Dimensions of The Mind and Truly What We Think Matters to God
DIMENSIONS OF THE MIND and TRULY WHAT WE THINK, MATTERS TO GOD!
We CAN be Transformed... by the Renewing of our Mind... Rom. 12.2
If you were to do a word study throughout scripture of the words; "thoughts and mind" you would soon come to a conclusion that God is most definitely interested in what transpires within our minds, and the conduct we take on by our adherence to the cognitive process.
Our enemy the devil is also most interested in how we think and what we make agreement with. He would rather you agree with him in whatever twisted way he can accomplish this. He has spent a very long time in the game of manipulation. If he has your mind, he most unquestionably has already captured your soul.
The mind is the most valuable asset we possess, because with it we rule in God's Kingdom authority or we are subject to slavery to a masterful schemer. This slavery comes with a price and it takes on a multitude of dimensions, forms, and deceptions.
The first place we must learn to rule is in the realm of our own mind. One of the first instances of Jesus mentioning the mind is in Matthew 22.37... "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with ALL YOUR MIND. This is the first and greatest commandment." The person who was asking the question of Jesus was a man, an expert in the law and he was trying to test Jesus. We may love God, but at what level, what description of that love, to what extent or with what consideration we give to our thought process will always show up in our attitudes displayed by how we entertain the thoughts and how we exercise those thoughts through our actions. Eph.4.23 says;" that we are to be made New in the attitude of our minds... " The attitude (position, mindset, manner) with which we think and the thoughts we adhere to will result in how much of Christ likeness we will display on a more consistent basis. We grow into these things and we have to really work at it. Next to God, the ones who know us the best are our closest family and friends. If they had to testify in our defence before the Lord, and the questions were about, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness (compassion, thoughtfulness), goodness (honesty, integrity), faithfulness, and self control.What would they say?
Let's look at what God is concerned with as we journey into Romans 12.
We already know from Chapter 8.5-8"Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God". (governed= ruled; directed; managed; run)
renewal; renewing; restoration; revitalisation; renovation; reconstruction; overhaul;transformation or transform (a synonym of renovate)
All of these words are synonyms of the word renew and may accomplish something, when in agreement with Rom. 12.2; but all can have a slightly different slant as to their respective action and over all accomplishment of and how we individually receive what we are hearing, reading or meditating upon; with regard to what God through Holy Spirit desires for our mind and the changes needed to become not only a Kingdom scholar, but one who walks in a Spirit to spirit relationship.
When we present words to an audience, each specific word, wording, or phrasing can represent a dissimilar meaning to the mind of the hearer. Words form pictures in our mind to help us differentiate their specific inference. These pictures we relate to will either spur us on with greater enthusiasm as we pay attention to the speaker, or they will simply fall into a chasm and be filed in a box of non-interesting materials somewhere within our thought processor.
Holy Spirit words on the other hand have a way of finding themselves touching our mind and then proceed directly into our heart because of our spirit, when we are listening and eager to receive.
When the Apostle Paul spoke in Romans 12.2, about transformation and the renewing of the mind, we may come away with an unrelated image and therefore miss what the Spirit of God is saying to us, unless they are anointed by the Lord at the time of delivery and our hearts pick-up on the message and receive it with thanksgiving. We read the word, hear the word, sing the word all of the time, but not every word has an effect upon us. Two conditions firstly apply here. (1) Our spirit, open, active, wanting, seeking, and available; and (2) the Spirit of God, at work within us and welcome in every area of our lives. But something else can also be going on, and that is that we are merely obtaining knowledge for the sake of having this knowledge; but this knowing never comes to the place of understanding, simply because it is never put into practical use. This means acting on the word of God and not merely hearing only. The Pharisees and Teachers of the Law, had knowledge but without understanding. They had Religion not a Relationship.
Also it is interesting to note, who Paul was actually writing and speaking to. There were two camps of people who each had their respective culture, language, education, and their individual living standards which were extremely different. You had the Jewish Christians with their complex mindsets and then these new converts of the Gentile persuasion with a multicultural mindset and upbringing. Many would be of different class, possibly cross culture and intermarried. So when Paul is addressing these groups he is asking for their attention to how they are thinking and how important that their thinking be influenced by the Spirit of God and that that process of transformation should be first and foremost, as we will see through the remaining verses in this chapter.
From the list above, I want to examine each word with word pictures and see where this leads us in our exercise of processing, the transformation necessary and the method of renewing of the mind.
Renew or renewing: Dictionary results show us 8 different usages for this single word. Let's view 6.
verb (action, state or condition)*from online dictionary references
1) to begin again (We are a new creation in Christ and we are to stop thinking with an "old" mindset)
2) to replace something that is worn, broken or no longer suitable for use (Be ready for change)
3) to restate a promise or commitment (Committed to Christ Jesus and His way, Truth, Life)
4) giving something new energy or enthusiasm (We ALL have the ability to think on a higher level)
5) to replace something used up, to give a new supply (The old has passed away, embrace the new)
6) to make something new again, or as if new (Our new creation of heart and spirit should shine out)
Renewal: noun (specific to a place, people or thing)
Renewed: is an adjective (describes a noun)
So we can see how this one word can render itself and possibly not come across with the precise meaning, unless the scripture is expounded with Holy Spirit wisdom. Let's look at the other words used to describe the word renewal.
