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The entire New Testament was written during a time of chaos. Indeed, God used each of the main characters as His instruments in creating the chaos that surrounded them. When God manifests Himself, chaos ensues. Chaos is not only normal for a Christian, it is a sign of God’s presence. In the chaos, the part of us that belongs to God has access to the peace of God that transcends all understanding. Still, we must allow the chaos to test and purify; we must allow it to shake out that which shall not remain (Hebrews 12:25-29).

When chaos finds its way into our lives, it creates a tension between our desire to maintain current normalcy and our finding the new normal which God is trying to work in us and through us (see Philippians 3:12 and 2Corinthians 3:18). Our carnal mind attempts to inhibit God’s work by distracting us and/or dissuading us of the notion that God is up to something. Those that notice themselves focused more on maintaining the status quo than on finding the next level of glory, should immediately suspect their carnal mind and invite the Holy Spirit to renew their thinking (Romans 2:12). Only then will we know the will of God in the chaos. Read the rest of this entry »

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

Knowing God is sovereign, we can confidently say that He creates or allows the chaos that finds its way into our lives. We also know that He works all things to the good of those who love Him and are called to His purpose (Romans 8:28). How we respond to chaos makes more difference in our lives, and the lives of those in our spheres of influence, than we might think or imagine.

Generally speaking, chaos either draws us away from the truth or it serves to focus our attention on what is fundamentally real (i.e., the heavenly perspective). The greater the chaos, the greater the impact in one of these two directions.

Chaos tests the set of our mind. Chaos also gives us the opportunity to practice our resistance to the enemy’s distraction and deception. By the way, the enemy I am referring to is our carnal mind – our number one enemy. Scripture makes it clear that neither Satan nor the world can influence a child of God (James 4:7, Galatians 6:14) … unless they are allowed to do so. Our carnal mind opens that door.

Most of us have been trained for much of our lives to turn to our carnal mind when chaos invades our lives. This is directly and exactly the opposite of God’s intention. When chaos comes, He would have us choose the influence and direction of Christ’s mind. Make no mistake about it: We are responsible for that choice. Read the rest of this entry »

In times of uncertainty and chaos, it is important and possible for all Christians to avoid worldly fearfulness and carnal foolishness. This is particularly true of the Christians whom God has positioned with authority for leadership in the workplace. People in your spheres of influence will be looking to you.

Our prayer is that they will find you to be a house standing in the storm – a refuge of peace and sensibility. To that end, I humbly offer a few encouraging thoughts. These may not be new for you; meditate on them nevertheless, recognizing they are also for the edification of those in your spheres of influence.

First, it will help you to know that, for the Christian, chaos is normal. Almost every book in the New Testament promises it. 2Corinthians 3:18 is one of my favorite examples:

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

The Greek word translated as “transformed” is metamorphoo. Metamorphoo offers a perfect word picture for the process God employs to mature us as Christians. Anyone who has ever seen the inside of a cocoon knows what a mess it is for an ugly caterpillar to become a beautiful butterfly. This transformation is “by the Spirit of the Lord”. In other words, the Holy Spirit is our transformer.

As leaders, we are blessed with the opportunity to be the vessel and instrument of God for the metamorphoo of those in our spheres of influence. Our only responsibility is to choose to participate in the work God is doing.

Second, it is particularly important in times of chaos to resist the temptation of turning to our carnal mind for advice. This is exactly what we have been taught for most of our lives. It is a lie and a deception. Read the rest of this entry »

The renewing of our mind exchanges dependence on our carnal mind with subjection to the mind of Christ. Consider that for a moment. Born with the mind of our flesh, we find ourselves at enmity with God; reborn of Christ, we now also have His mind (1Corinthians 2:16).

And the battle for our transformation begins!

We are being transformed by the renewing of our mind (Romans 12:2), and the Holy Spirit is our transformer (2Corinthians 3:18). However, we cannot afford to be passive participants in this ongoing process. Based on personal experience and the testimony of others, I am confident that the renewal of our minds requires our cooperation.

We, born-again believers in Jesus Christ, are responsible for choosing the mind to which we turn. This is a continuous responsibility that particularly proves itself in the face of danger, confusion, offense, aggravation, etc.

This matter of the minds is challenging, to say the least. Thank goodness, God has given us an abundance of instruction. Here’s one I discovered just the other day.

Commit your works to the LORD,
And your thoughts will be established.
Proverbs 16:3

Does this verse strike you as odd (as it first did me)? Shouldn’t we have our thoughts established before we set out to work? Once again, we find that God’s ways and thoughts are above our own.

