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Friday, August 2, 2013

A New Heart and Mind

With closed spiritual eyes and ears, many people that morning had never entertained the idea that their pastor’s convicting message was for them. Others had heard the message and were literally unwilling. Afraid of what others might think - disinclined to submit to the convicting power of the Holy Spirit, they stood with hands gripping the pew in front of them, not even realizing that they had said “no” to the spirit of God. They were not even aware that the attitude of their hearts had been dictated by human will instead of a Holy Spirit altered heart and mind.

As a believer I am to have an open spirit to what the Lord instructs. I do not have the option to ignore the transformation of the Spirit. “Therefore, I urge you, brothers,” the apostle Paul declared, “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. Do 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” (Romans 12:1-2).

My life should be an act of spiritual worship to the Lord who became a living sacrifice for me. Spirit and truth are inseparable. If I worship God in spirit and truth (John 4:23-24), I offer a yielded heart to His replenishment. Spiritual transformation is discovered in the renewing of my mind. A willingness to be renewed means that I am ready to admit I am not perfect. It means that I yearn to know his good and perfect will.

You were taught,” Paul also wrote,” with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4: 23-23). I am also created to be holy as God is holy (I Peter 1:15), but I cannot be like Him until my attitudes and desires are what He wishes.

In repentance I discover God’s desire instead of my own. The reason that repentance is ongoing is because absolute holiness of heart is a goal. When my heart and mind is constantly renewed, repentance creates the ability to put off the old and put on the new. On earth holiness is a goal that is daily discovered. It is the culmination of surrenders which brings me closer to the ultimate goal. In heaven when I stand in the presence of God, holiness shall be a goal completely realized. No longer will I see Him through a glass darkly, but then I shall see Him face to face (I Corinthians 13:12).

Now I live on earth, and seek Him in daily surrenders. To be made new in the attitude of my mind means that my heart must be broken for Him. “I will give you a new heart,” He speaks, “and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26). Where once my heart was as hard and unyielding as stone now he promises it shall beat with the pulsating blood of His living sacrifice. Where once calloused inner pain held God’s renewal at bay, now I shall be energized by His living presence. A new heart and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit fills me with the desire to keep His laws and commandments- not because they are rules to be followed, but because I love Him above all else. His law shall be my delight, and in every way He shall be my God and I shall belong only to Him (Ezekiel 26: 27-28).

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