Last week’s article was primarily written to encourage you in identifying and exposing the ways our carnal mind attempts to deceive us (Phase One). In doing so, I may have also inadvertently communicated Phase Two of the strategy. You may recall two suggestions:

  1. Invite and allow the Holy Spirit to guide you into the truth.
  2. Take every thought captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ.

These are certainly mission critical parts of our strategy. We should know where they fit by the end of this series (I am still working some things out). In the meantime, allow me to address the promise I made last week – to update “The Process of Faith” article (from 2017).

That faith would be one of our greatest weapons against deception is not something the average Christian would intuitively recognize. However, as we will see, God has designed the process of faith with necessary and critical steps which involve our minds (spiritual and carnal). The 2017 article broke the process down into five steps. Since then, some additional revelation (related to our mind) has come to light.

As you read through the process, consider the carnal mind’s active resistance in each step. It is aggressively working to distract us from the hearing of faith (steps 1 – 3), to reject or confuse our belief and reckoning of the truth (4 – 5), and to resist or subvert our obedience to the work of faith (6 – 8). Notice also how the mind of the new man is edified and empowered to overcome our enemies’ attempts at deception.

The Process

I am going to draw from the 2017 article, make a few necessary adjustments, and add the steps that involve our mind. To make the flow easier to follow, I will also remove references to unbelievers. Lastly, I will label the steps for future reference.

  1. Word of God: God speaks rhema word to us (Romans 10:17).
  2. Ears to Hear: We listen with the “ears to hear” that Jesus promised to the redeemed. These are the spiritual ears of our new man (Matthew 13:10-17).
  3. Faith’s Home: Faith comes into our heart, or faith that is there grows stronger (Romans 10:10).

These first three steps are the hearing of faith – found in Galatians 3:2-5. Step four is the beginning of what is referred to as the obedience of faith (Romans 1:5).

  1. Living Sacrifices: We recognize and reaffirm the presentation of our bodies as living sacrifices (Romans 12:1). This is simply Jesus’ requirement for all who would be His disciples (Luke 9:23). It is following Him, that we might be made (Mark 1:17).
  2. Reckoning the Truth: We reckon ourselves dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:11). This is the step in which our minds become an active part of the process.

    The word “reckon” is translated from the Greek word logizomai. Logizomai is an accounting term, meaning to record something in a journal – to balance the books. It is used 44 times in the New Testament. Here are a couple of other passages to help with our understanding:

    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. Romans 8:18

    When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 1Corinthians 13:11

    Spiritual reckoning is the process of accounting as true for me what God says is true. This is the point at which our new man must exert himself over the carnal mind – becoming an overcomer in Christ Jesus. In doing so, he is laying hold of the mind of Christ, for the greater works He has promised.

Having reckoned the truth for himself, the new man must make some important choices.

  1. Renewing the Mind: We must choose to reject conformity with the world and embrace the renewing of our mind, for our transformation (Romans 12:2). This is the Holy Spirit’s work (2Corinthians 3:18).
  2. Appropriating Grace: Choosing to believe what we have heard, faith appropriates the grace of God for His work in us (Philippians 2:13) and through us – His grace powerfully expressed in the fruit and gifts of the Holy Spirit and in the answer to our prayers, as we abide in Christ (John 15:7-8).
  3. His Good Works: In the midst of this, we must be choosing to be used as instruments of God’s grace – in the good works that bring our faith to life and perfection (James 2:17, 22).

These final steps are what the Scriptures refer to as the work of faith with power (1Thessalonians 1:3, 2Thessalonians 1:11). Completing these steps, we are qualified and encouraged to receive more of God’s word. Indeed, the process of faith is an iterative one, whereby our faith and good works progressively increase. This is how we experience the greater than life (John 14:12).

I hope this has helped you see and appreciate the ways our carnal mind inhibits the maturity of our faith. It is sobering to recognize that it does so with help from Satan and the world. Such thoughts challenge us to believe and reckon again that we can do all things through Christ, who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13).

God bless you with the word of our Father, the strength of our Master, and the counsel of the Holy Spirit.

Next Time

This brings us to an important consideration – one that I am still searching out:

How do we, as born-again followers of Jesus Christ, engage the heart and mind of our new man in the battle against deception? What are God’s ways for our becoming “partakers of the divine nature” – laying hold of “all things that pertain to life and godliness” (2Peter 1:2-4)?

The good LORD willing, we will share what we know in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I am very interested in your perspective on these things. God speaks in community. Disagree; challenge; enhance. We will all be more greatly blessed by your contribution.

God bless you for your attention to these matters. Persevere and He will make you a catalyst for His restoration. Please share with the leaders you know.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

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