In Ephesians 2:10, we learn that God “created [us] in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Knowing the end from the beginning, God has carefully created and orchestrated our every good work.

With this knowledge in hand, Read the rest of this entry »

Approximately twelve years ago I attended a lecture at a workplace leaders’ conference on the physiology of the brain. It was really quite unusual. What was I doing at such a lecture? What was such a lecture doing at a workplace leaders’ conference? Looking back, I now understand that God orchestrated that lecture, at that conference, for my edification and encouragement.

The presenter showed us how scientists observe physical changes in the brains of patients recovering from alcoholism; that new electronic pathways are created over time. It occurred to me that this research scientist was talking about the renewal of the mind. I came to understand that the renewal of the mind is as much a supernatural miracle at the physical level, as the healing of terminal cancer through prayer (something I have also witnessed). The notion captivated me.

This discovery connected well with my prior vocation: working with a team of enterprise architects to change the way banking executives thought about the use of technology. Our ultimate purpose was to transform their business with technology. We called this “changing their paradigm.” The equivalent Biblical term for “paradigm” is “mindset.” Others prefer “worldview.”

I spent more than a decade in the technology field proving that changing someone’s paradigm is much easier said than done. As promising as technology was to their bottom line, the executives I worked with resisted us religiously. Why? Because the implementation of technology required them to transform their thinking about work and to change the way they did business.

The ensuing twelve years of workplace ministry have proven that the mind’s resilience to change exists in every sphere, and no less with my brothers and sisters in Christ. This is lamentable, for our transformation into the image of the glory of the Lord requires the renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2; 2 Corinthians 3:18). We must change the way we think!

Over the years, this matter of the mind has become increasingly important to me. I have tried to make it important to others. And so, we have come to the writing of An Enemy Lies Within to encourage and help Christians think about the way they think, and to empower them to think in line with God’s prescription for the renewing of our mind.

Ultimately, our hopes and prayers are for the transformation and reformation of the Western church.

Our Thesis

Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 119 is like a mountain meadow, filled with beautiful flowers. Walking through it, we find ourselves surrounded by the author’s delight and joy in the statutes, testimonies, and commandments of God. And then we see it: a flower of a different kind. Not better, just different. Let’s take a look.

Teach me, O Lord, the way of Your statutes,
And I shall keep it to the end.
Give me understanding, and I shall keep Your law;
Indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart.
Make me walk in the path of Your commandments,
For I delight in it.
Psalm 119:33-35

Throughout most of Psalm 119, the statutes, testimonies, and commands of God are the writer’s focus. Here we find a subtle and profoundly different awareness. It is the way of God’s statutes that he promises to keep, and the path of His commandments in which the psalmist will delight himself.

It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, but the glory of kings to search them out (Proverbs 25:2). I think this is one of those hidden treasures that God would have us consider. The way and path speak of God’s process-orientation, the walk of faith to which we are called, and the following after Jesus Christ that positions us to become His disciples. As important as obedience is to God, He has a deeper place for us to travel with Him. Read the rest of this entry »

The church (not America) is meant to be seen by the world as the nation blessed by God. The nation of Israel is the Biblical example of this. God commanded Israel’s separation from the surrounding nations (and their gods) that they might be the example of an obedient people abundantly and unusually blessed by God. Furthermore, Israel was to be the counter-culture people who God used to bless the nations.

Israel’s prosperity and protection were dependent on fidelity to God, accompanied by deliberate and systematic rejection of all other gods. Regrettably, God’s people chose disobedience and became an example of those punished by a loving Father. Their persistent desire to be like the others was born out of the rebellious nature they inherited from Adam and Eve. Eventually, their rebellion led to captivity and destruction.

To recognize the warning, we must apply the natural example of Israel to the spiritual nature of the church. What exists in the spiritual realm of God’s kingdom ultimately manifests in the natural world. However, we must understand that the natural is symptomatic (i.e., result and evidence) of the spiritual reality of God’s supernatural kingdom. In other words, it is fruit on the tree, good or bad dependent on our fidelity to God (Matthew 12:33).

Regrettably, this explains why Western civilization has become so unimpressed by the church and why there is no fear of the God that seems to have abandoned her. This condition is not the world’s fault. Acts 2:42-43 comes to mind. Read the rest of this entry »

…it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given… blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear… Matthew 13:11-17

The children of God have been given eyes to see and ears to hear. Constrained in our earthly body, we tend to underestimate this gift and ability. We hope and pray the following will help provide a proper estimation and exercise of God’s grace – particularly as it relates to our relationships and fellowships.

