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Thursday, January 28, 2016

Heart and Mind Surrender

Have mercy on me, O God,” David cried, “because of your unfailing love. Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins” Psalm 51:1, NLT).

Once more the pastor had shared the message of God’s sanctifying grace. Once more he had reminded his flock that heart change is an on-going process. Once more he had bared his heart and soul. He had relentlessly prayed that God's people would have a teachable spirit just as David had when faced with the sin of his own failure. But no one had come to the altar that morning.

Jesus once told his disciples why he spoke to others in parable. “Though seeing, they do not see; though hearing, they do not hear or understand. In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah: 'You will be ever hearing but never understanding; you will be ever seeing but never perceiving. For this people's heart has become calloused; they hardly hear with their ears, and they have closed their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, and understand with their hearts and turn, and I would heal them’” (Matthew 13: 13-15, NIV). With closed eyes and ears, many that morning had never entertained the thought 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 chair 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. If only they had heard and understood His call, with deep spiritual hunger they would have rushed into His presence to be filled with His living water. They would have discovered renewing and healing of heart and mind.

As a believer I am called 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, NIV). My life should be an act of spiritual worship to the God 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 and obedient heart to His instruction. 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–that I am ready to be molded. It means I yearn to spiritually see, hear, and understand His perfect will for my life. I no longer want to have a dull mind that only hears the parable and remains unchanged by its message. I have a heart that seeks revival and renewal. I have a mind that is ready to be transformed and restored by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Have mercy on me, Lord,” David cried, “because of your unfailing love!” May this be the cry of our heart as we seek Him for renewal of heart and mind. He will come and revive what is lukewarm in our hearts when we rush to His altar in complete surrender.

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