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Dr. Jonathan Fodge | Port Angeles, Washington
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Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church
Old Olympic Hwy at N Barr Rd
1291 N. Barr Rd.
Port Angeles, WA 98362
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Carlsborg, WA 98324
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Christian Life - The Mind of Christ, is it working in me?
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2019
Posted by: Peninsula Evangelical Friends Church | more..
240+ views | 30+ clicks
I've been thinking about a phrase Paul uses in 1 Cor 2:16; "...we have the mind of Christ."

He uses this phrase after an explanation of the difference between God's thoughts and the thoughts of man (humans). He tells us that He has given us His Spirit to enable us to understand the things "freely given us by God" and that we are able to be taught wisdom "taught by the Spirit" (2:12,13).

He goes on to explain that the natural person does not accept the things of God because they are folly to him (2:14). But, (2:15c) "we have the mind of Christ."

You know what it is like when a door has swelled slightly and no longer opens easily because it is pinched in the frame, and to open it must be forced through the scraping point until it bursts open and we are able to walk through the door way into whatever awaits on the other side of the door.

As I examine my own heart, it seems as though there are times where I know what the Spirit of God wants me to do because it is clearly explained or commanded in God's Word. Whether it is to be angry but without sinning, or being gently and patient with the person who is confused about what truth is, or to love my spouse or family member and to exhibit that love in the way that I treat them - or talk to them - or argue with them.

I know what God has commanded, but it has not become precious enough to me to incorporate it into my subconscious mind so as to become second nature rather than simply a thought or attitude that is completely foreign to my psyche. Then, when pressed...rather than the doorway to obedience gliding open as it would if it were Christ doing the reacting, the doorway of obedience gets stuck...as if it were painted closed.

If I as a believer am able to have the mind of Christ, then there must be a new type of me available. But, like any new thing we want to incorporate into our lives, we must continually practice it over and over again, until it becomes part of our nature instead of simply being a command that we ought to obey, but continually fall short in the execution of the command.

I'm told that special forces soldiers (SEALS, Green Berets, Force Recon, etc.) go through bullets in the thousands...EVERY WEEK. They spend their not-deployed time in CONSTANT TRAINING, whether in RAIN or SHINE, after all, "If it ain't rainin' you ain't trainin.'" They train under the most stressful conditions that can be created because they must learn to act intentionally under extreme duress. When "all hell breaks loose" they will revert to the level of their training. The reason they are among (if not already) the best...is because they out-train all the rest.

Emergency Services people (Fire, EMT, Paramedics, etc.) are able to perform with such excellence and life-saving, self-sacrificing, others focused ministry, is because they train in as stressful conditions as possible...regularly.

Yet, when it comes to the living out of our faith, we tend to act is if we believe that we will naturally act as if we are some kind of super-mature-christian, when in reality, we might actually be more like a spiritual couch potato.

In Philippians 2:12-18, the Spirit of God moved Paul to address this common malady. It is easy (ier) to obey when we think our mentor/boss/authority is looking over our shoulder. Paul acknowledges that and commands the Philippians to obey even more diligently when they know he is not even anywhere around...and to do it as if their spiritual life depends upon it (...work out your own salvation with fear and trembling)(2:12).

Why with with fear and trembling?

Because God is near...in fact God is here...in fact He desires to and is working in you, "both to will and to work for His good pleasure" (2:13).

Then he starts just stomping on our spiritual toes by invading our private space. "Do all things without grumbling of complaining or disputing." OUCH! We do love to grumble, complain, and debate (oops, I mean "dispute"). He says that this is how we come to be seen as "blameless and innocent children of God...uniquely different than the rest of the generation (people) whom we live among (2:15)...with the unique feature being that they can clearly see that our life is ruled by the "Word of Life" (2:16a).

Then he wraps this up with an interesting thought...he calls their faith a "sacrificial offering" (2:17a).

Hmmm...doesn't "sacrificial" mean that something dies?

I wonder if he means that this kind of living out of the mind of Christ means that there is a corresponding "dying out" of the mind of me?

Okay...I was wronged by someone I trust...I need to die to self.
Okay...I am about to exercise my freedom (I think this sin is okay for me to participate in, but probably not for you)...I need to die to self.
Okay...that person deserves/needs to have someone "put them straight"...I need to die to self.
Well...they are so bent in sin that someone needs to apply some justice..."vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord (Rom 12:19)...I need to die to self.

An "offering of my faith" to God.

Can those around me see that I have died with Christ, yet I live, but not I...it is Christ who now lives in and through me (Ro 6:8; Gal 2:20)?

Lord, please work this kind of faith into the dry spaces of my Spirit and Soul. Help me to take your Word into my life acknowledging that it is the very word of the One who is the Bread of Life. Help us to demonstrate our love for Jesus through training ourselves in obedience. Make us stand out as lights in a very dark generation (Php 2:15)...to the glory of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ...the Lord.

Category:  Walking by Faith

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