Because of His great love, God has saved and seated us together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:4-7). From there, we might enjoy His perspective of all that is going on around us… or we might choose not to. It is our responsibility to observe, process, and respond to our environment and all its activity from the heavenly perspective. Doing so exercises the mind of Christ, which we have (1Corinthians 2:16).

To lay hold of this grace, we must first believe the heavenly perspective is available, and then we must choose it (an act of our will). Some may hesitate, fearing the temptation of haughtiness. Such a fear should not be ignored. We must not think that we are sufficient for these things, but reckon that our sufficiency is from God (2Corinthians 3:5-6). We must remain humble, and allow the Holy Spirit to deal with our flesh (another reason daily communion with God, who is a consuming fire, is important).

Indeed, those who know the grace of God from the perspective of God are not concerned with their personal rights, nor easily distracted by injustice done to them. They see beyond these things, into eternity. They have been set free from temporal matters and considerations. Read the rest of this entry »

I suspect, like me, you could use a little encouragement. It seems that we are turning the calendar into an increasingly uncertain and chaotic future. Perhaps God is stripping away our earthly foundations and shaking us free from the deceptions and distractions of the world, to get our attention and draw our gaze to His Son (2Corinthians 3:18).

Since the beginning of this ministry, we have taught that chaos is normal for the child of God. The Holy Spirit uses it to transform us from glory to glory – to work the bad stuff out and to work the good stuff in – all in preparation for God’s next assignment. That is our hope for you and those in your spheres of influence.

We can be encouraged that those submitted to His preparation (Philippians 2:13) will walk in the exceedingly abundant good work He has planned (Ephesians 3:20-21). Be encouraged that every good work is possible when it is by God’s grace, through faith (Ephesians 2:8-10). Patience in the preparation is necessary and critical, but the moment will come when we will walk out into His assignment – for His glory and our reward.

Year-end Report and Hope for the Future

2019 has been a year of faithfulness and preparation. By God’s grace, we have been faithful to make disciples who are transforming their spheres of influence. By God’s grace, we have been faithful to lead the ministries He has entrusted to our keeping. By God’s grace, we have been faithful to His preparation for more.

By God’s grace…

Two substantial matters of preparation will culminate in 2020. By God’s grace, I will graduate in May with a Bachelor of Science in Not-for-Profit Leadership. Please pray with us as we seek God’s purpose and plans for this education and the degree He has invested with us.

Secondly, An Enemy Lies Within will be published in early February. By God’s grace, this new book will expose the carnal mind as our #1 enemy and help Christians change the way they think and believe. God will use it to restore and renew the Western church. You can check out the preface here.

Of course, we want you to be a part of God’s good work through An Enemy Lies Within. Our marketing strategy depends on organic, grass-roots distribution of the book. We hope that you will buy An Enemy Lies Within for yourself, for those in your spheres of influence, and for the leaders you know. As you plan your end-of-year giving, please consider your participation in this life-changing endeavor.

We are also looking for a few individuals, companies, or ministries that wish to play a more substantial role in this project. If that is you, or someone you know, please contact me.

We are eternally grateful for your participation with us as instruments of God’s grace and glory. Your prayers, encouragement, and financial support are essential elements of His grace; and by His grace, we will continue to advance His kingdom together.

God bless you in the coming year with discernment, encouragement, and His presence in the chaos.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

Last week, we suggested that the most important thing every disciple of Jesus Christ needs to know is the identity of their number one enemy. I lamented not knowing sooner in my life that my carnal mind has been an active and aggressive ally of Satan and the world since my childhood.

Not knowing for myself means I have been unable to share the same with the hundreds of people I have attempted to disciple over the years. Furthermore, every time I brought my carnal mind into the church, I was helping the enemy gain or strengthen their position in the camp I was at least partially responsible for protecting. The same is true for every sphere of influence God has entrusted to my responsibility.

Yes, it is a sobering thought.

It is counter-intuitive to think that well-intending Christians can be enemies of the church. Only as we recognize that an enemy lies within each one of us will we come to understand how this can be so. Failing to identify and deal with our carnal mind, we have not only injured ourselves; we have brought into our fellowships and ministries, the number one enemy of God’s kingdom. In doing so, we have helped open the door to Satan and the world.

Furthermore, concession to our carnal mind is a blatant form of double-mindedness. We have been given the mind of Christ; to trust in any other is idolatry. The carnal mind is at enmity with God, and can be nothing else (Romans 8:7).

These are hard words to write and read. Perhaps they are too harsh. Perhaps I am missing something. You be the judge of yourself and your ministry. As for me, I stand convinced and convicted. Something has to change. I must deal with my carnal mind.

If this has also cut you to the heart, then I dare say you and I are in good company… and the response remains the same. Read the rest of this entry »

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