone other than who they really are.
In Ephesians 4:22-24, Paul addresses this tendency and encourages us to “put off (our) old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires, to be made in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
The key to a life lived in harmony with our remade nature is found in verse 23 –“to be made new in the attitude of your minds.”
All behavior begins with thought, so if we really want our actions to change, we have to begin by altering the way we think. That’s one of the main purposes of the Word of God. It teaches us how to reorder our thoughts in ways that are consistent with our new life in Christ. The Bible calls this practice “renewing your mind” (Rom. 12: 2) and is the only way to see real and lasting change take place in your life.
In first part of that same verse, Paul warns us that if we’re not actively involved in this renewal process then we’re being subtly “conformed” to the ways of the world. That is, whether we recognize it or not, we’re being influenced by the prevailing attitude, practices and belief systems of people who, at best, don’t know God, and at worst are God’s enemies, actively opposing His will. This is why so many believers struggle with the same temptations over and over and over. We give in to lying, anger, lust, jealousy, revenge and so many others enticements because we don’t have the same attitude about sin the same way God does. Remember that how we think will always determine how we behave. Always. So, the more you dwell on and believe the truth, the more you’ll begin to act like who you really are.
And… once you have His script committed to memory, you’re sure to always be the winner!
13 thoughts on “And the winner is ….”
He has given us everything! Even instruction in how to live speaking right things only. Found is Isaiah it is bit by bit, here a little, there a little. Line by line we learn, speak and grow into overcoming men and women of God.
As Isaiah said, it is line by line, precept by precept, here a little, there a little. God knew we would feel overwhelmed often by the audacity of our thoughts and He gave us such an easy way of overcoming them. Bit by bit. How thankful I am for His grace.
You reminded me in you piece of Creflo Dollar’s “* Steps to Your Destination. I have a card above my desk reminding me daily, “Are you on your way to your destination Mel?”
STEP #1 begins, “You DETERMINE your words from God’s Word.” And your words determine your thinking and so on. But it also works in reverse: WRONG words determine your thinking, your emotions… Unlike salvation, the “renewing of your mind” becomes a daily step in the Christian life…it’s ongoing! If we become slack in God’s Word, we’re going to end up in the wrong destination.
THANKS again Karen. I appreciate you and so does God.
Thanks for the encouragement and good words, Mel! Bless you!
This is so true. The temptation to follow the world is out there. But staying daily in God’s Word is our protection against falling sway to it.
The pull of the world will always be strong. But through Christ and His Word, we overcome!
Excellent post! Karen I love the Scripture you have used to project this message – “Ezekiel 36:26” absolutely enlightening! So true, our greatest battle is fought in the mind. Thank you for sharing!
Thanks Shade! It’s a constant battle to ‘set our minds on things above” but we can win when we believe the truth and rely on the Spirit!
That “renewal of the mind” — it’s an interesting journey. I experienced some of it as a new Christian and bits and pieces through the journey as I’ve lived. Then 8 years ago God decided to speed things up (I know, 8 years seems like a long time to me, too, but it’s taken that long to effect the change), and through a series of circumstances that kept me in pretty much constant prayer and involvement in reading His Word, He effected a decidedly definitive renewal. It taught me that this is not a process we can undertake, or succeed, on our own. We need His guidance and assistance every step of the way.
Absolutely agree! We can’t effect any change on our own. We definitely have to follow that guiding of the Holy Spirit to embrace the new creatures that we truly are! Thanks for sharing your experience, Carolyn
Great message. Thanks.
Thanks Karen! Great message and great reminder.
Thanks for reading, Connie! God bless you, friend!