Acts 17:21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.
Our culture loves new. Our economy thrives on us consuming the new gadget and product that is coming next. What was cool yesterday is obsolete today and what’s relevant today is being replaced by something new tomorrow. We are much like the Athenians who reveled in what was new but never actually embraced what was true. We can bring that same sort of consumer mentality into our relationship with God. We can delight in hearing and revelling in the new insight we’ve heard but never actually do something with it and outwork it in our everyday lives. Every fresh revelation requires a new dedication. It’s not enough to get a new revelation, if we’re not going to dedicate ourselves to its truthfulness in our lives. Are you being obedient to what God has already revealed to you? Some of us are more educated than we are obedient and we hear more than we are putting into action. Dedicate yourself to the revelations Gods showing you and the fruit of your life will speak for itself.
Colossians 3:2 “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.”
A new year brings with it new hopes and resolutions. The truth is by Feb 1 most people’s new year resolutions are discarded for the onslaught of everyday demands. Don’t let this be you. The bible exhorts us to put off the old self and put on the new self, patterned after Christ. If you are going to embrace the new you in 2015, you need to pay attention to your thoughts. Where the mind goes, the body follows. What is your mind predominately preoccupied with? Faith, hope and love or doubt, fear and hate. The bible exhorts us to focus our minds on the things that are above and not on the things that are below. Millions of people are unhappy and unfulfilled because they only ever look horizontally around them at the things this world is preoccupied with but God is inviting us to get a vertical perspective on life by looking heavenward and seeing life from Gods perspective. Don’t struggle in your strength to put off the old self but ask for Gods help to empower you to be the new you in 2015!
You might have heard the comment, ‘There’s a black dog and a white dog in your life and depending on which one you feed, will determine which one wins the battle.’ Nice thought. Problem is it’s not the bible. This philosophy reflects more of eastern mysticism (Yin & Yang) than Christianity.
Dualism is a theory that the world consists of 2 opposing fundamental entities and is not consistent with Christianity. Christianity is Christ-centric, not two equal opposing adversaries. Unfortunately a dualistic mindset has crept into the church over the centuries and has duped Christians into believing that after we are born again we have two natures at war within us – a Sinful Nature and a Divine Nature.
Romans 6 and 7 teaches, however, that once we are saved, we are dead to sin and alive to God. We have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me. After we are born again our spirit which was dead in sin, comes alive in Christ Jesus and our sinful nature is erased. In Christ Jesus we are new creations, the old has gone, the new has come and we are now partakers of a divine nature. However, our minds have a memory of our old nature that needs to be reprogrammed and renewed to think according to the divine nature we have received.
What makes us vulnerable to sin and spiritual attack is not a sinful nature because that’s been done away with, but our un-renewed mind and spiritual lethargy. These two have a massive bearing upon our response to temptation. When the external fiery darts of Satan come our way, we have a choice, do we exercise our shield of faith or do we partner with the temptation and rebel against God. If we as believers do sin, it’s because we are exercising our will to do so in disobedience and rebellion against God, just as Adam and Eve did in the garden of Eden, whilst having a divine nature pre-fall (Genesis 3).
The mind truly is a battlefield and needs to be reprogrammed and renewed because it has a living memory of old patterns of thinking and acting. That’s why Romans 12:2 says, ‘Don’t be conformed to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.’
Christianity is not dualistic. It’s Christ-centric. There are not two equal opposing forces at war within you. You have been born again. Your spirit has come alive with a divine nature and now begins the process of being transformed in your patterns of thinking to think like God thinks, according to your divine nature in Christ.
Isaiah 43:18-19 “Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Prophecy is God’s intention, not a declared outcome – Often we hear the word of the Lord and automatically think that it’s going to come to pass but it’s often our response to the word that determines the outcome. Many people have received prophetic words but have passed on without seeing the fruit of them in their life experience. A heart of faith needs to rise up and kiss the word of the Lord for a spiritual conception to take place in our spirits, which opens up the possibility of the word becoming a future reality.
God makes a way, where there seems to be no way – God is a way maker. When your back is up against the wall and you think there is no way through, God has a habit of busting our paradigms apart and bursting through into our life circumstances. Never count God out, no matter how difficult your circumstances seem.
Any agenda in the way of God’s plan will be removed – God has a plan and he is not about to let anyone get in the way of it. Throughout the bible we read story after story of enemies coming against Israel and God’s plans for them but every time, even if it was at the last minute, God would intervene and bring deliverance. God said to Joshua, “No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life.”
Don’t step into your future based on the disappointments of your past – God says, ‘Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old.’ There’s a reason why the rear view mirror in your car is a lot smaller than your front windscreen. Where you are going is more important than where you have been. Where you are going, isn’t where you have been. Shake off the dust of past discouragement and come alive to the new things God has for you in your future.
God is an expert in making all things NEW – His mercies are NEW every morning. He desires us to sing a NEW song unto the Lord. There’s something great about wearing NEW clothes or driving a NEW car. There’s a freshness and excitement to NEW things. As fun as NEW things are in the natural, they don’t even come close to the NEW life you can have in God. He can turn your old, crusty relationship with your spouse into something NEW, fresh and exciting. He can turn your tired and lagging ministry into something NEW and life-giving. Bring to God whatever needs a makeover in your life and let him turn it into something NEW.