(last week we saw that He wants to call us “Children”)….
I like reading bumper stickers, and there are some folks that have them all over their bumper and other places as well….
One said, "everyone has a photographic memory, it's just that some have run out of film". And then there's the bumper sticker for those who are always late. "Their ancestors missed the Mayflower and arrived on the Juneflower instead". Then there's the bumper sticker of the guy who's fed up with it all..."Pardon my driving, I’m just reloading my gun and fixing my gas mask".
Webster says that Right minded means, normal, sensible, mentally sound, having all your marbles, well adjusted, equitable, ethical, just, with good judgment, conscientious, discerning, level-headed, rational, responsible, well-grounded, both oars in water, playing with full deck ....
Let's check out a couple of scriptures on this subject as we begin....
2 Timothy 1:7 For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound (or right) mind.
Another scripture which shows a distinction between the mental condition of a believer in Christ as compared to an unbeliever, is in
Luke 8:35 "Then they went out to see what was done; and came to Jesus, and found the man, out of whom the devils were departed, sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed, and in his right mind.." In one scene of this story, the Gaderene is luney as a bed bug.... and Jesus shows up and he's found dressed nice and in his right mind....If you had met this guy in a dark alley before Jesus You would know the difference!!!
Let's put it this way.... Picture your life as a train going down a track, "The engine is our redeemed spirit, it’s hooked to the car of our will, which is hooked to the car of our thought life, which is hooked to the car of our experiences, which is hooked to the car of our flesh, which is hooked to the car of our emotions, which is hooked to the car of our ..(well you get the idea)
We may be on the right track, but none of us are just the engine, we're all these other cars, which are being pulled along with us.... All of this pulling and all of this resistance can wear you down and wear you out, if you are not being renewed daily in your mind and spirit..... We are told in 2 Corinthians 10:5 "To cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
Solomon was one of the wisest men that ever lived, but he did some things that show us that he was not in his right mind..... We can look at King David, at Noah, at Abraham, at Samson, and on and on we could go..... All of these acted at certain times in such a way that let us know they were not in their right mind. They started riding in the car of flesh, or the car of emotions, or the car of experience, or the car of their will or thought life, and they allowed it to derail their right mind.
And they would all tell you that it just wasn't worth it.... We can all fall prey to this, and begin to major on minors.....Instead of the engine of our Redeemed Spirit pulling everything, we start letting the things we are giving power to begin to have power over us.
When an Olympic runner is in the blocks at the starting line, waiting for the gun so he can break the world record....it's not the time to ask him for an autograph... He will not be distracted by lesser things, because he is single minded and focused, as the race is about to begin......The sprinter has to make sure his shoes are tied securely before the race begins. If he stops to tie his shoes in the race, he will probably lose. He gets rid of all excessive weight and his eating, his sleep, his exercise routine is all about this moment. Part of being right minded, is learning what needs to be done first - then doing it, and knowing what can wait till later! Ready or not it’s all systems go!!
Folks that are always late, haven’t figured that out yet!
DON’T BE A DORY….(you may remember Dory as the scatterbrain friend in the movie “Finding Nemo”.
Sometimes being Right Minded falls prey to "Excessive choices,competing priorities and second guessing everything".....We live in a day where we have a multitude of options and an avalanche of decisions all rushing at us in the course of every day. We can easily fall victim to its demands..... Which of the 32 brands of toilet paper should we buy....which of the 767 shades of green should we paint the house....which of the 450 soft drinks on the market should you buy.... etc....etc....Then add to that, a culture that can never get enough and stuff can get really crazy! Don't let all the distractions get their horns in you....
We can all get derailed from our primary purpose with all the excessive choices and competing priorities that life drops on us...How many extras do we have in our lives that we could cut out and find ourselves further along in our journey of faith and spiritual growth....
How many unnecessary things do we juggle that keep us worn out all the time and emotionally frazzled from jumping back and forth. It’s easy to get pulled in …..and juggling when there’s no need to juggle….
Most of the folks I know of who are opinion shapers and spiritual leaders in the world, must get away from the juggling act and spend personal time every day reflecting and meditating so they can filter and evaluate their priorities each day….
