Thursday, February 21, 2013

Take It All, It's Yours!

by Donna L. Watkins

When we choose salvation through Christ, our spirits are immediately changed. We receive forgiveness of sins, healing, deliverance and all things that are promised through Christ. We receive these in our born-again spirits. [What Part of You Rules Your Life?]

© Donna L. Watkins - Black-crowned Night Heron
Brookgreen Gardens, Murrells Inlet, SC
When the Bible tells us we are a "new creation" (2 Cor. 5:17) it is speaking of our spirits, not what we see in the body or mind. If we were fearful of many things we will still be fearful unless we were supernaturally delivered from a fear. If we were an overeater, we will still be an overeater. For some, the revelation of the love of God at the time of salvation takes away the root of some of our physical or mental problems and things in the physical realm do get healed.

However, for the most part, we may wonder if salvation "worked" if we don't see any outward changes. That's why some people continue for years re-dedicating their lives at every opportunity, to be sure they really will go to heaven. In many denominations, salvation is simply presented as a way to avoid Hell and get your ticket to Heaven, so we don't expect to see any change.  God never intended for us to remain the same as we were before salvation. Jesus told us He came to give us "life abundant" (John 10:10).

Matthew 26:41 says to "Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." The flesh is our carnal nature. What could be called the "old man." That old man doesn't just die at salvation. It will keep on kicking for the rest of your life, wanting its way above the way of the spirit. Depending on how many years your mind has ruled your body and feelings, you may have quite the battle to bury that old man and live in the newness of eternal life.

The way to bring out all that God provided us in the salvation package is done by renewing of the mind. Our outward (healed) and inward (personality) will change in direct proportion to how much we renew our minds. We are commanded to do so in Romans 2:2 which says, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God." We renew our minds by replacing old beliefs, or no belief, with the Truth of God's Word.

© Donna L. Watkins - Large Burl on Tree
Scheier Natural Area, Fluvanna County, VA
If you saw this tree at eye level you would think it really has
serious problem and was surely going to die.  However, 
if you look up, it is alive and well.  Don't let what you do not
understand rob you of what you do understand ... that God's Word
Is TRUE!  Don't rely on the 5 senses alone.  The Word is alive!
There is now research that our brains record every conscious thought we have on our internal hard drive known as the cerebral cortex. Each thought scratches the surface. When we have the same thought again, the line of the original thought is deepened, causing what's called a memory trace. With each repetition the trace goes deeper and deeper, forming and embedding a pattern of thought. When emotion is tied to this thought pattern, the memory trace grows exponentially stronger. [Changing Our Thought Patterns]

It's often been said and written about that "the battle is in our minds." We often accuse the devil of speaking things to us when it's simply what we already believe in our own mind that is coming forth to operate as it always has. We have to CHOOSE to react differently. We are a result of our own thoughts and the actions we choose based on those thoughts.  [Who's In Charge Of Your Thoughts?]

If we think on gloomy things and have a pessimistic attitude, we will believe nothing goes right and that life is basically futile. All of God's promises go down the drain in those lives because He gave us free will and if we use that will to think on negative things, we will have negative results.

Think back ... how many times were you having a nice day and then you heard something that disturbed you and you began to think on it. You began to add thoughts to it and imaginations about it. In a very short period of time you can be in a state of despair, depression and fear.  We can be our own worst enemy.  I often think about the thoughts I've had towards myself and realize that the devil must be quite pleased not having to bother to condemn me since I was good at doing it all by myself.  [Do You Believe Life Is Tough?]

The only way we can avoid having our feelings control our days is to go to the Word and find out what it tells us to do. 2 Cor. 10:4-5 says "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."

We have to choose the Word. The Bible is our instruction manual and we have to live in it and by it. We can't just pick it up when we have a problem. We have to fill ourselves with Truth every day over and over and over. We have to renew the ruts in our minds so we can live victoriously.

The Word is Truth and when our bodies, minds and feelings don't line up with what it says, we simply KNOW that the Word is true and we are being deceived by the devil.  We don't have to figure it out, but we have to stand on the belief in our hearts that God's Word is true no matter what. Some things we won't understand till we get to Heaven. [The Bible Is Confusing]

We have to make sure that what we do not understand doesn't rob us of what we do understand.  

We already have all we need from God. It's not a matter of praying for Him to do things. He's already done them through Christ. He has placed inside of us the gifts of the spirit that Christ had. We have love, joy, faith, patience, etc. but we have to release them into our soul (mind) so that our body will present the evidence of it. Don't get depressed and give up because nothing seems to be changing. Put all that energy into the Word and following the instructions given to us in it.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires" -- Galatians 5:22-24.

Notice it says we who belong to Christ have crucified our sinful nature. We are the ones to make choices according to what is life and godliness, not according to the passions of our minds and the desires of our feelings. We can't let those things carry us away when we have a choice to increase in strength daily. But daily is how you must build. I guarantee you it's worth every second, minute and hour!

Related Resources
Who's In Charge Of Your Thoughts?
The Bible Is Confusing
What Part of You Rules Your Life?
Do You Believe Life Is Tough?

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