Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Alignment brings freedom

Romans 12:1-2 is one of the most well known Scriptures in the Bible:

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

I have reflected often on the second verse: about not conforming to how the world lives; but through our renewed mind finding the abundant life that Jesus calls us to live.

What I have discovered recently, however, is that the abundant life isn’t going to come magically, but only through a renewed mind that changes the way we think about our own life and the world around us.

It starts with thinking the truth about who God is and his true character.

The Serpent knew that if he could get Adam and Eve to doubt that God truly had their best in heart; he would win the battle. So, he tempted them with the thought that God was holding out on them; God couldn’t really be trusted.

They bit and we’ve been biting ever since. There is an area in everyone’s life where the Serpent planted a lie in us that we have believed too. I find that if I listen long enough to a person, I can find that lie. I found it in myself, and when I confessed believing it and stepped into the truth that God can be trusted and that he has my best at heart; the whole trajectory of my life changed.

I feel very much lately that I am living the abundant life that Jesus promised in John 8:31-32:
“Jesus said, "If you continue in my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

It takes us back to Romans 12: Don’t believe the world, but seek God’s truth, be changed as your mind is changed.

Did you know that changing our mind is called “repentance?”

Repentance seems like one of those scary Christian words that we want to run from, but really it just means “changing our mind, or turning in a different direction.”

I have found 3 questions that are making a huge difference to me in determining where I need to change my mind in order to live the abundant life that Jesus promised us.

Here they are: they come with a Challenge and an Invitation:

The challenge is to honestly ask the questions; allowing Jesus show you the shifts in alignment that he wants to make.
The invitation is Jesus calling you to a place of deeper relationship with him and more meaningful relationship with those around you; bringing you closer to the abundant life he promises.

Where do I need to align my mind with God’s mind?
Where do I need to align my emotions with God’s heart?
Where do I need to align my will with God’s will?

Here is my invitation to you:
Take this challenge for one week, setting aside a few minutes each day to listen to the answers, and then let me know how it is going. I’d love to encourage you as you step out in Jesus’ teaching to live into the freedom and hope that he offers everyone.

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