Conformed Or Transformed 4th May
Conformed Or Transformed 4th May
1 Co 2:9-12 But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.
If only the world could understand those things God has for those who love Him! Those unseen, unheard of things that are only ever revealed in the heart of those to whom He has made Himself known! You know, each of us here, deep inside – in our heart have this spiritual understanding – it is internal and maybe we don’t ever even put words to it – it is a deeply spiritual thing – and at times it is the only thing that keeps us holding on – we can’t describe it and if we try it sounds empty –
Ec 3:11 He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also He has put eternity in their hearts, except that no one can find out the work that God does from beginning to end.
We have become partakers of eternal life, the thirst every living soul has, is for us, a little quenched – God puts eternity in our hearts and we have been shown it is real. – But the world do not know these things, so the thirst is still there – and it can only be known by those who are born again. God has revealed these things to us by His Spirit – spiritual things, indescribable things – things that the natural man cannot comprehend –
In order to compensate for this spiritual lack the world searches to quench their spiritual thirst in all sorts of alternative ways – remember they are not even aware of the deep things of God that await them if they were to turn and seek Him – so they search everywhere else – in all manner of entertainment and self satisfaction – the idolatry of sport and sporting heroes – music, movies, whatever – and of course alcohol and drugs – mind altering substances become their spirituality!
But almost everything the world seeks after and develops draws people in and seems right, it appeals to the lusts of the flesh – all of these things are attractive and seductive and of course because they are of the world doesn’t necessarily make them evil or bad – but no matter how “good” they might seem to be, they are not produced or provided with the glory of God in mind – in fact they are produced in the belief that there is no God!
To the world they are clever and wise and wonderful – and no matter what they may be they make sense to those who seek them for their own pleasure. I had a discussion on Thursday with a young man about methamphetamine abuse “P” – he was asking about getting married but was not sure because his wife wanted him to stop taking drugs – he was very open and very honest and he said but I like it! I feel good when I use it! I don’t want to stop!
No conscience in this area, no concept of social responsibility, LOST – and no understanding of sin at all – and I mean that, none at all! Self interest dissolves the sin issue, if it is ever there to begin with. The same day I had a long talk with another man about marriage and the affects of its being so devalued now in society – he is a Christian and still he believed that some marriages just don’t work out and that’s okay – it is better for everyone concerned if they separate –
and the old argument you shouldn’t just stay together for the kids sake! – Now you ask what has this got to do with the Holy Spirit?? – What has this got to do with us developing a sensitivity to the indwelling Holy Ghost the Spirit of Jesus? – Well you know these beliefs or lack of beliefs are sadly the most influential and powerful shapers of our mindsets and understanding. Even as Christians the systems and culture of the world shapes us more than we realize - and robs us of faith.
Every time we sit down and watch television whether it is the news or a program, the worlds morals, standards, beliefs and behaviors are clearly portrayed to us as being right, acceptable and normal – natural! In fact the ideal, and things worthy of our dreams and hopes. The natural man’s perceptions and beliefs – his ideals and dreams portrayed to us as everyday life!
1 Co 2:13-15 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one.
So here we are Spirit filled men and women – born again Spiritual people, the people of God! We have an indwelling, abiding ability to compare spiritual things with spiritual things – we see clearly what is right and wrong, we know intuitively good and bad – evil – but the natural, carnal man of the world cannot know these things – he might understand spiritual power and even perform demonically inspired signs and wonders – clairvoyance, necromancy, witchcraft and magic –
all for entertainment, fame and wealth – but they cannot compare their spirituality to what we know of the Spirit of God! – Yet we watch them, we allow them to be primary influencers in our very minds and thoughts – and this constant exposure to the worlds spirituality – even though we might be aware of it – erodes and undermines our ability to believe the W.O.G. it is like a huge filter of unbelief we wade through every time we turn to the Holy Spiritual realm.
One of the fascinating things to me is this preoccupation with crime shows on television – I don’t know what percentage it might be – but I would think the vast majority of popular drama programs on TV are about crime, police, murder, detectives – or hospitals and emergency departments – it’s almost like the world needs to have this “HOPE” continually before them – the villains getting caught and the good guys protecting the innocent. A fantasy realm to try and negate reality!
The underlying story line for these shows are jealousy, envy, greed, lust, power, control, murder, self seeking pleasure in some form! And the resolution is usually violence, elimination, prison or death.
Jas 3:13-16 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.
We see clearly portrayed before us every day as entertainment, demonic wisdom – there is no pretense to it being anything else – it is the clear presentation of the way the world chooses to deal with its problems – but because our society – this world in which we live, now tries to adapt itself to what it sees constantly portrayed before it all the time on TV and Movies and video games – this demonic wisdom is accepted as right, normal and even JUSTICE!!!
