Reply All – Part 3 (The Mind)
Pastor Ricky Texada
July 21, 2019
Main Idea– It is not possible to love God if you do not love Him with your whole mind. The thoughts you repeatedly think will become strongholds that will influence your words and actions. A sound mind is one that is continually regenerated and renewed by the Holy Spirit and God’s Word.
The issues of life
- All the challenges we experience in life can be boiled down to issues of the heart, soul, or mind.
- Our faith was given to us by God; it is our responsibility to nourish and sustain that faith.
- Luke 10: 25-28 – And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?” So he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’” And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
Love the Lord with all your mind
- What you think and believe translates into action, and influences every aspect of your life.
- Your ability to grow closer to God is influenced by those things on which your mind is dwelling.
Strongholds are created in the mind
- Your intellect, reasoning ability, and perceptions come from your mind.
- Your thoughts are created in your mind.
- Over time, those thoughts – if repeatedly reinforced – become strongholds.
- You will have a tendency to vigorously defend those strongholds; even harmful strongholds.
- 2 Corinthians 10: 4-6 – For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.
Some harmful mindsets mentioned in the Bible are:
- Debased minds.Your mind was originally created to love God. A debased mind has rejected that idea. This ultimately will result in a hatred of God.
Romans 1: 28-32 – And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.
A debased mind develops in incremental steps:
Step #1 – Missing the mark. Missing the mark is common to all of us. It involves good intentions, but with the result of falling short of a standard God has established.
Step #2 – Aiming away from the mark. After missing the mark, one can determine to not even try for the mark God established, but to aim somewhere else.
Step #3 – Creating a new standard in opposition to God’s standard. At this stage, one has determined that good is evil, and that evil is good.
Isaiah 5:20 – Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.
Judges 21:25 – In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.
A debased mind degrades us to the level of animals: operating primarily on instinct. To do this is to ignore that God is real and present with us.
- Double mindedness. Double mindedness is the condition where one’s personal will takes precedence over God’s will.
James 1: 5-8 – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
The Greek word for double-minded is dipsychos, an adjective that means “wavering, uncertain, doubting, divided in interest.”
A double-minded person may ask God for guidance, but is not committed to God’s ways. S/he has a confused mind with unstable reasoning.
- Carnal mindedness. A carnal mind has chosen to be subject to things other than God. A carnal mind loves the world more than God.
Romans 8:5-7 – For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.
1 John 2:16 – For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world.
It is impossible for a carnal mind to please God.
Regenerate your mind by the Holy Spirit
- Laws create order. Laws are put in place to govern an environment or atmosphere.
- The laws of the Spirit are in a war with laws of the flesh. The two cannot coexist. Your mind must be transformed from its natural tendency to oppose God.
- Romans 12: 2- And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
- Romans 7: 18-25 – For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells, for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do: but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God – through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.
Align your mind with God’s Word
- God’s Word – what He has said in the Bible – renews your mind, renews your thoughts, and produces peace.
- 2 Timothy 1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
- Joshua 1:8 – This book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.
- Isaiah 26:3 – You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
- Philippians 4: 6-7 – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Begin the renewal process with prayer
- In prayer focus your mindset on God and the things of the Spirit. Displace from your thoughts those things that are of the flesh.
- Bring to God anything in your mind that needs to be destroyed.
- Focus your mind of those things that are good. Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.
Reflective Questions for Reply All – Part 3
- Pastor Ricky said that negative mental strongholds develop in incremental steps (see above). Can you give an example of how this has happened in society today?
- How can you resist these negative strongholds? (See “Align your mind with God’s Word” above.)
- What is a first step that should be done to help yourself, and others, to replace carnal tendencies with God’s spiritual laws?