Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Be transformed..... How does it work?

Key 5 Transform: We are being transformed by fully believing in the Truth and yielding our soul and body to God.

     In Key 5 Transform, we learn how to live out who we are in Christ. We are beings with a spirit, a soul and a body. Our spirit has been made completely righteous and holy by and before God. This is the good news of the gospel. This is who we really are in Christ. Now as we choose to believe the reality of the gospel, our soul and body will be transformed as well. We grow as we choose to believe gospel and live and walk within this truth, fully resting in the completed work of Jesus Christ on the cross.
     We are not trying to change ourselves because at the core we are already transformed by the finished work of Christ. The focus of Key 5 is now resting, abiding and living in this truth. The truth is that God through Christ has made us completely new. As we focus on transforming our thinking, we align our whole selves with this Truth as we abide in the Word of God. Our thinking in our soul transforms and our behaviours transform, coming into alignment with the completed work of God in our spirit. Our behaviours will begin to change and really match who we are in the spirit.
     The Bible says “walk in the Spirit and you will not carry out the deeds of the flesh.” The order of this command is important. When we walk in the Spirit, we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh. Walking in the Spirit is first. Behaviour comes as a result of the first. Walking in the Spirit is the same as fully believing God’s Word and living out God’s way. As we fully believe God’s Word, we will desire to stop doing ungodly, fleshly things because our inner most values in our mind will be transformed. This process will not be hard. It will be natural. Jesus said “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” The Christian life is not designed to be hard. It’s impossible in the flesh, but it’s not hard in the spirit. It’s easy and light. If the process seems hard, we are trying to change ourselves, instead of believing and resting in the finished work of Christ in us.
     We live by faith alone which means on a daily basis we are trusting the Lord that He has saved us, and is living out that salvation within us for all to see. There is no independence in our spirit. Our spirit is connected to God and totally dependent upon Him. Our spirit dwells in the unseen world where God is. Our spirit is always seated in the spiritual realm in God and receives commands from God. So we must now learn to live as a whole being by faith alone in God, not by sight.
     Throughout the years our sight and senses have been aligned and trained by the world system. This has come through parents, school, friends, TV, books and a variety of sources all claiming that their view of reality is the truth. We have come to know that only Jesus can define our reality and the reality of His creatures. So we must now look at sight and senses in a new way. Sight and senses will try to deceive our true selves and keep us focused on earthly things. So we must filter everything we see and hear and experience through God’s truth.
     God has given each of His believers the gift of His Holy Spirit. God’s Spirit walks beside and within our spirit instructing and guiding us in truth. He continuously works from within us, giving us wisdom, understanding, and equipping us for everything. He knows that we have been transformed at the core, in our spirit, and wants us to live that reality out according to the Father’s will. God gave us the mind of Christ through the Holy Spirit.
     The picture the scriptures use to show the covenant relationship we have with Christ is circumcision. It was through circumcision that an Israelite child was brought into the covenant God made with Abraham. The foreskin was cut away from part of man used for the joining of husband and wife in an intimate relationship in a marriage covenant to give the picture that the flesh was removed as a sign of the intimate covenant with God. In a marriage relationship, the two people become one flesh and one spirit, symbolizing the oneness of the unity of Christ and His church. The spiritual picture is that God in the new covenant will cut the flesh of man away and be in covenant relationship with his spirit. This is a picture of new Israel in Christ.
     God is our Master and He reigns in us. Yet, sin or this independence still dwells in our soul and our body. This independence is called flesh in the Bible. When the Bible is using “flesh” in this sense, it is not thinking the physical flesh you see. The flesh in this sense means the independence residing in the soul and body. The flesh is NOT us, but it dwells with us. The truth is that sin no longer needs to reign in a believer. But the reality of the Christian life is the walking out of this truth each moment of the day.
     According to our belief, the flesh will either have power over us or no power over us. Sin’s power, if we walk by faith fully believing the gospel, has been removed by the death and resurrection of Christ. It is according to our faith that we experience the overcoming power of God as we walk in the Spirit. Through our new birth, we are children of God. Our new spirit cannot sin or be separated from God again. Our new identity is sealed by God through His Spirit within us. Nothing will change the reality of who we are. We grow as we learn to BE who we truly are, filtering all information we receive in through our senses through the filter of God’s word. We learn to identify thoughts and values we held which are contrary to Truth, taking them captive into obedience to Truth.
     The soul, which is our mind, will and emotions, has a tremendous ability to either walk in the spirit or walk in the flesh. The mind’s way of making decisions is through the conscious and subconscious. The conscious mind is where we will things to happen. The subconscious mind is where the emotion and values are seated. Although we will things through the conscious mind, this will is not stronger than our emotions and values embedded in the subconscious mind. Our behaviours will go against the will and live out the emotion and value part of the mind. These are our core beliefs.
     Our bodies move in response to what we value. So our behaviour reveals what our soul truly believes. Actions speak louder than our words. We live out what our soul believes. If our soul’s values are fleshly, our behaviour will be fleshly too. If our soul’s values have accepted God’s truth as true, then our behaviours will be godly. This is why Jesus said people will know His disciples by the fruit of their lives. We cannot fake Christianity. We can try to live godly for a while, but we will eventually behave according to what our soul has accepted as truth.
     All we have learned from education, from family, from friends and any other sources, now must be brought in line with the Truth of God’s word. As we learn to think differently, we work at believing. Our soul will resist, but as our values transform, our behaviour begins to change, aligning with the reality of who we are as a new creation in Christ. As we grow, new godly values will replace the worldly values in our subconscious mind. In time, the soul and body become trained in righteousness as we choose to believe God’s word. Our bodies will transform as our actions begin to follow the truth our soul now believes.
     Our work, as a Christian, is not to try to improve ourselves or do great things FOR God. Our work is to fully believe Him, loving Him and working WITH God as He sets captives free to the praise of His glorious grace. We can choose to believe the truth of who we now are and live in the freedom Christ secured for us, or we can choose to not believe and live like captives even though we are actually free.
     The focus of Key 5 Transform is not trying to transform ourselves. The focus is just BEING who we truly are. As we walk in the Spirit, abiding in His Truth, we DO great things WITH God. Our doing will flow from abiding in Him, not trying to do great things. When we do something with God, we will know it’s not really us doing it, but God doing the work in and through us. Our response will be to thank Him, giving Him praise for transforming our lives, bringing beauty from ashes, giving us meaning and purpose beyond compare as He allows us to work with Him.
     God accomplished something beautiful in us through Jesus Christ, not for us, but for the praise of His Holy Name as He brings all His creation back into alignment with Himself.

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