You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Christian Living’ tag.

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

Last week I shared with you that the first phase of overcoming our carnal mind is identifying and exposing its deceptive ways. I listed five exercises to test the deception that has found its way into your life. Of course, these exercises are only effective as we invite and allow God to participate in each search and destroy mission.

Each of these exercises is essential and could take weeks to complete. Please, be encouraged: It will be worth your time and effort. Proceed as the Holy Spirit directs. By the way, it is encouraging to remember Jesus’ promise:

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth… John 16:13

As you discover, with the Spirit’s help, the deceptions of your carnal mind, He will guide you into a process that will empower you to overcome each and every deception that has been perpetrated against you. Remember, it is the truth that makes us free (John 8:32).

The process I am speaking of is the process of faith. That process is described – in part – in this article. The good LORD willing, I will write a part 2 that describes the remainder. Go ahead and read the first part; it will be helpful.

In conclusion, let me share something the Holy Spirit brought to my mind this morning.

When you are listening to someone, or reading something, and your mind says to you, “Oh, I’ve heard that before.”, be suspicious. That may be your carnal mind’s attempt at preserving the mindset it has helped create.

What should we do with such thoughts? The same thing we are commanded to do with every thought:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ 2Corinthians 10:4-5

The more I search this out, the more convinced I become that this subject is mission critical for the Western Church. There is much that we should be doing better (e.g., prayer, making disciples, seeking unity, ministering to the brethren). However, these things will be nothing but wood, hay, and stubble if they are not done in Spirit and in truth. We – I mean leaders in the Western Church – have got to get our minds right.

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

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

At the end of last week’s article on the carnal mind, I promised to answer the question, “What shall we do?” As it turns out, I’ve answered this question in part through several previous articles. If you are interested in reviewing them, click here for a list.

God has me exploring this issue of the mind for a couple of reasons. First, such explorations are always for my own transformation. God is trying to show me something that is inhibiting my walk with Him in the good works He has created for His glory (and my joyful, Spirit-filled adventure).

Secondly, and because I am a disciple maker of Christian leaders, whatever He shares is always for others. This, of course, is true of all disciple makers – yourself included.

One thing is different about this particular line of study: I don’t feel the need to get all my ducks in a row before sharing. It is likely that I never will. If the carnal mind was so easily understood, someone would have written a best seller on the subject by now (if you know of one, please share). Read the rest of this entry »

The carnal mind has one primary objective (maintain control) and one primary method for achieving it (deception). One of its greatest and necessary deceptions is its passivity, even to the point of apparent non-existence. The carnal mind works diligently to remain undetected.

Satan and the world use our carnal mind to inhibit our relationship with God and conform us to their evil ways. Now get this: Together, they form an alliance that is more destructive than either would be separately. I am confident that even now they are working hard to minimize your consideration of the danger. Please don’t let that happen. Fight back!

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22

Committing our ways to the LORD is a process of incremental victories whereby our will is submitted to His. Failure along the way is not so much taking back control as it is never truly giving it up to begin with. Our carnal mind is far more adept and agile at deception than we imagine. It benefits from our perception of progress and it is practiced at building a false sense of security.

When our ways are truly submitted to God, there is no getting them back, short of a repeat (mini-) rebellion. This is not possible for those born of God, who have died to the sin. When this point of no-return occurs is beyond my understanding. However, it is valuable to recognize the seriousness of our commitments – that they be full and sincere – and that God does all we will allow to secure them, and us.
Read the rest of this entry »

I ride my bicycle to commune with God; the exercise is icing on the cake. Our conversations are most often about people He has me praying for, conversations I need to have with others, or lessons we are preparing to write or teach. Every once in a while, God uses the ride to show me something about myself and/or His kingdom.

Here’s one from the other day.

Distractions are a big part of cycling – passing cars and approaching dogs in particular. Most are not a threat, but it only takes one. Having to deal with them on a regular basis has taught me to allow distraction when necessary, and then get back to matter at hand. It has become a natural part of the process.

I wish I could say the same about hills.

Hills are different than cars and dogs. They don’t generate the same adrenaline spike as a ferocious dog on the loose or a driver passing on a hill. In fact, they don’t scare me at all. On the other hand, they last longer, the distress builds over time, and the distraction is real and present discomfort and pain.

Hills are a major distraction to my communion with God.

For me, hills are a metaphor for the challenging seasons of our lives. These may be momentary, lengthy, or any amount of time in between. God has used the hills in my life to reveal a few things about myself and my relationship with Him:

  1. The more I focus on the pain, the greater the pain becomes.
  2. When I set my mind on things above, the hill is not only less of a distraction, but easier to navigate.
  3. The approach I take has a dramatically positive effect on my mental and physical response to the effort after cresting the hill.
  4. It occurs to me as I write this that having a riding partner to remind me of these things – and encourage me in them during the climb – would be an incredible blessing.

Read the rest of this entry »

At inLight Consulting, our mission is to encourage, edify, and equip Workplace Leaders to become disciple makers and transformation agents.

Isaiah 58:13-14 contains some incredible promises.  I read it every Sunday morning.  Check it out and consider the following:

The way we remember and honor the Sabbath Day is a shadow of our appreciation for the LORD’s Sabbath Rest.  Do we call it a delight and honor Him in it?  On that day, do we do our own ways, find our own pleasures, and speak our own words?  Is the Sabbath Day still important to us?

