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The Lord had a word for me. I hope you don’t mind me sharing it. I think it might help someone else.

People are naturally analytical, some more than others. We are taught, throughout our formative years, to analyze everything. Those with higher analytical ability tend to get further on in life… in the natural.

When it comes to the supernatural, analysis can be a terrible distraction. Thinking can get in the way of believing, and some of us simply think too much.

For example: It is not necessary to accurately delineate, diagram, and describe the parts of a Christian identified in Scripture (e.g., heart, mind, soul, and strength). In fact, like many mysteries in God’s kingdom, it may be impossible. The Scientific Method is not fit for supernatural investigations and outcomes. Read the rest of this entry »

Recently, we wrote about Suffering’s Role in Overcoming Our Flesh – how God uses suffering to drive a wedge between our spirit man and our flesh. You may recall that suffering exposes the character of our flesh (whiny, self-centered, blame-shifting, etc.) while at the same time encouraging us, as born-of-God spirit beings, to turn to God for comfort, endurance, and direction.

In the same way, the chaos we will continue to face through much of the 2020s is intended by God to drive a wedge between our spirit man and the world. The individuals, families, and fellowships who choose God’s way through the chaos will enjoy His grace and glory. Sadly, others will allow the chaos to further conform them to the world.

So, how do we join God in the process and help others do the same? The answer can be found in a few familiar passages.

Trust in the LORD, and do good;
Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.
Delight yourself also in the LORD,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:3-4

Separation from our flesh and the world begins with trust in the LORD – for His grace and faithfulness in the process (Step 1). It will help to know that “the land” is His kingdom, and “delight” means to be soft (i.e., surrendered to His molding hands). The LORD owns the process and knows best how to apply it to His people.

Furthermore, the LORD puts His desire for separation into our hearts. These heart ties draw us into His presence and love, and sustain us when separation from our flesh and the world becomes difficult and painful. The Holy Spirit patiently waits for us to invite Him to stir up the desire of our heart for separation unto the LORD (Step 2). Read the rest of this entry »

…we have known that of God we are, and the whole world in the evil doth lie… 1John 5:19 (YLT)

There are two kingdoms and many nations. The nations of this world lie under the power of the evil one. Notice this is not the literal reading of 1John 5:19, as translated and quoted by many. There is another enemy involved: “the evil”, which is our rebellious and carnal mind. Nevertheless, the dominion of Satan over this world and its nations is convincingly conveyed elsewhere.

And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.” Luke 4:6

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience… Ephesians 2:1-2

But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. 2Corinthians 4:3-4

The United States of America (and every other nation) lies under the power of Satan. It may claim to be “One Nation Under God”, but claims do not make themselves true. This claim can only be true in as much as America is submitted to the reign of God Almighty. Functioning as a democratic republic, where the rights of individuals is paramount, is a difficult to impossible place to start. Read the rest of this entry »

This article is NOT about American political parties and their platforms; it will not suggest how a Christian should vote. The purpose of this article is to encourage Christians to consider, personally and in community, how a citizen of God’s kingdom should be thinking about the election.

The short answer is “not like the world”. The vast majority of those reading this article know they have been called to a different perspective; we have the mind of Christ and are seated with Him in heavenly places. We hope you will consider this as a timely reminder and a tool to help others think like kingdom citizens.

The following includes a number of questions intended to facilitate group discussion. Some answers have been provided, but you and your spheres of influence will likely have your own (and most of those will be correct). Including God in the conversation will facilitate the hearing of faith for everyone involved.

Let’s start with some kingdom perspective. First, all Christians are citizens of two nations or kingdoms: An earthly nation (e.g., the United States of America) and the kingdom of God. Those who are not Christians are only citizens of America. They do not understand the kingdom of God.

  1. Christians have a relationship with both nations. As citizens of America we are responsible to be good citizens and, in turn, we receive certain rights and privileges. The relationship is described as a democratic republic.
  2. As citizens of the kingdom of God, we are bondservants of the King. We have no rights beyond those given to us by the King, but we do have many incredible privileges. What are some of those? Birthright (1John 3:9, Romans 8:16), kingdom knowledge (Matthew 13:11), perspective (Ephesians 2:4-6), and defense against our spiritual enemies (Ephesians 6:10-20) – just to name a few.
  3. Furthermore, as kingdom of God citizens, we have been given certain authority to act on the King’s behalf in the nation of America. What are some of those roles? Royal priesthood, ambassadors, and agents of reconciliation (2Corinthians 5:18-20).
  4. Still, we are sojourners (1Peter 2:9-12). This world is not our home.
Second, God relates and responds differently to His kingdom people than He does to America and its citizens.

Read the rest of this entry »

When Adam and Eve rebelled against God, a spiritual amnesia set in; they no longer recognized who they were and who they were created to be. Eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil bound humankind’s ability to reason with our rebellious nature. In the process, mankind’s #1 enemy was unleashed. The carnal mind has been at enmity with God and His children ever since.

Our carnal mind, with help from Satan and the world, labors tirelessly to keep us trapped in the amnestic condition into which we are naturally born. Regrettably, Christians have not fared well of late in this regard. Many do not realize the attack continues even after we are spiritually reborn. One particularly critical battle front involves the way we think about the new life we have been promised in Jesus Christ.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live… Galatians 2:20a

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” Luke 9:23

For whoever wants to save their life
will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me and for the gospel will save it.
Mark 8:35

As Jesus took our place in death, He must also take our place in life. Even after we become a new creature in Christ, we must lose our life to fully exist in His. Death and resurrection are not the same; they do not accomplish the same outcome. The transactions, so to speak, are different.

Even on this side of rebirth, God’s promises are conditional. We don’t get to keep our life and Jesus’, too. There is a connection that remains between the old and the new that cannot be fully severed until the new has been surrendered AND sacrificed. Read the rest of this entry »

And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of [Babylon], my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues.” Revelation 18:4

What is this Babylon of the Revelation? Some see it as a real city, the capital of the Antichrist’s new world order at the end of the age (the early church thought it was Rome). Others see Babylon as a symbol of sinful humanity and its capacity for self-delusion, pride, and depravity. This would include the systems of this world – government, education, entertainment, etc. – which war against the kingdom of God.

I am encouraged to ask a more important question: What is this Babylon to you?

What wars against the kingdom of God in your life?

The voice from God encourages us to come out of Babylon. The Holy Spirit draws us and stands by to guide us outside the camp to Jesus, to bear and share His reproach (Hebrews 13:13).

For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. Hebrews 13:14

This journey out of Babylon and into the city of God passes through a narrow gate and down a difficult road (Matthew 7:14). Jesus encourages us to strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many will seek to enter and will not be able (Luke 13:24).

As much as our carnal minds would like to convince us otherwise, we must at some point move from seeking to enter, to striving. Seeking and striving are not the same. The seeker-friendly church and its message may serve some purpose, but it alone will leave untold numbers standing at the gate, wondering if there is more or deceived and camped out, only to be surprised when the books are opened.

God has provided the means and methods for avoiding such a surprise. Psalm 37:5 holds the key. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »

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 »

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