Mt 5:43-44 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you,
Now we know this and we believe this – but Oh God help my unbelief because we don’t live this! Justice to us is not God’s justice it is the demonically inspired wisdom of this age – our understanding of justice is shaped by the god of this age
2 Co 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
Can you see that the images that are shaping us are not the images of the W.O.G. indelibly
Imprinted upon the strongholds of our minds – but the images of the world, the images of demonic wisdom and they have become fortresses to many of us – deep strongholds in our very view and understanding of this life we live – all around us, everything we see and hear and imbibe of, are of the world. It is this demonic inspired wisdom that is forging in our minds images of everything from how we should appear to what we should eat to how we should behave –
Fashion and appearance are just as important in the church as they are in the world – in fact there are women’s conferences with this as a primary theme – we must look glamorous and beautiful and attractive – to whom?? To whom is this for – is it for God – is it to glorify Jesus – Oh you know it says His face was so marred, so damaged, so scared it was awful to look at – The W.O.G. tells us He was not of comely appearance – yet He is more beautiful than diamonds, purer than snow!
But you know these images of how we should be and what we should wear and what justice really is are deeply entrenched in our minds – so deeply implanted that we actually don’t think there is anything wrong with them! – Once you have seen something, once you have been awakened to something new – that awakening can never be undone – that image you have formed in your mind as you experience something for the first time is implanted
and added to the rest of the things you have retained, it shapes the way you think and perceive and understand – eventually it will influence your beliefs and behaviours. You may not be aware of it all of the time or even some of the time but it is there. – For example young girls want to look like the people they admire, they want to dress like them, wear their hair like them, speak like them – they copy just like we all do –
but if the thing they are looking to imitate is based upon what they are watching on TV then for many very young girls they are being awakened to sensuality, seduction and even sexuality a long time before they are able to understand or process that information – but the images cannot be removed. One of the affects of this is promiscuity – young girls being awakened to things they are not designed by God to experience outside of marriage and that at a time of maturity.
NZ has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the world – younger and younger 12-13 year olds – isn’t it an amazing thing but as the minds are prematurely awakened so the bodies seem to respond and girls are developing so much younger! -- Now this is just one example but as Christian mothers and fathers this is a very difficult thing to address – all around them our children are exposed to and compare themselves to other children who only know this demonic wisdom.
Now this is just an example because it is easily seen, but the same thing applies to our images of violence and justice, of fashion, tattoos, motor vehicles, climate control, global warming, authority, rebellion, right and wrong, we have images of sickness, cancer and famine and medicine – images of government, democracy and dictatorship – even our view of the news is severely influenced by the need for the TV station or newspaper to present it in such a way as to attract viewers –
Some of the reporting on our News is appallingly distorted – the truth bent for attractions sake – you know Smith Wigglesworth would not have a newspaper in his house – he would say “lies all lies” “why would I allow that in My house?” ---- But can you see this is forming and shaping us all of the time we can’t deny it or escape it – it confronts us from the back of every bus and every street corner! From every newspaper and sporting event and we buy into it more than we realize.
Then we go to prayer, then we come to church, then we try to cry out for revival and we long for the Holy Spirit’s Presence and to know Him and hear Him and develop sensitivity to Him – but you know if Jesus were standing here in Person He would say Perverse and wicked generation!
Come out from among them and be you separate! He would, and is saying do not be deceived God is not mocked what you sow is what you will reap! But we have not received the spirit of the world – and we can compare spiritual things with spiritual – but our discernment is so influenced by the spirit of this age, by the spirit of the world that we must begin to wage a real and deep and constant spiritual battle if we are going to know the Holy Spirit as we might –
as He desires us to – as God Himself the Father longs for us too – that we might see Jesus! And we can, you know we can, nothing is impossible to those who believe!
Is 59:19-21 So shall they fear The name of the Lord from the west, And His glory from the rising of the sun; When the enemy comes in like a flood, The Spirit of the Lord will lift up a standard against him. “The Redeemer will come to Zion, And to those who turn from transgression in Jacob,” Says the Lord. “As for Me,” says the Lord, “this is My covenant with them: My Spirit who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants,” says the Lord, “from this time and forevermore.”
So we have this Promise a glorious Promise from God Himself – but we must bring it down out of heaven as it were. --- So we must enter into this battle to pull down the images – to resist them, to exchange them for the right images of Christ’s glory, of His victory, of His Cross ---
Ro 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
2 Co 10:3-5 For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. 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,
We have got to begin meditating upon the W.O.G. the Promises the Truth and pull down the strongholds of our minds – fortresses of unbelief and doubt and bitterness and judgement – of unforgiveness – it is never justified in the eyes of God – there is no place for Christian vengeance – vengeance is mine says the Lord!
Everything the worlds demonic wisdom presents is about me, about My needs about my satisfaction and in the church my ministry, my belief what I think and Jesus said -- by this will they know Me, when you love and you serve and you give - it was never about Me. It was never about Jesus it was always about God
Let's begin by pulling down this stronghold this fortress this is not about me it is about Jesus it is about the glory of God that is in the cross of Jesus Christ, about taking up our cross daily that he is glorified. It is not about me it is about Him, it is about his glory. --- Love one another as I have loved you – that’s how they know we are true disciples!
I saw an unfolding vision picture of a rose single rose in front of a great Wall like the wall of Jerusalem, blood spattered and desolate and little tufts of grass like desert grass beginning to grow or growing and in the midst of desolation and dryness one rose coming back to life in the midst of desolation new life is beginning to form.
When it seems bleakest God is still there, God is still bringing life and there is still a blood red rose from the blood of the martyrs -- God won't let the church die!