This week we will take a look at some suggestions as to how God can help us in our transformation from living a secular-minded life that culture recognizes and rewards to a life that is satisfying to God and one that serves God’s purpose for each of us. We will start off with our minds.
To give God control of our minds, we must develop a world view that is consistent with His principles and commands. Everyone has a world view. It is simply the mental filter that helps us organize information to determine what we believe to be good and bad, right and wrong, significant and insignificant, appropriate and inappropriate. If we develop a perspective based on His principles and commands, the result is widely known as a “Biblical worldview”. Unfortunately, only about one out of every ten born-again adults in the United States possess a Biblical worldview. [OmniPoll surveys conducted in October 1999, January 2000, October 2001, August 2002, October 2002, September 2003, November 2003, July 2005, January 2006, and May 2008 with findings described in Think Like Jesus by George Barna, Nashville, TN; Thomas Nelson, 2003]. Filling our minds with this perspective enables us to make choices that are consistent with God’s ways and that therefore honor Him. Developing a Biblical worldview is a lifelong process that entails reading, studying, adopting, and memorizing Biblical content.
Next we will look at our emotions. Biblical information that is developed into a worldview will affect the way we feel about people, opportunities, resources, relationships, lifestyles, and spiritual matters. Examining our emotions in relation to our worldview will help us to align our minds and hearts. One of the reasons few Christians lead a lifestyle characterized by worshipping God throughout the day is because their worldview does not champion the importance of worship, and their emotions consequently lack the requisite respect for and awe of who God is, what He has done for us, and why He deserves 24/7 worship. Most American Christians remain too wrapped up in themselves to have much love and gratitude left over for God. We need to carefully examine our emotional responses throughout the day, and determine how we can adjust them to reflect what we know to be right and true.
Next is out behavior. A worldview is just an argument unless it is put into practice. Our behavior must reflect the principles that are reflected in a Biblical worldview. Among the more telling behaviors affected in the transformation process is how we handle resources, how devoted we are to sharing our devotion to Jesus with people who are not followers of Christ, and how much time and energy we devote to serving others. While some may disagree, more than a decade of Barna Research studies have shown that an appropriate worldview produces practical Christianity. The reason is simple…beliefs produce action. We tend to do what we believe is right and true. We should each take an inventory of ourselves and our actions in the past twenty-four hours. How well does our behavior reflect the truths and principles conveyed in the Scriptures?
Finally we will consider our spirits in the transformation process. When we commit to knowing, loving, serving, and obeying God, we tacitly grant His Holy Spirit permission to mold and shape us into the followers God designed us to be. Inviting Jesus to spare us from the full penalty of our sins is just the start. The more deeply we commit to following and imitating Him, the more completely the Holy Spirit takes control of our souls and guides us into an ever deeper and fulfilling relationship with God. We need to learn to discern the silent nudges of His Spirit. Become more attuned to the impact that reading certain verses or stories in the Bible has upon our minds and hearts. Our goal is to reach a point of sensing that when we make a decision, God’s Spirit is present, providing supernatural guidance to us.
To reach our potential in Christ, we must consider the commitments we have made to people. Next week we will look at meaningful commitments.
– Bob Munsey