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Change Your Mind

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Spiritual Stability

Good evening glad to have each one of you here this evening. There was once a lady named Henrietta Gibson. Mrs. Gibson was the sweetest lady you would have ever met as a child, but as she got older she began to say things that worried the kids of the neighborhood. Mrs. Gibson was convinced that she was dying of cancer. Ever time you would see her she would seem depressed and all the children began to ask her what was wrong. When they would ask she would tear up and tell them that she had terminal illness and that she wasn’t going to live much longer.
The boys of the community made her “get well” cards and hung signs up in the yard trying to let her know that she was loved and appreciated. One day her daughter came to visit and saw the signs up, some read you can beat this were praying for you. Others had different messages painted on but thats when everything changed.
Mrs. Gibsons daughter came back outside and asked them what the meaning of these things were. When they told the daughter that they had done these things to support her mother the daughter laughed and said.. “Theres nothing wrong with my mother, there is nothing to worry about.”
Mrs. Gibson was not sick, she was not terminally ill. she didnt have a fever, actually she was a picture of health all except for the fact that Mrs. Gibson had a rare mental illness that made her believe that she had a fatal illness.
She was 65 when she began telling people she was about to pass away, she was 95 when she actually did.
The problem with Mrs. Gibson was not cancer, the problem with her was that she was mentally unstable.
Unfortunately for her they were never able to figure out how to treat her and she spent the rest of her life, living with the fear of death. What I’d like for us to learn about tonight is Spiritual stability.
(Read 6-9)
Our society admires people who stand firm, hold to their convictions, are courageous and strong.
Philippians: The MacArthur New Testament Commentary 19. Spiritual Stability—Part 2: Gratitude, Godly Thinking, Obedience : (Philippians 4:6b–9)

If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or, being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or, being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise;

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with triumph and disaster

And treat those two imposters just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools;

If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: “Hold on!”

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with kings—nor lose the common touch;

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you;

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run—

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

If courage, conviction, integrity, credibility, and an uncomprising devotion to virtue are admirable qualities for people of the world, how much more essential are they for Christians?
The very name “Christian” identifies believers with Jesus Christ-the most perfect model of those traits. The New Testament repeatedly commands believers to follow Jesus by standing firm in submission to God.
1 Corinthians
1 Corinthians 16:13 ESV
Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.
2 Corinthians
2 Corinthians 1:24 ESV
Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.
Galatians 5:1 ESV
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
Galatians
Paul was concerned that his beloved Philippian congregation be unwavering in the faith. In seven basic principles for developing and maintaining spiritual stability emerge.

Reacting to problems with thankful prayer

Philippians 4:6–7 ESV
do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:6-
Spiritually stable people react to trials with thankful prayer. Such prayer is the remedy to worry and the cure for anxiety. The priority for the Christian is to respond rightly to trials and trouble. Prayer should be the Christians first response their last resort.... that is true but not just any kind of prayer actually thankful prayer is whats brought into focus in this verse.
The assumption here is this that Christians will cry out to God when they have a need problem, not with doubting, questioning, or even blaming God, but instead with thanksgiving. Instead of having a spirit of rebellion against the Lord, Christians have to trustingly cast “all their cares upon Him, because He cares for them”
People become worried, anxious, and fearful because they do not trust in God’s wisdom, power, and goodness. They fear that God is not wise enough, strong enough, or good enough to help their situation. That’s really what we are saying from our hearts when we worry.
God I know your good but you don’t understand what I’m going through....
God i know I’m supposed to pray but what am I gonna do?
Once a believer, we should always be able to access and quite frankly learn to live inside the peace of God, there should be an inward tranquility that marks the lives and actions of a follower of Jesus Christ. Christians should not be known for rushing out and making rash decisions. But instead should be known for there amazing patience and ability to wait faithfully on the Lord to respond and meet their needs.
Once a believer we should always be
When we confidently trust in God’s perfect wisdom, and His infinite power He will provide calm in the midst of the storms of this life.
Isaiah 26:3 ESV
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 2
Paul prayed for the church in Rome:
Romans 15:13 ESV
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Romans 15:13
Aaron prayed for the people of Israel:
Numbers 6:26 ESV
the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
David wrote in:
Psalm 29:11 ESV
May the Lord give strength to his people! May the Lord bless his people with peace!
Psalm
Shortly before His death Jesus made a promise to His followers:
John 14:27 ESV
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.
John 14:
However God’s peace is not for everyone but a special blessing for all who seek after Him.
Isaiah 48:22 ESV
“There is no peace,” says the Lord, “for the wicked.”
Isaiah
So as we walk with God, as we learn and grow in our faith we learn that we must trust God in ALL things. IN our relationships, in our finances, and in our workplace. The Bibles says without faith it is impossible to please God. we display our trust in God by our actions, not our words.
So I can say all day long that I know this area of my life is wrong and I believe god has the power to change it, but unless I begin to walk in that reality and ask for the Holy Spirits Power to overcome it. I am NOT walking in faith and I am NOT pleasing God at all with my life.
So as we confidently and thankfully pray to God even in the midst of our trials, God grants us His peace but look at what else the peace of God does for the child of God.
Philippians 4:7 ESV
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:
“it surpasses ALL understanding”
It transcends human intellect, human analysis, human insights, and human understanding. It is superior to human scheming, human planning, and human solutions, since its source is the God whose judgments are unsearchable and whose ways are unfathomable.
The peace of God lifts the child of God out of the muck and the mire of worry and doubt and places their feet firmly upon the rock of their salvation.
Since this is a work of God, humans cannot understand it, even the person experiencing it.
So for example (matthew west) (woman whose son was killed by drunk driver)
This can only be done by the Holy Spirit of God dwelling in a person enabling them to do what seems impossible.
The real challenge in the Christian life is not to elminate every unpleasent circumstance; but to trust in the good purpose of our powerful Father God. Those who honor Him by trusting Him will experience His perfect peace.
God’s peace guards our thought life, and cures anxiousness and worry.
If we truly desire to respond rightly in difficult season of our lives we must:

