Will In Mind
God's Word – a living entity, endowed with spiritual power by its giver, Almighty God – that will change the way you think.
Alright thank you very much, and hello again dear radio friends. How in the world are you? Yes, this is your friend Dr. Cook and I’m glad to be back with you, looking at the Word of God. We got talking about that concept of goodness as we wound up our study in Psalm 23, “Goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever”, so we’ve been talking something about the concept of goodness. Now we’ve come to the windup of that as we look at Romans 12, “To be not conformed to this world”, that word conformed is, well you could bring it almost across from the Greek to the English, “schematized ” with the world. This world system that we live in-you don’t have to be jammed into the world’s mold, cut out with the world’s cookie-cutter, or painted with the world’s brush, if you want to change the figures of speech there. You can stand for your Lord Jesus Christ and in so doing you can prove something “Be ye transformed”, said he. Oh, small thought here; you don’t prove anything about God by what you do, you prove something about God by what He does in you. “Be not conformed to this world”, don’t be jammed into the world’s mold, but be transformed, that’s our word metamorphosis, a complete change of life. The same spark of life is there, as it was when the caterpillar spun its little silken house and rested for a few weeks. The life is there but it’s a different kind of life now: went in with 22 legs or more, came out with six, went in with fuzz, came out with wings, went in eating leaves, came out eating honey, went in crawling, came out flying. You know, there’s the difference. So, you don’t prove anything about God by what you do or the stand you take for yourself. See that’s the essence of ferrous-ism. I do this and I don’t do that and therefore that makes me holy and that proves something about my relationship with God. No, it only may prove that you are one of the finest hypocrites around. What is really provable and demonstrable is God’s working through you. Philippians 2:13, “It is God that worketh in you, both to will and to do of His good pleasure”, His good pleasure.
Alright, he says, “Be transformed that ye may prove by the renewing of your mind what is good and what is acceptable and perfect will of God”. Now this word renewing of your mind, it’s our idea of a complete overhaul, complete transformation. You see, change begins in the mind. Paul talks about bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ and being ready to take drastic action against any disobedience. You find that in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Change begins in the mind. What do you think about certain things? And of course this is the most difficult assignment of all because we are scarcely aware of our thought patterns because they are so close to us and so habitual, so that a person who is concerned primarily with himself or herself, can be ever so religious without realizing that all of that religiosity is mostly self-centered. What we need is to have our minds overhauled by the blessed Holy Spirit of God and He does that. “The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance against such”, says Paul “there is no law.” Paul talks about the kindness of God our Savior not by works of righteousness which we have done (see it isn’t something you do, it’s something God does for you) but according to His mercy He saved us by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost, which He shed on us abundantly, through Jesus Christ our Savior. The renewing of your mind is a function of the Holy Spirit of God Who dwells within the believer as He applies God’s Word to your life. Our Lord Jesus said, “When He the Spirit of Truth is come, He shall teach you all things and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you”. The function of the Holy Spirit is to transform your life, make it Christ-like, and teach you the truth concerning your Lord Jesus and concerning matters eternal. And so He does. It’s the renewing of your mind.
I have to ask a question: are you interested in thinking any differently about anything? Our opinions are among the dearest of our possessions, have you noticed that? Talk with someone, talk with the love of your life your husband or wife about something, and just try to change how he or she is thinking and you’re right up against a stone wall, and finally you say, “Well why does it have to be that way? ” Because I want it that way! (laughs) Have you ever heard that? Of course you have. Now see our opinions, our own opinions are among our dearest possessions, even though they may be wrong. Who was it, Ambrose Bierce, that defined convictions as being mistaken at the top your voice? Well, now are you interested then, I have to ask you, in changing the way you think about anything? If you are, then bring your mind in faith, to the Lord Jesus Christ. When He saved you, He saved your mind as well as the rest of you, and He wants control of your thoughts. And so in your praying, pray that God’s thoughts may be given to you and He will answer that prayer, I grant you.
Percy Crawford, of beloved memory, the man who founded the college and who was its president for a good many years until his death in 1961 or 60, Percy Crawford used to say, “If you’re not willing to do God’s will, pray this prayer, ‘Lord, make me willing to be willing’”. He used to say that so often in his preaching, do any of you remember that? “Lord make me willing to be willing”, and I think Dr. Pettengill went him one better, and he used to say, “Pray Lord, make me willing to be made willing”. Alright however you want to put it. These precious opinions of ours, our thoughts and our prejudices and our misconceptions and all the things that we hold in the mental furniture of that brain of ours. These need to be brought in faith to the Lord Jesus Christ, so that by the Holy Spirit, He can change the way we think. The renewing of your mind, transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Now, how do I go about this? Let’s have a little procedure here; number one, the Word of God operates on your mind, “Thy Word have I hid in life heart”, and that word heart means mind and memory, “that I might not sin against Thee”. The Word of God operates on your mind if you let it. So every day as you start your day, that is often during the day as you have an empty moment or two at which you can sandwich in something of the Word of God, dwell on God’s blessed Word.
I once asked Hubert Mitchell why it was so hard to convert any of the Sadhu’s, the so-called holy men of India, we, Hubert and I walking down Syahrini Street, one day in Calcutta, and as the sultry heat beat down on us, it was about 110 then, walking along our way to a meeting, I said, “Why is it so, so hard to convert some of these Indian Sadhu’s, these holy men?” Well he said, “Bob, it’s because they are constantly filling their mind with their sacred Hindu scriptures”, he said, “Their mind is dwelling on nothing other than their own scriptures and you can’t get in”. Then he turned to me and said, “You know, that same principle works with a Christian. If you’ll dwell on the Word of God, your mind is conditioned God-ward and Satan can’t attack you”. Well, we had an interesting conversation along that line. Whatever you dwell upon becomes the stuff of which your mental existence is built, and so you go to the Word of God and you read it in the morning and you meditate upon it, and you ask God to transmit His Truth from the Word of God, the written Word, into your life as you go on through the day. The renewing of your mind starts with the Word of God, get into God’s Word, read and meditate on it, memorize a portion of it each day. You’ll find that you’re thinking different about things as a result. The Word of God is alive and powerful, sharper than any two edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner, (here’s the truth we’re after) a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
God’s Word, a living entity, Jesus said, “The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit in their life”. God’s Word, a living entity, endowed with spiritual power by its giver, Almighty God, that will change the way you think. Then a step of obedience will make a difference in your relationship with the Holy Spirit who guides and teaches the believer. Simon Peter said, “We are His witnesses of these things and so is also the Holy Ghost Whom God hath given to all them that obey Him”. As a step of obedience will make you more personally aware of God’s control of your life. Do you dare to obey God on something that you know you ought to do in His will today? A step of obedience will make a difference in the way you think about God and about people, I can promise you that. And then of course we rivet our thought to our memory, by sharing them, and so as soon as you can any given day, you want to share something of God’s blessed Word with someone else, and in the doing of that sharing process, you’ll find that your own thinking has become blessed, clarified, cleansed, and sanctified. Get into the Word, obey God, share His Truth with someone else, and when you’re aware of some runaway, errant thought that has no business in your mind, by faith bring it to Jesus and say, “Lord Jesus, cleanse me of this thought”. I have had the delightful experience of being caught in mid-thought so to speak, when I said ‘Lord Jesus this has no business in my mind, take care of it, ‘and it was gone. Hallelujah. Don’t have to repress it and put it back into the unconscious, He took it out. You try that for Him. Bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Now, we’ll talk about this the next time we get together.
Dear Father today, may our thoughts be subject to Thy perfect will, in Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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