Saturday, 22 June 2013

Change Your Mind

(Image Source)

Yesterday I had the amazing opportunity to minister to the youth at my church... Aaaah! LOL! Needless to say, I'm so grateful that I had this opportunity and I wanted to share what I spoke on yesterday.

As a youth group, we had been looking at 'The Battlefield of the Mind'. We looked at how the mind and the heart are the same, how the things that surround us can influence our thoughts whether it is friends or music or TV shows, films etc. We also looked at how our thoughts can, and oftentimes do, turn into our actions. What myself and Josh (fellow youth leader) covered this session was how to change your mind from a mind that focuses in the internal, (the self, what you can gain personally) to a mind that focuses on the external (being in service to God and building His kingdom). 

Being a Christian is not easy. In fact, living life isn't easy. Daily, life throws us curve balls, puts obstacles in our way, which can cause us to be discouraged.
But to "make a decisive dedication of our bodies as a living sacrifice to God" (Romans 12 v 1) is to wake up every morning saying ‘I choose God’. I choose God in the midst of ALL that is going on around you; from the pain the heartache, the difficulties, not just on a good day – this being an act of sacrifice; saying I choose to walk in His will in a way that is PURE, that is your BEST (the best you have to give to God) and thirdly that is GOD-PLEASING. What we need to understand is that not everything we do pleases God, not matter how good our intentions are...

Verse 2 of Romans 12 goes on to say“be transformed by the entire renewal of your mind" – In order for your mind to completely transformed with the help of the Holy Spirit, your mindset needs a complete overturn. Changing your mindset towards things of God changes your outward look and view on life. So you begin to move away ideas and actions that are beneficial to you, and begin to lean towards things that will help build God’s Kingdom. So your view on life no longer becomes internal thinking but external thinking. It all comes down to the fact that we are here to build God’s kingdom.
Matthew 6 v 33 says "but seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you." – Setting your mind on Christ and seeking God’s Kingdom above all things. Looking outwards towards Him and his kingdom, not inwards towards us and what we can reap or gain in this situation.

"A transformed mind subdues negative thoughts neither allowing them to be turned into actions." - Josh White

I was about 14-16 yrs old around the time my parents were splitting up and during this time time I had a very low and negative image of myself. I didn't view myself as beautiful or didn't see my worth/value and felt I wasn't worthy of anything, especially love. So with these thoughts I tried to seek these things in guys, in things of the flesh.
I soon came to realise that those guys I sought so hard to find my worth in, they come and go. No matter what they said about me, it wasn't solid. But God is ever constant. His words are built in solid truth, words you can stand secure in as they are a firm foundation. So all the thoughts I had about myself I learnt to lead them away captive into the obedience of Christ. It wasn't a transformation that happened overnight. It took me a couple of years before I got to a place where I completely depended on God. I learnt to trust Him and everything He had said over my life at the time.

In 2 Corinthians 10 v 3-5 it says:

“For though we walk in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical, but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds. In as much as we refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the true knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ.”

Prayer, worship, reading and keeping God's word are just a few weapons of our warfare that are mighty before God. What Paul is saying here in Corinthians is that you need to captivate thoughts into Christ’s obedience; whether it is thoughts of low self esteem, lust, or critical thinking of yourself and others all into Christ's obedience. Living a life like that is exhausting – it takes a lot out of you and it is spiritually draining.
What we also need to understand is not just bad thoughts that we captivate but good thoughts too. As I briefly mentioned before not all thoughts and actions are God pleasing no matter how good your intentions are.
That is why in Romans 12 v 2 it says ‘so that you may PROVE FOR YOURSELVES what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’ This means to also prove for yourselves what God has already deemed good and acceptable and perfect so you know FOR SURE that the thought or idea you have is in line with God’s will. Having the mind of Christ as it says in 1 Corinthians 2 v 16 to guide and instruct us when proving for ourselves what is in God’s will.

It is very important that we are mindful of the things we dwell on and what we feed our minds on. As it says in Philippians 4 v 8 it says we need to meditate on things that are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report and are of virtue. Throughout scripture it says we need to guard our heart.
In Proverbs 4 v 23 it says ‘guard your heart for out of it are the issues of life’; the wellspring of life, the products (actions) of your thoughts. You guard your heart by knowing and keeping God’s word close, through prayer, through worshiping God. Not just memorising verses but actually allowing them to sit and stay in your heart so that you might not sin against God or allow the enemy to attack you. The enemy knows the bible. If you don't know the word of God, the enemy will twist it and use it against you. By knowing and keeping God’s word in your heart, you stand strong because His word is truth, it is PURE and GOOD and it will start to show in your daily life and actions.

In 1 Corinthians 2 v 16  it says

“For who has known or understood the mind of the Lord as to guide and instruct Him and give Him knowledge? But we have the mind of Christ and do hold the thoughts of His heart.”

Thanks to the Christ and thanks to the Holy Spirit we know what is in Christ’s heart and what His thoughts are in terms of our walk with Him. It goes back to looking outwards not inwards; back to building God’s kingdom. Putting God at the centre of every thought – allowing Him to be at the forefront of our minds and in everything we do.

*NB: Scripture taken from both King James Version and The Amplified Bible.

love & light... ♥

No comments:


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...