(This is Part 1 in our devotional series…”A Fortified City”.)
Good morning, peeps!
Philippians 2:5 – “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus…”
Romans 12:2 – “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.”
Mark 12:30 – “And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.”
I want you all to know something right off the bat: I copy/pasted those scriptures from yesterday’s blog. Sure did. I wasn’t lazy about it – I did it so that I wouldn’t lose the order God gave them to me. As I looked at them, I realized the significance of the order: that’s the way it has to happen. But that’s totally backwards from the way they’re listed in the Bible. I know, but check it: Philippians 2:5 has to happen first before you get to Romans 12:2 and only then can you execute Mark 12:30. The first question that came to my mind was: Well, since Jesus was the one who spoke Mark 12:30, why didn’t He lead off with the other stuff?”
He started with the end in mind.
A country that wants to lose a war prepares by strengthening its military first. A country that wants a victorious outcome prepares by first strengthening what governs it and sometimes that means getting rid of some folks. Who’s in charge? Who’s giving the orders? Who’s hand is hovering over that red button??! Joyce Meyers wrote a hugely successful book years ago titled “The Battlefield of The Mind”. I never read it or watched any of the conferences related to it, but the title alone ministered to me. It got me to thinking about the mind. I don’t want to be defeated – I doubt any country wants to lose a war – but sometimes I set myself up for it. I don’t prepare well. I don’t consider that my mind runs this – it’s what governs me. And it is where every war is fought. And that’s also where every war is either won or lost. And I can tell you that with a mind that ain’t Christ Jesus’, I’m gonna lose every time.
This mind has to go.
In the Metamorphosis bible study I taught years ago, I learned a lot about caterpillars and butterflies. Oh, we know about the process:
Isn’t that amazing? What we don’t talk about is how caterpillars do not transform into a butterfly: they die.
I know you aren’t a big fan of that last sentence, but I’m not taking it back. Caterpillars do not transform into a butterfly, they die. Philippians 2:5 reads, “Let this mind be in you which is also in Christ Jesus.” Imagine our mind is the caterpillar and Jesus’ mind is the butterfly: to obtain the mind of Christ, ours has to go. It has to die. I know this is not warm and fuzzy this morning, but this is where we are. The mind God is talking about in the Romans verse is not ours – it’s the mind of Christ Jesus. He is talking about the transformation of us by the renewing of that. There is no way we, with the mind that’s all ours – flitting here and there with our double-vision – can prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. We have to have the mind of Christ. Mark 12:30? That scripture right there?! That’s all about sacrifice. Read it. Do you really think you can do that without having the mind of Christ?
I told y’all that I had to live out the “Fighting Dirty” series. That fight completely kicked my butt. It did. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t always come out victorious. Before you start singing, “I’ve got victory in Jesus”, stop it. Then again, don’t. You are so right. There is victory in Jesus. My deal is that I fight a lot of my battles outside of Jesus. The ones I lose, anyway. I don’t always let His mind be in me because then He will tell me to do something I know is of Him, but I really don’t want to do. I am just like a lot of folks who pray for the mind and eyes of Jesus and then will be just as close-minded as I want to be while I’m squinting. Because I’m still holding on to this mind. And that’s why this morning, God put Philippians 2:5 in bold for me and said, “Yours has to die.”
She doesn’t want to.
Man. We’ll continue this tomorrow. Have a great day.