The Renewal of Our Minds

Romans 12:1 ESV

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”

Purify My Heart

Do you remember the song, “Refiner’s Fire”?

“Purify my heart,
let me be as gold and precious silver.
Purify my heart,
let me be as gold, pure gold.
Refiner’s fire,
my heart’s one desire
is to be holy;
set apart for You, Lord.”
By Brian Doerksen

Is that our hearts’ desire, truly? Do we want to be holy, set apart from this world and set apart to God to walk in obedience to his commands, to humbly serve him, to accept hardship and persecution as part of our normal lives, to let him truly be our master, and to forsake our sins?

We have to be so guarded that we don’t get caught up in this world and end up losing sight of God and his purposes for our lives. We must have the perspective that we are aliens here on this earth, that this world is not our home, but we are just passing through.

And this is something we must fight against, for the influences of the world are everywhere, including within the gatherings of the church.

Years ago my husband and I had to remove ourselves from the “worship services” of the church fellowship we were attending because of a woman on stage dressed sensually, swinging her body, and singing like a bar singer with sensual tones, and because the pastor refused to do anything about it.

She was a stumbling block to both of us, or she had the potential of being so, because of our past experiences, and I had long resigned myself to being pure of heart and mind and to not take anything into my eyes and mind of a sexually suggestive or sensual nature.

So, just saying here that making a commitment to live a holy and pure life, set apart from the world, and set apart to God, is going to require us to make some hard choices, which may cost us. Even other Christians are not going to understand, and they may mock or reject us for being “too holy.”

But we must choose God and we must choose holiness over the acceptance and friendship of other humans, even those who say they believe in Jesus, and even those who are pastors of churches, for some “Christians” can be very bad influences on our lives, and we may have to pull away from them.

Our Spiritual Worship

I am on Twitter, a social media website, and so I do have to be very guarded on there, for there is a lot on there that I do not want to take into my mind or heart. But God has me on there for a purpose, to share the truths of his Word, and for Christian fellowship with other believers, too.

The other day I saw on Twitter that a large number of people had gathered together in Nashville, TN, at the courthouse, I think, and they were having an outdoor “worship” event of some kind. It drew my attention because they said something about how they would not be silenced.

Now, I am going to show my age here, but what I saw was a lot of loud music playing and people jumping up and down to the music, and a lot of emotional displays. So, I did some research on it, which was difficult to find anything, so I’m not drawing any conclusions about them at this time. But the Lord then led me to these thoughts:

Beware emotionalism being confused for the Holy Spirit and for true worship of God. Beware of false salvations and false baptisms based on a lie and not on the truth. Just because a large crowd gathers and sings, dances, and raises hands in the air, it doesn’t mean they are God worshipers.

True salvations and baptisms are the result of God-given faith in Jesus Christ which submits to Christ as Lord (master), which walks in obedience to his commands and which leaves our lifestyles of sin behind us (Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; Lu 9:23-26; 1 Pet 2:24).

True worship of God is in spirit and in truth. It calls us to surrender our lives to Jesus Christ as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God, no longer conformed to the ways of this sinful world, but transformed of the Spirit of God to walks of holiness and righteousness.

There is a good reason the Scriptures tell us to test everything. Just because it looks good or sounds good or feels good doesn’t mean it is good or that it is of God or that it is even Christian. It could have all the appearances of good and still be evil. So, please test it all!

Romans 12:2 ESV

“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

For us to live holy lives, pleasing to God, we must not be conformed to the ways of this world in our thinking, believing, attitudes, speaking and behaving. But if what we are taking into our minds and hearts on a daily basis are large doses of what the world is promoting, it is going to be counterproductive.

We can’t be transformed in the renewing of our minds, thus, if what we are daily taking into our minds is opposed to all that is holy, pure, and righteous. So, we have to set guards over our eyes and minds and ears so that we are not daily consuming the thinking and attitudes of the world.

And this is going to require disciplining ourselves so that we don’t take the wrong kinds of things into our minds and hearts, for what we take in comes out through our words, our attitudes, and our actions. Thus, we can’t be worldly and be holy at the same time.

But this can’t be just what we don’t allow into our thinking, but it has to include what we do take into our minds daily which is holy, righteous and pure, which we need in large doses, not just in a five minute devotion each day while we then fill our minds with the garbage of this world.

Yes, you are probably going to be accused of being “hyper-religious” if you take drastic steps of faith in disciplining your minds to not consume the filth of this world but to take in only what is good and is of God. And yes, some of your friends will reject you and persecute you.

But we have to choose if we want to please God or humans, and this is not some choice to take lightly, for how we choose will impact our salvation and our eternal life with God. We may have to make some serious cuts and we are definitely going to need to bathe our minds in the Word of God.

For the days are very evil now, and we can’t be fence riders. We must choose God, fully committed, or choose the world.

For Our Nation

An Original Work / September 11, 2012

Bombs are bursting. Night is falling.
Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.
Trust Him with your life today.
Make Him your Lord and your Savior.
Turn from your sin. Follow Jesus.
He will forgive you of your sin;
Cleanse your heart, made new within.

Men betraying: Our trust fraying.
On our knees to God we’re praying,
Seeking God to give us answers
That are only found in Him.
God is sovereign over all things.
Nothing from His mind escaping.
He has all things under His command,
And will work all for good.

Jesus Christ is gently calling
You to follow Him in all ways.

Men deceiving: we’re believing
In our Lord, and interceding
For our nation and its people
To obey their God today.
He is our hope for our future.
For our wounds He offers suture.
He is all we need for this life.
Trust Him with your life today.

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