Christians live in a world focused on self. Instant gratification is the goal. Traditional restaurants even have curbside delivery to avoid inconveniencing people from having to step out of their car to pick up an order.
The process of renewing our minds with the Word of God does not fit into the world’s desire for instant gratification. Transformation takes time and will not happen over time. There are no fast-food restaurants in the spiritual realm!
We have discussed the process of transformation a caterpillar undergoes in the cocoon that results in its emergence as a beautiful butterfly.
The Holy Spirit will lead us into the cocoon of God’s Word. It will take time for our souls to be renewed. He will be with us through the entire process and will show us when it is time for us to be sent.
There will be a cost involved to renew our minds with the Word of God. The death of our selfish plans and desires is part of the price that must be paid. It is not possible to fully understand the price until we have begun the process.
There has been an untold number of Christians who have committed to pay the price but then pulled back once they began to understand what would be required of them.
“Dying to self” used to be a common phrase used to describe this process. This is something rarely heard today. The majority prefer their Christian walk to be comfortable and non-confrontational. Neither of these conditions describes true Christianity!
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
Jesus said that His followers would be blessed when they were being insulted, persecuted, and spoken evil of. This does not describe the status of most Christians!
The transformation associated with mind renewal will require us to die to our selfish desires, plans, and goals. It is not an easy process because it is associated with the death of our self-nature.
Let me again say that there are no shortcuts to be found in this process. Christians have sought a much easier path since the very beginning of the Church but have found none. The only way to complete this portion of our journey will be through total immersion in God’s Word.
23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth forever.
1 Peter 1:23
The spiritual realm operates according to the principles of seedtime and harvest. God’s Word is the incorruptible seed to be planted in our hearts. Planting is our responsibility.
I have been asked whether prayer or meditation in the Word was more important. In my opinion, both are equally important and must be present in our lives. We do not neglect time spent in prayer and we do not neglect our time spent meditating in the Word.
There are many Christians who have never heard the voice of God. The reason is that they are not spending time with Scripture. God’s Word contains sixty-six books inspired by the Holy Spirit. We become familiar with His voice by spending time meditating on its truths.
Peter tells us that we were born again by receiving the “incorruptible” Word of God into our hearts. Jesus called that Word “seed” (Mark 8:26).
The world operates according to the principle of seedtime and harvest (Genesis 8:22). Every living thing begins with a seed. Our Christian lives are no different.
An unbeliever has the Word seed planted into their hearts by “hearing” it spoken either in a message or by a believer sharing it with them (Romans 8:8-10).
We spoke earlier of the time needed apart with the Holy Spirit in a “cocoon” where we are transformed by the renewal of our minds. This will be a time where we spend hours pouring over the truths of God’s Word.
It is important to note that our time apart is not a time to neglect our business or family responsibilities. We will need to attend to natural things like our work time with family. Most likely we will be waking earlier, staying up later, and turning off the television to spend additional time with God.
Kenneth E. Hagin’s son has talked about how his father would spend hours sitting at a desk studying the Word of God while his kids were growing. He would see his children off to school and then would be sitting at that desk when they got home. At dinnertime, he would take a break to eat with the family and then go back to studying. Kenneth would not take another break until it was time to tuck his son and daughter into bed. They would often wake the next morning to find their father still sitting at his desk.
I understand that very few of us will be able to drop everything to spend hours alone with God. We won’t be able to take months off from work but can find a balance to pursue His presence.
Satan will use our natural responsibilities to distract us from our relationship with God. He will remind us of natural things that need tending when we sit down to spend time in prayer and meditation.
The Holy Spirit will help us in this pursuit. He has shown me how to spend time in fellowship with Him while grocery shopping! I work a full-time job and constantly check in with Him while at the office.
So, we will have to deal with our natural obligations. The Holy Spirit is standing by to help us with each step of our journey in the plan of God. We only need to acknowledge His presence in our lives and invite Him to actively participate in them.
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