Change our minds

Philippians 4:8 ESV
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Philippians
We have learned that thankful consistent prayer is the foundation of spiritual stability but there are also some to her things we must focus our attention on if we are to please God with our lives. Finally means that he is coming to the end of his teaching.
Finally ..... do what?
DWELL ON THESE THINGS
Dwell on what things?

The imperative form of logizomai (dwell on) makes it a command; proper thinking is not optional in the Christian life. Logizomai means more than just entertaining thoughts; it means “to evaluate,” “to consider,” or “to calculate.” Believers are to consider the qualities Paul lists in this verse and meditate on their implications. The verb form calls for habitual discipline of the mind to set all thoughts on these spiritual virtues.

Heres what this means, we should make it a habit to be intentional in what is going into our minds.
Are we focusing on worldy strategies to be a success or Biblical Godly disciplines which bring about true success?
Are we allowing “whats deemed OK” in our culture to drown out what God has said about a particular issue?
Is what were watching or listening to thrusting us toward Christ or away from Him?
Are the conversations were having with coworkers influencing us in ways we do not realize, and pushing them towards Jesus or away from Jesus?
The Bible leaves no doubt that peoples lives are a product of their thoughts.
For as a man thinks so is he. (proverbs 23:7)
Proverbs 23:7 ESV
for he is like one who is inwardly calculating. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.
Proverbs
GARBAGE IN GARBAGE OUT!
Mark 7:2–23 ESV
they saw that some of his disciples ate with hands that were defiled, that is, unwashed. (For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands properly, holding to the tradition of the elders, and when they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other traditions that they observe, such as the washing of cups and pots and copper vessels and dining couches.) And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, “Why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?” And he said to them, “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, “ ‘This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ You leave the commandment of God and hold to the tradition of men.” And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother’; and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ But you say, ‘If a man tells his father or his mother, “Whatever you would have gained from me is Corban” ’ (that is, given to God)— then you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or mother, thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.” And he called the people to him again and said to them, “Hear me, all of you, and understand: There is nothing outside a person that by going into him can defile him, but the things that come out of a person are what defile him.” And when he had entered the house and left the people, his disciples asked him about the parable. And he said to them, “Then are you also without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile him, since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.) And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Mark 7:20–23 ESV
And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”
Mark 7
Paul’s call for biblical thinking is especially relevant in our culture. The focus today is on emotion and pragmatism, and the importance of serious thinking about biblical truth is downplayed. People don’t ask “is it true?” anymore they ask does it work?and how will it make me feel?
Those latter 2 questions serve as a working definition of truth in our world. that rejects God’s truth. Truth to most people today is whatever works and produces emotions. Sadly this has crept into the church. The church is often more concerned about whether something is divisive or offensive than if it is Biblically true and thus we have churches that lack power because we have people who are not free and the people are not free because they don’t have the truth.
You will know the truth and the truth shall set you free!
WE MUST SET OUR MINDS TO EARN THE TRUTH AS CONTAINED IN THE WORD OF GOD!
FOCUS ON TRUTH

Honorable

to revere/ to worship
It refers to whatever is noble, dignified, and worthy of respect.
Believers must not think on what is trivial, worldly, mundane, common, but rather on what is heavenly and so worthy of awe, adoration, and praise.
All that is true in God’s word in honorable.

Whatever is right

righteous
describes whatever is in perfect harmony with God’s unchanging standards.

Pure

holy morally clean, and undefiled

Lovely

gracious, sweet, generous, and patient Beleivers must focus their thoughts on what the Bible says is pleasing, attractive, and amidable before God.
Whatever is of :

Good Repute

it describes what is highly regarded or well thought of
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