Restoration: Bringing something back to its original condition. Return to, refurbish, reinstate, renovate
Revitalisation: Renew as to give new life
Renovation: To give new life to. Repair, redecorate, transformation, reconstruction
Overhaul: To repair extensively. Fix, refit, revamp, patch-up
Transformed: In Electricity; to change the voltage, or to alter the current
In Biology; to undergo a metamorphosis in any sense
The shape (character, nature) to which a person is changed
Transformation for us as humans, we will undergo all three of the above depictions.
The current representing the Spirit of God as it touches us has to pass through a transformer (Holy Spirit) in order for us to accept into our spirit the full relevance of what God is trying to communicate.
Biologically, we will go through a metamorphosis. From fleshly thinking to Spirit; but this metamorphoseis in part is controlled by our action of submission to the good, pleasing and perfect will of God. Thus our transformation is a welcoming of what God desires. (1) It is good for us , because God is good. (2) It is pleasing to God and therefore understandable. (3) It is perfect, because God is perfect and he desires to see Christ perfected in us.
Our character or nature will undergo, and hopefully desire to continue in our changing, from glory to glory, into the person of Christ in us via the Godhead influence in and through us.
Now why did I go to all this trouble to explain the usage of these simple words?
Because, in translation the actions referred to in a word and the context to which it belongs can make all the difference in how we perceive the full meaning and how it registers in our mind, heart and spirit. And also how the words from Hebrew (OT) and Greek (NT) are properly rendered giving us the best possible accurate meaning.
Let's consider for a moment the multitude of translations of the Holy Bible for example. Each one of them, I believe, having their respective place in the body of Christ.
Now, does one particular translation have more anointing or spiritual significance than another? Some would argue and say, "yes". If that were true, then we are saying that God is limited in how he can touch, reach, convict, react, fulfill, empower, change, and effect people's lives with the use of Holy Bibles in languages other than English, (I am making reference here to the North American culture) and we are also saying that God cannot reach unchurched, or uneducated peoples who have never heard of the word of God, and that prior to any form of words being written down by scribes, God was without resource to affect people's lives.
Now we know that this is not true. But, for example if we think that only one version of the Bible is the end-all such as: the Authorized Version or King James Bible that was translated into English, for the sole purpose of the Church of England and its beliefs, then perhaps we are being extremely small minded about who God is and what his Spirit can do, and we would rather take a prejudiced religious position than to be Spirit led.
Another fact is this: If we were to have that exact version (if we feel that strongly, then have the original) as rendered in 1611, we could not understand much of the context due to its printed style, verbiage and spelling differences, thus it would be useless to us. So why have something that is contrary to the language of the present day? Better yet, let's all learn Hebrew and Greek and be done with it. But unfortunately that would not solve anything, because we would still argue.
God is not limited by the action of human words, regardless of translation, language, culture, phrasing or hindered by the speaker or the writer.
Anointing is not hindered by it either. God has proven this by using a donkey, using a hand to write on the wall, using dreams, visions, trances, angels, and his own voice from heaven, using unlearned men, and using people of other cultures (Wiseman from the east) to deliver his message.
He uses whatever will get the job done and if it happens to be you and I and whatever we have in our hand at the time, it will get used and be successful... Why? Because it is being accomplished by the Spirit. God said to Moses, "What do you have in your hand?"
Consider if you will the word of God being used by the Pharisees and teachers of Jesus time. They had the unadulterated word, anointed from heaven, empowered by the Spirit, but, it did them no good, and did not profit their hearers. Why not? Was it not the true Word of God?
Jesus had many statements about how the scriptures were being rendered and much rebuke for the teachers.
So what did Jesus have to say about their lives?
Matt.23.1-3 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples:"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach."
Vs 13-15 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are."
This is just a short excerpt from this chapter, as he continues his rebuke all the way through to verse 39.
Jesus also has something to say about how they were making the traditions of man of more importance than the commands of God. Have you ever come across this in the church of the last few hundred years?
Mark 7.6-8He replied,"Isaiah was right when he prophesied about you hypocrites; as it is written;These people honor me with their lips,but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain; their teachings are merely human rules. You have let go of the commands of God and are holding on to human traditions."
Now I'm not talking about traditions or bad teaching. I am simply making a note of how easily we can be swayed, persuaded, or set a precedent in our own mind about what we hear, read or are taught about what is in scripture. We are asked to test and make right judgement of the things spoken to us, that we might rightly handle the word of truth. We will all come before the Lord on these issues, especially teachers.
I am talking about character and Spirit led living.
Jesus when confronted in the wilderness was very clear on using the word of God rightly. He was also FULL of Holy Spirit.
This is the end of part 1 of 2, since this is a long essay. Please continue reading part 2 or it will be an incomplete work.
You will find the comment box at the end of part 2. Thank You, Blessings, Lawrence.