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He handed the disciples a huge task before He left them ....He said (Go into all the world and preach the gospel) But first he told them "Go tarry, (put aside all distractions) until you are endued with power from on high". We have to put off some things before we can put on the things that will make it possible to cross the finish line with all of heaven cheering. Scripture tells us to lay aside every weight that would weigh us down, if we are going to finish this race of God’s calling. It’s not what we say, but what we do…
I was looking at the words to some of the old hymns and choruses and I wonder how many have sung, "'Sweet Hour of Prayer" but didn't spend 30 minutes a week actually praying. How many have lifted their voices to, "Go tell it on the mountains" and they haven't led anyone to Jesus in months. How many have sung "I will follow" and immediately got busy worrying about to-morrow! How many times has the church sang about, Christ’s Returning, and yet live as though He will never return.
You can't get on a plane going to Cuba and expect to arrive in Tampa....that's called not being in your right mind!!! You can be sincere and be sincerely wrong! You'll never get there going in the wrong direction no matter how sincere you are. We can't choose the things God clearly says He isn't pleased with in our lives, and expect His blessing to be on it....that’s insanity (hopefully it’s temporary insanity)! When you're out hunting, if you didn't calibrate your gun site, you'll miss everything you shoot at. You won’t kill a deer by shooting it in the tail. The word of God helps us keep calibrated and in our right mind! Adjusting the scope is necessary just as it is necessary to adjust your thinking and how you see things, every now and then..I’ve heard it said that “You can’t let success go to your head and you can’t let failure go to your heart”….
Listen, I was out on the golf course some time ago and I was having an average game, but then out of nowhere, I made the best drive of my life, I mean I hit the jacket off the ball... I believe it was almost 400 yards, but then I realized that I had hit the ball at the wrong green....I was sincere, but I was sincerely wrong… A double mind,is not a right mind....When you have one foot on the dock and one foot on the boat, you have to decide quick if you’re going or coming, or you just might end up in the water. When you get on board with things that pull you in two different directions it's hard to make any headway... somethings got to give....When you hear of a leader of the church falling....that's a miss-statement... they didn't fall they chose their way into sin and the slide that derailed them was because they left their right-mind and got double minded! They became divided in their mission, divided in their goals and divided in their values.....They started shooting for the wrong green!
In the book of Ruth, we are told that she was not willing to settle for anything less than Bo-az. She was no fool, she was willing to wait for her Bo-az....But to do that She had to push past ...
Broke-az, Poor-az, Lazy-az, Cheap-az, Dumb-az, Mean-az and Crazy-az, to get to her Bo-az! Stay in your right mind, with the Word of God which is filled with wisdom and strategy for a victorious life!
Your past can set you up and trap you up in a domino effect....But No matter what our life and our history has been, we can have a right mind... A right mind, interrupts the domino effect that our wrong choices and the wrong choices of others has set in motion.....
With God, a renewed, transformed mind is possible....ALWAYS!
Romans 12:2 tells us that we are to “be transformed by the renewing of [our] mind[s]”.
Philippians 4:8: Gives us the key to renewing our minds and it is by focusing on “Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
I believe the Lord wants to show each of us what He can do through a life that is being transformed by the renewing of their mind. Philippians 2:2 "Be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. v3 Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others more highly than themselves. v4 Do not look only after your own things, but let everyone also look after the things of others. v5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus."
CHRISTIANS DON’T FAST…(now I’ve got you wondering)
A Christian lives a fasted life style….A Fasted life isn't just about getting rid of calories, it's also about getting rid of wrong thinking..... we need to also fast in our emotions, our thought life, and the things of the flesh in order to bring ourselves into balance and have a healthy perspective. A right mind doesn't let the emotions and fleshly appetites have the final say....
Let's say that you make a mistake and mess up at work. The feeling you have as a result may be frustration or disappointment. But your emotions kick in and you let your emotions have the final say, and what comes out of your mouth is...“I’m so stupid. I can’t seem to get anything right, I'll never be able to do this...” We all have feelings but we can't allow our feelings to commandeer our Right Mind. What toxic words have you declared over yourself..... It's time to renew your mind.
Whenever a person starts a fire using a magnifying glass to focus the heat of the sun, they are operating the Law of Concentration...(this guy is using a water balloon). In the Law of Concentration, whatever we focus on and dwell on becomes part of our reality, whether it's negative or positive. What you hate, becomes a strong force in your life, actually attracting the very things you hate. What you fear becomes a powerful force in your life, attracting the very things you fear. There are folks who had homes filled with yelling, and fighting and violence, who can't make the commitment of marriage, because they allow that family background to control their life choices, or their family was broken by divorce, alcohol or drugs, so they fear that those things will repeat in their lives.
