Romans: 12:2 Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
After meeting with Zig Ziglar, one of my first goals was to read. During the year that followed, I accomplished my goal of reading 52 books in a single year. In a subsequent meeting, I told Zig that I had learned more in a single year than all of the rest of the years of my life combined. Ziglar replied, “How are you doing on your spiritual goals”? When I told him I didn’t have any, he challenged me to “build a balanced success”. The next year, I read the entire Bible, and I found hundreds of truths that confirmed some of the things that I was doing right in my life. But also, I found many other Biblical teachings that were the opposite of my established beliefs and clearly exposed the foolishness of those actions and beliefs.
I named these other ideas “Paradox Principles” because they are the paradox of what I had previously thought was the right and correct way to live. I came to understand that many of my failings were a direct result of unknowingly following wrong thinking. These Paradox Principles are only half of the truth. But they are a vital key to helping us not make the same mistakes over and over again. I found that my brain had formed a mindset that worked as a filtering system that often unconsciously rejected the good ideas that were contrary to my preconceived opinions. These opinions had become my worldview and were guiding my decisions, moment by moment, day by day. My worldview had been formed over the period of my life as a result of what I thought was critical thinking. But actually the good was combined with ideas that I received unconsciously, many of which were contrary to that which was best for me. Our brain uses a process to form our mindset that is beyond my limited human understanding. The computer analogy is a good example: garbage in … garbage out.
For the past year, I have had a computer problem. I would be going along and then all of a sudden my computer would disconnect. We had moved to a new home, so I tried a number of solutions. First, I assumed it was the internet service in Palm Desert. I called and paid for increased power. Then I thought I had a virus, so I bought new software and got rid of a bunch of bugs. Next, I thought maybe I needed new cable wiring in my home. Still discouraged and ready to buy a new computer, I got one of those guys from India on the phone; he told me that I needed a new operating system. I thought, yeah right, my computer is less than two years old, these guys never quit selling. Well stuck with only a few options, I bought Windows 7 and guess what … it was a total hassle … but the problem instantly disappeared. Everything works way better. I don’t know why. Maybe I had a virus??? …
But now, I am in computer heaven.
The verse above is instructing us to reprogram the computer (our mind) that God has given us. But the problem is that our mind is unconsciously answering “but wait I am free to think, to build my own opinions, and to do what I want to do”. 91% of Christians end up listening to the old “Politically Correct” previously programmed data which is just silently guiding them along. At the same time, the creator of the universe is saying: "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world is another way of saying “Don’t be Politically Correct ... Be Biblically Correct”.
When the world tells us, “we need to be tolerant” for example, the world is trying to program our mind. And there is a big difference between agreeing with the right to freedom of religion and the idea that all religions are equal and have equal value. The latter is not true and to allow our mind to accept it is foolish. Our public schools are being used as a tool to promote this and other false teachings and hypocrisy to our children. And the result is kids and then adults who end up with amoral beliefs … “there is no right or wrong”. The next thing you know ... we read about kids who beat one another to death for fun, and others who light their friend on fire over a $40 bet. My friend who replied to me, “How about smut only” shows his views reflect a different mindset than mine. I would defend his right to those views; but at the same time, I am convinced they are ignorant and self destructive. He apparently thinks religious ideas are wrong information for him to read or hear and in some instances, he would be correct. For me, rejecting hedonism is a no-brainer, but many issues are much more subtle than that one. Political correctness would tell both of us not to offend the other. But wait, that means we would either have to change our views, or be hypocrites.
God wants us to reprogram our belief system. We can’t just put in a new disk and wait for it to load like I did with my computer. You have to replace the wrong thinking with his word, one principle at time. The good news is ... that if we are Christians, the Holy Spirit will guide us and the Bible speaks to almost any issue that you can imagine. For example, I bet you never would have guessed the Bible gave counsel on programming your computer.
So what do you need to do?
Well … First Things First. Where are you?
Natural Man? Pray to God and ask for his forgiveness and for Him to make things right in your life. If you need help with this one, email or call me and I’ll guide you through it … 949-632-5679
Worldly Man? Quit playing games with God. People think you are a hypocrite. If you are a Christian who wants to follow Christ now rather than wait until you get to heaven ... Meditate on the -isms- I listed yesterday and pray and ask Jesus to make it clear to you where and how he wants you to change. Make a list. Pray the list back to God. He will give you victory over your failings. Life is not going to get any easier, but it can get a lot better.
Spiritual Man? If this is who you are, you are already being transformed by the renewing of your mind, day by day. Most likely you are too humble to place yourself here. The love of Christ flows out of you, smoothly and naturally and others would point to you as the most loving person they know. You are reaching out to others daily and trying to help them grow in their knowledge of the one true God who loves them and about His plan for their eternal life. Do you know this person? Make sure you tell them before you go to sleep. And please introduce them to me, I need to be encouraged. Bob
Proverbs 23:7 For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he.
God Bless You!
Just As I Am #5
23 hours ago