Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Renewing our minds

Yesterday's post -- "Lighten Up" -- leads to a serious issue a lot of us have: we have a hard time grasping Victory. We keep fighting the same old battles, long after they're over, because we feel more comfortable doing that, than we do walking in Victory. Walking in Victory is such an easy yoke, such a light burden, that we can't believe the old burden is actually gone; and so we tend to slide back into our "comfort zone".

But God and Jesus are all about making us do uncomfortable things. The lame man at the Beautiful Gate must have been fully expecting his legs to give out -- or hurt like blazes -- when Peter reached out his hand to lift him up. Much more "comfortable", to stay sitting on the steps, constantly broke, begging others for change. "You want change?" Peter might have said in today's vernacular. "I'll give you 'change': in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, RISE UP AND WALK!"

Abram had to move out of his comfort zone to go to the land God promised him. Many of the Israelites were so uncomfortable with going into that land after the Egypt Experience -- even though refusing to would make God out to be a liar -- that they were doomed to spend the rest of their days wandering in the wilderness: sad, bedraggled, hopeless ... but it was what they knew.

It's sad that that same fate might await people who continuously try to fight battles against Satan. Doomed to wander around a spiritualwilderness, never really cashing in on God's promise to them, because they can't believe it's for real.

(Indeed, a lot of capital-R "Religion" has managed to drum that out of people's heads. Even though health and prosperity and length of days and total blessing are PROMISED us in the Word of God, the idea of actually claiming that inheritance still seems foreign to a lot of us -- and I really can't understand why.)

When Paul tells us we must not be conformed to the world, but transformed through the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), that's partly what he means. Battling the physical manifestations of Satan are all "of the world", and if we obsess about those, we are allowing ourselves to be conformed to that. But allowing us to be transformed in Christ allows us to step out of the old comfort zone and into something that is gloriously uncomfortable -- namely, blessing.

Walking in the blessing brings the light ... living the blessing shines that light ever brighter ... and it is shining that light, rather than cursing the darkness, that attracts others to Jesus, and helps us carry on what He started 2000 years ago.


1 comment:

  1. Drew, I've got to pick up on your use of the "p" word. Prosperity. Other than the Kingdom of God, prosperity is the most talked about subject in the Bible. God wants us to be prosperous! Unfortunately, safety is seen in relative poverty. We rationalize that we can't help here, and we can't help there.....and oh, what's the use? I give up; I'm broke! Everyone has something to give to the world. If you're not prosperous, you can still participate. If you are prosperous you can contribute a lot of positive change. Christian change. Feeding the hungry, clothing the poor. I think some people are fearful of the temptations that come with financial excess. If they are firmly grounded in Jesus, they have nothing to worry about. Simply accept wealth as a responsibility to share. You share more than money; you share joy. That's where the value is; that's what the good life is all about.