But thank God there is a Law of Substitution... If the cross of Christ equals the x factor and y equals our insufficiency, and S equals the supply... Then, the law of Substitution declares to us that the cross of Jesus is enough to replace all of our negative fears with positive faith. We can replace hate with forgiveness and love. We can replace lack with more than enough, we can replace sickness with wholeness. We replace wrong thinking with right mindedness....As we practice this law of substitution more and more, we can become experts at substituting the negative and toxic stuff with positive, edifying, productive things.
I came across this item which is about "Planting the garden of a right mind" that I found very appropriate.....it says that we need to
Plant five rows of "peas"--prayer, preparedness, promptness, perseverance, politeness.
Put in six rows of "squash"--squash gossip, squash criticism, squash fear, squash negative thinking, squash assumptions and squash indifference.
Plant seven rows of "lettuce"--let us love one another, let us be faithful, let us be loyal, let us be unselfish, let us be grateful, let us be compassionate, and let us be truthful.
Put in eight rows of "turnips"--turn up for church, turn up on time, turn up with a purpose, turn up to contribute, turn up with praise, turn up prepared, turn up to be a friend, turn up with the determination to do a better job today than you did yesterday.
To be right minded is to be Spiritually Minded.....Romans 8:6 says, “To be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Listen, God has a plan for each of our lives. It is a plan to help us live our best life, with the best outcome ever!!! We are a spirit that has a soul, that lives in a body.
In a congregation where there are deaf persons, the person doing sign language will continue signing during the offeratorialbecause it is just blank space to the deaf person, and the signer is filling in the empty space with the words to the song.....Sometimes we have places in our lives that we could just call blank spaces....Those blank spaces are unfinished things that haunt our minds....when we have blank spaces, a right minded person will let the Holy Spirit fill in the blanks, and go on their way with peace. Don't let your blank spaces mess with your right mind....
David got in trouble in the blank spaces, Samson lost his strength in the blank spaces, Judas became a traitor in the blank spaces, and I see that Solomon who was the wisest man, fell in the blank spaces, when their minds weren’t fixed on God’s word and they made exceptions!
Before classic pianist Clara Schumann, would play her deceased husband Robert's compositions, she would first read his old love letters which he wrote to her, in private. Then, as she was inspired by his words, once again, she was then better able to interpret his music and able to help her audience feel their beauty and power as it flowed through her.
The same is true with believers in Christ, as we immerse ourselves in His love letters to us, we are more capable to share His truth, His love, and His life changing power.
Isaiah 26.3 " Lord, you will keep those in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because they trust in You".
That is God’s promise to you this morning concerning the renewing of your mind and the transformation of your life, that we might accomplish our God ordained plan and purpose. When Jesus made any decision, He checked with the Father and did what the Father did. He was able to say, if you've seen what I do, you have seen what the Father is doing....As much as possible, may we all do likewise!
Prayer..... Lord Jesus we receive the mind of Christ, and we receive the thoughts, the feelings, and the purposes of Your heart. We place our trust in You, that we may not lean on our own understanding, but in all our ways, acknowledge You, so that You are directing our paths. We place ourselves under the influence of Your Word so that our minds may be renewed and our emotions may be transformed. I desire to prove what is You good, and acceptable, and perfect will, for then I shall make my way prosperous and I shall have good success.
Lord, I will not be anxious about anything, because Your peace which transcends all understanding is guarding my heart and my mind. I will think on these things that are worthy of praise and whatever I do, I am trusting you with my plans, hopes and desires. Help me to set my mind on things above and keep records of wrongs as I walk in Your love and forgiveness. In Lord, I commitment myself to live what I have heard and seen in Christ and model my way of living according to Your plan for me. Thank You, Lord that my life is hidden with Christ and I am the redeemed of the Lord, in Jesus' name.
Now speak the blessing of the Lord over those around you before you go today....Let's speak the blessing of Numbers 6:24-26....
" The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace"…. And may the Lord bless you in your going out and your coming in, your rising up and your lying down, your labor and your leisure. The Lord bless all that you put forth your hand to do and cause you to abound and to prosper. May you be blessed in the name of the Lord….