Renewing the Mind Part 3
Our Highest Priority
By Jim Allen
Renewing the Mind, the Series
"It is Finished"
The Mind of the Spirit
Our Highest Priority
Don't Live in the Past
During the 1960's Bill Bright wrote down four spiritual laws that became a popular outreach tool. The laws were quickly adopted by the evangelical community and put into practice as an easy way to win converts to Christ. Bright's first law says, "God loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life" (1 Corinthians 15:1-5).
While the Gospel is good news, it's more than God having a wonderful plan for our life. God's plan is an eternal plan going far beyond this life. God's plan is about change. It's about struggle. It's about truth. It's about unlearning everything we knew or thought we knew in this life to discover we don't know the half of it. (Romans 12:2).
Bill Bright talks about a plan that changes lives. But, the degree of change can and does vary among believers. Some believers live on the fast track and discover a quick and lasting change. Others live on a gentler track and notice an uncertain and drawn-out change, lasting years. And still others live somewhere in between. Why would that be?
There are lots of reasons. As a young professional in a company, I didn't know much about the demands of the world apart from God, family, and church. I didn't know a corporate career could slowly consume my life. After all, "God loved me and had a wonderful plan for my life." My problem was simple: I didn't discern the difference between His plan and my plan. I was too busy living the wonderful life Bright talked about without investing sufficient time in the Bible to learn the other half of it (2 Timothy 3:16).
Everyone said my salvation was a done-deal: It's finished! But as a babe in Christ, I failed to see the need for setting priorities (Matthew 6:33). I only saw the half of it. Stories like mine are common. God has a wonderful plan for every believer, but many believers are spread so thin they struggle just to find time for family and friends not to mention church and Bible study. About this struggle Jami Balmet (mother of 4) writes:
I go in and out of seasons of regularly and consistently reading God's Word. And it's not just about the routine of reading His Word. But ingesting itů studying it with the intent of really wrestling with the text and understanding it. Taking that knowledge and soaking it up into my heart and soul and letting it transform my heart, attitude, and character. I yearn to have this sort of devotion life, but honestly, as a busy mom of 4, it doesn't happen like I envision. (Source)Jami was challenged to rethink her priorities. From morning to night she gave of herself to get things done. Getting things done is a shared theme among many parents. Who has time for the things of God when diapers need changing, the iPhone is ringing, and junior is throwing water on the cat? Is this why the renewing of the mind for so many believers is slow and uncertain?
Jami shared a valuable lesson by admitting her reason for not reading the Bible. It was not lack of time. It was a priority problem in God's plan (will) for her life. She acknowledged reading the Bible was just the beginning of the process, but then admitted wrestling with the text trying to absorb it and let it transform her was the other half of it. She knew it would take time. But who has time?
Jami eventually found time. She rearranged her priorities, and it wasn't so bad after all. Sooner or later most of us will learn that seeking God's plan for our life will never be found in the world. It's a mistake to think so and a deception to try. This wonderful plan for everyone's life is nowhere to be found apart from the Bible.
In fact, Smith Wigglesworth (the controversial apostle of faith) understood what Jesus meant and wrote:
The Bible is the Word of God: supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in valor, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through, write it down, pray it in, work it out, and then pass it on. Truly it is the Word of God. (Source)God has a wonderful plan for every life (Jeremiah 29:11). It's a travel plan. It begins as a journey from our will to His will. It's where we need to be. This plan is layered between the pages of the Bible overflowing with endless certainties about God's perfect plan for us. Each truth leads to the next and next until the Treasure of treasures unfurls before the soul.
In closing, the words of God are eternal in time and more costly than gold. God's words are personal and intended for all to possess, and surely should be our highest priority. God's plan for every believer is to be found in His will (Philippians 3:9).
About God's will and plan for our life Corrie ten Boom writes, "There are no ifs in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety - let us pray that we may always know it!" (Source)
Image Credit: pedroivo; untitled; Creative Commons
Tags: Biblical-Salvation Christian-Life Jesus-Christ
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