Remembering the Sabbath Day was important enough to the LORD to include it in the Ten Commandments. Many who read this will be quick to say, “But Rob, we are no longer under the Law.”

Of course, of course!  Praise God for the work of the Lord of the Sabbath! We walk in liberty. However, we are not free to do as we please. We are bondservants. Our pleasure should be His.

Let’s be careful not to confuse ourselves. Would we say that the LORD is no longer concerned with murder, adultery and worshipping other gods? Of course not! The Ten Commandments are still important to the LORD.

This raises some interesting questions. Could it be that our neglect of one commandment has led to back-sliding with the others? Is it possible that our failure to honor the Sabbath Day inhibits our pro-life message? Are we hypocrites to push for movies without the vain use of God’s name? 

What must our children be thinking?

Furthermore, we must recognize and acknowledge that this is more than a practical, observable issue. As with all things important to God, the spiritual ramifications of this are much more significant. 

What must the LORD be thinking?

Read the rest of this entry »

It seems we have embarked on a series of articles about the way humans think, and what they think about. If that is the case, then this is the third article in the series. The first two are 3 Realities of Workplace Leadership and Did Jesus die, sacrifice and suffer so we wouldn’t have to?

Here is the premise of the series:

The church in America desperately needs a reformation. Where do reformations begin? Romans 12:2 encourages us to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. Perhaps, in this Age of Reason, we need a reformation in the way we think.

We have gotten lazy with our thinking. We trust our thinking way too much. Those of us that preach and teach trust the thinking of others more than we should.

The way we think, and what we think about, is commonly called our mindset, worldview or paradigm. Everyone has one, though many do not recognize that they receive and respond to external stimuli through a mental filter that has been developed throughout their lifetime.

We are born with a mindset that has certain predetermined settings. Other come through learning. A baby crying when its hungry is not a learned behavior. Learning to manipulate with emotion is learned and developed. Both predetermined and learned behavior can be unlearned. Our minds can be renewed. Read the rest of this entry »

God often challenges us to become or do something that is impossible.  For some, that is simply making it through one more day.  I have a friend who is paralyzed from the waist down.  Facing the day with thanksgiving and joy are not automatics for anyone in that situation.

How does he do it?  He does not wake up considering the challenges that face him, whether he is capable of overcoming them.  He simply chooses to get up.

When God calls us to do or become something impossible, we often deceive ourselves by focusing on the difficulty of the doing or becoming.  In these moments, we must remind ourselves that God is working in us to will and do to His good pleasure (Philippians 2:13).  He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).

The doing and making are God’s business.  Our sole responsibility is the choice of participation.  Oh, but our minds, they do like to play tricks on us.  Rather than face the difficult choice, we contemplate the impossibility of the doing or becoming.  Consequently, we are often distracted from the great things God would do in and through us.

Don’t let that be you.  Don’t fall for the deception.

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.
Psalm 37:5

God bless you with focus on the choice.

Humbly yours and forever His,

Rob

Have you ever noticed how capable humans are at ignoring the things that we don’t want to deal with?  We construct blind spots simply because we do not want to face the reality of our situation.

This also happens in groups.  Here is a case in point.

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Ephesians 6:10

In my humble opinion, this is the most power-filled verse in the entire Bible. Three of God’s “power” words are included:

  1. Be strong (endynamoō): The root is dynamis – the explosive power of God.
  2. Power (kratos): The dominion of God – the power of His authority to reign.
  3. Might (ischys): The ability and force of God – to accomplish what He intends.

This is what Paul is talking about when he goes on to encourage us to put on the whole armor of God. This is what it takes to stand against the wiles of the devil. Get your head around that!

As leaders in the Workplace – that includes all segments (business, religion, education, government, etc.) – we are responsible for leading others into this kind of radical life. Note carefully: This is the normal Christian life!

But how can we lead them into something that we have not experienced ourselves? Are you as frustrated as I am? Where is the power? What are we doing wrong?

Read the rest of this entry »

Commit your way to the Lord,
Trust also in Him,
And He shall bring it to pass.

He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light,
And your justice as the noonday.
Psalm 37:5-6

One of the tricks our mind tries to play on us is the interpretation of Scripture to meet its preferences, and prejudices. This is perfectly normal… for the carnal mind.

But, we have the mind of Christ. We are empowered and responsible to think differently.

Consider Psalm 37:5-6. My carnal mind would prefer “commit your way to the LORD” to mean, “Here is my plan God, please bless it.” My carnal mind will pursue this line of thinking, hidden away in my subconscious. To avoid this deception, I must be diligent in my suspicion of the way my mind is thinking.

Jesus came to help us with that. His expression of Psalm 37:5-6 is “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” It is important to note that Jesus made them disciple makers. That’s a lesson for another time. The point here is that God’s planning process is a following and making process.

Let me be clear: Failing to follow Jesus will result in the failure of God’s plan for you. Refusing to be made is a refusal of His plan.

Read the rest of this entry »

Archives

My Twitter Feed

Pages

Advertisements
%d bloggers like this: