August 28, 2010
God created mankind to experience His presence in the spirit of their mind. There are times that I am mentally aware of the presence of God in this way. This is especially true after spending an extended time with the Lord such as at a conference or retreat. Where, in the atmosphere of worship and anointed teachings, the spirit of my mind is renewed and I become mentally aware of His indwelling presence. The mind as well as the heart, is created to be the habitation for the Spirit of God.
In the presence of a renewed mind, I am spiritually aware of the Kingdom of heaven that is perceived through prophetic vision. To become God conscious is not only to be aware of His presence that dwells within, but the presence of His Kingdom above -referred to by many as an “open heaven.” It’s like looking through a spiritual window to see faintly the glory of God with an awareness of Christ who sits upon the throne. The heart and mind is truly created for fellowship with our creator.
Because the Kingdom of heaven comes in His presence, wherever Christ is there is His Kingdom and wherever the Kingdom is there is Christ, for the nature of heaven is Christ. When Jesus said to pray for “Thy Kingdom come” and declared that the Kingdom of God is within you, He is stating that which is in heaven is also to dwell in men on earth. Everyone in heaven knows the mind of the Lord. This is our call also for “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16). The Word of God is a person – Jesus Christ. (John 1:1)
When the spirit of my mind is renewed by the presence of the King I am aware of His Kingdom. To be aware of the mind of Christ requires cultivating a Kingdom mindset. A Kingdom mindset is not only mindful of the things of the Kingdom, but the discovery of the mind of Christ with the awareness of His presence. Jesus said, “It is the Spirit that quickens; the flesh profits nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life” (Jn. 6:63). It is His voice that restores, renews and brings life.
While many seek for intellectual stimulation, my quest is to hear the voice of Christ for it is His Words that imparts life and renews the spirit of the mind. When the apostle Paul tells us that “we have the mind of Christ” he is not referring to an intellectual understanding of the Bible, but the awareness of the person of Christ who speaks to our heart that enlightens our mind with His understanding “that you might be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding” (Col. 1:9).
Because the Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, (Ro. 14:17) those who cultivate a Kingdom mindset will experience the reigning attributes of heaven in the spirit of their mind that is renewed daily by the presence of the King.
A Kingdom mindset does not seek information but His Words that have the power of transformation. It is by being renewed in the knowledge of the person of Christ that changes us into His image and likeness. (Col. 3:10) This is why Paul tells us “And be renewed in the spirit of your mind (Eph. 4:23). To have the mind of Christ and have the spirit of our minds renewed daily comes from our intimate relationship with Him.
Christ said that “And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). This is the transforming work of His Word that renews the mind with the power to break the strongholds of the mind. Those who walk in the light of His truth will find the Lord freeing their minds of the strongholds of fear, unbelief, the doctrines of men and the intellectual logic that affects our mindset and way of thinking.
The knowledge of men often cleverly masquerades as THE truth, but in reality imprison the mind because of its origin – that of humanity. It is THE truth found in Christ that breaks the ill thoughts, false doctrines and fears that so easily beset us “as the truth is in Jesus” (Eph. 4:21). Perhaps it is in the mindset of Christians where the war is being waged today. This is why the scripture admonishes us to “Trust in the Lord with all your heart: and lean not unto your own understanding “(Proverbs 3:5).
The Carnal Mindset
We cannot express the mind of Christ and His ways if our minds are apart from His. The carnal mind will always disengage you from the wisdom of God and thus the opportunity to respond to that which He is saying and doing. If our mindset and way of thinking are guided by our fears and reasoning, then we are in heeding to our own carnal nature. Many believe that to be carnally minded is the sin of being entrapped by hatred, pornography or adultery. A carnal mind is also the mind that relies upon its own reasoning and understanding rather than the mind of Christ.
Christians that are critical and judgmental have a mindset that is on the flesh, which the apostle Paul states is death “for to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Ro. 8:6-7). The carnal mind is enmity against God because it is not connected with the mind of God. When our mentality wars against a person or situation, the mind is on the flesh rather than being at rest. A mind that is not sanctified by the infusion of the Spirit of God will lead one to draw from the source of man’s logic and reasoning that becomes their wisdom and understanding.
Unfortunately in order to establish and preserve one’s identity, knowledge is used to validate ones spirituality. The Lord wants us to know who we are as His sons and daughters. It is by having our identify rooted and grounded in His love that frees the mind of the many mindsets that are rooted in the pathway that people embrace in their quest for acceptance in the body of Christ. Jesus came to set the captives free “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind (2 Timothy 1:7).
As the apostle Paul states, to be spiritually minded is life and peace. To be spiritually minded simply means that our minds and mindset are sanctified by God who directs our thoughts and feelings about a person, event or situation. When we come to the Lord’s Table to partake of the mind of Christ we are bathed in His light. Our call is to see with the eyes of the Spirit the heart of God that motivates us to walk in the freedom of love. Because perfect love cast out all fear, the mindset that is not possessed by God’s love is besieged by the adversary at every opportunity. God’s love cast our all fear that enables us to see clearly. Love attracts the presence of God for He is love. It is God’s love that calms the storms with a peace that crushes Satan under your feet!
If you are caught in a trespass, or your mind or emotions are raging like the railing winds of a tempest sea, just turn to the Lord! Usually it is by our own understanding and reasoning that caused us to fall into a ditch in the first place and it will not be our understanding that will get us out! We therefore need the wisdom of the Lord who gives liberally to those who ask. Just run to Him and ask for help!
A Wealthy Mindset
Jesus said that the thief comes to steal, kill and destroy but that He came that we “may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10). It is in the heart of Jesus not only to offer us a life of mental peace, but unlimited access to the things of His Kingdom. The abundance of our inheritance that is freely given includes mental wealth as well as good mental health. God want us to have a wealthy mindset, not that of poverty that short changes us of all that God has ordained for us.
A wealthy mindset is all about freedom, the freedom that is ours through our relationship with our heavenly Father, “who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). God loves to give good gifts to His people, such as an impartation of His love, His wisdom, counsel and understanding. Or a truth that sets you free or the anointing that empowers you for the work of ministry. But in order to posses it you must cultivate it, nurture it, and use it for His glory! A wealthy mindset is not limited to earth’s provision but the resources of heaven which is endless.
A Kingdom mindset is not about faith or knowledge – it’s about freedom!
Strongholds such as unbelief will rob you of your inheritance! The reason why Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years is because of the 10 spies that came out of the Promise Land with a bad report that infected the minds of Israel with unbelief. Jesus said “Where your heart is there you will be also.” If the mind does not line up with the heart of God, the heart will become faint and weak due to unbelief, God however “gives perfect peace to those who mind is stayed on thee” (Is. 26:3)
Caleb and Joshua had a different perspective. Their mindset was ordered by the faith that God is able to do all that He promised. It was their voice of faith that arose from a lion’s heart that declared to the people that they are more than able to take the Land. Because they had the right perspective with a mindset that reflected the will of God, they entered the Promise Land as victorious leaders of the Lord’s people.
Our mindset can determine whether our lives are lived in victory or defeat. The mindset that differs from God will always set you up for failure because the carnal mind is enmity against God. The mindset that is on the flesh (self preservation) leads to death. (Ro. 8:6-7). God created mankind in His image with the free will to make choices with the gift of freedom. The reason why the Lord put Adam and Eve in the garden in the presence of temptation (forbidden fruit) was to empower them with the freedom to exercise their free will. True strength comes from making the right choices, which is why we should always seek the wisdom and counsel of God.
Satan came along and presented the idea to Eve that she could be like God without God by partaking of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. And in doing so her eyes would be enlightened with knowledge and understanding. When Eve saw that the fruit looked pleasant to the eyes that could make one wise, her mindset changed and she ate the fruit. This opened the door for Satan to gain access to the mind of men to influence their understanding and reasoning. Today the battle still rages in the mind in regards to who rules and reigns – the wisdom of God or that of men.
In order to maintain our freedom, we have to choose life or death, which means engaging in the battle to preserve our liberty that is ours in Christ.
The whole purpose of freedom is that of love. When we use our freedom to seek God’s truth because of our love for His truth and His ways, the freedom that we have been given is protected and cultivated. God is love and His Kingdom is a Kingdom of freedom. In order to be free in our minds to serve, we need to walk in the freedom that was obtained by Christ at Calvary. We have been given the free will to love God with the freedom to know God for “the Lord is that Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty (2 Cor. 3:17). You are at liberty to freely partake of the mind of Christ!
As an example of a struggle to maintain freedom, In May of 2010 I returned from a major conference where the spirit of my mind was renewed. I came back with a great clarity of thinking with loads of energy. I could feel the Lord’s presence in the spirit of my mind with an awareness of His Kingdom. But in time I could feel the grace of His presence slipping away. Having experienced this reality many times before, I sought the Lord in regards to how I could maintain that which I had obtained.
I well understand that what the Lord imparts to you is yours for eternity. You can walk in all that the Lord reveals to you as well as the impartations, gifts and anointings that are given to you. They should not diminish over time but increase for, “The path of the just is like the shining light that shines more and more unto the perfect day” (Pro. 4:18).
In other words, the way of the path of light is an ever increasing life, power and authority in our daily walk with God. And so I began the journey to recapture the freedom of mind with an awareness of God’s presence. Again, where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty and I needed to find His presence where there is true freedom.
Each time I tried to enter into God’s presence to recapture a Kingdom mentality; I was resisted by a power that I discerned was counterfeit spiritual authority. This power was trying to displace the way that I perceived life and the ministry by seeing others through a different perspective other than through the heart and love of the Father. I soon became aware that the battle was that of control versus freedom.
There are many subtle spiritual influences that one can accept as truth that will influence your mindset. This is most often how the spirit of Jezebel, the spirit of religion and Leviathan -the accuser of the brethern works. Through a subtle voice that can shift your mindset in the way that you think and perceive life that over time separates you from Christ. Suddenly the Lord spoke to me in the midst of this battle and said,
“There are levels of spiritual authority that I have given to my people to empower them with a measure of grace to rule. The level of authority that I have given determines their level of access to the realms of My Kingdom. Rise up and sit with Me in the place that I have given to you.” Suddenly it became clear to me. The Lord has established a place in His Kingdom with spiritual authority and a mantle that no one else can occupy but me. This is His grace, the gift to sit with Him in heavenly places as a joint heir with Jesus. No one else can sit in this position except to whom it is given “But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ” (Eph 4:11).
In order to win this battle, I simply needed to contend for a heart of rest – the place where we become aware of His presence. We do not enlarge our awareness of God through striving nor by engaging in a spiritual battle that become a distraction. It is here in the place of rest that I hear His voice that guides me by His counsel, wisdom and understanding. Once again I found myself dwelling in Christ Kingdom with the spiritual authority and measure of grace that I have been given to rule with Him.
As I took my place in Christ, the power that came against me fell for it has no place in the position as an overseer of PDM and the church ministry. I was lifted up and elated once again to feel the presence of the Lord in the spirit of my mind that comes from being seated with Christ in His Kingdom. When you rise up to sit with Christ in the heavenly realm, every vain imagination that exalts itself above the knowledge of God is cast down! A great peace then came over me and the battle was won!
God has ordained every Christian to sit with Him in heavenly places. (Eph. 2:6) No one can take the position that the Lord has given to you for that is your portion and inheritance in Christ. However, in order to maintain your freedom, the war that you fight is often the very place that is keeping you from abiding in Christ.
God allows us to go through these battles, not only to strengthen us but to establish the gifts of grace that He has given to us. Christ obtained the victory over all the power of the enemy at Calvary. We have been called to carry on the work of Christ to destroy the works of the enemy. In order to from glory to glory and emerge victoriously the present battle that we are called to engage in may very well exist in our mindset.
What’s On Your Mind?
The more that we focus on the Lord, the more we will see His glory. The King comes in His presence. When the spirit of our mind is renewed, it is because the Kingdom of God has touched the sprit of our mind. It is His truth that makes men free. It is the life in His word that purifies the streams of our thought life where pure waters are to flow. As His thoughts drift through our own He leaves a deposit of life and peace.
What often blocks our access to the Lord lies right between our ears. Watching crude movies and harboring ill thoughts and feelings will block you from receiving the wisdom, counsel and mind of Christ. You can also bet that the very strengths of your life, anointing and position that is yours in Christ, is the same area that the enemy exploits. His goal is to influence your mindset to steer you off the path of life. Abide under Gods wings and His glory will overshadow you and protect you. (Ps. 91)
We can safely place our trust and faith in the Holy Spirits ability to lead us rather than the enemy’s ability to deceive us. Christ as our great shepherd will never lead His people astray nor will he ever forsake us. As we walk in God’s eternal love, the Holy Spirit is faithful to reveal the truth that is found in Christ that makes men free.
Now we have not received the spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God: that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
Which things we also speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but that 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 unto him: nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
“…but we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:12-14 & 16).
The Next Teaching
In the next teaching, I will be writing on counterfeit spiritual authority and how that affects the mindset of God’s people.
In Christ and His love