Are We Really Who We Think We Are?

 

Have you ever considered how we develop our worldview?  The formative years of our lives are considered to be between birth and age five. What we are exposed to and taught during early childhood has great influence on who we become, how we see ourselves, and our motivation in life. That, however, does not mean we are limited by those influences and mindsets; yet is can be where we get stuck in our thinking.

In John 3, Nicodemus, a prominent leader of the Pharisees, came to Jesus at night to ask Jesus about His teaching on second birth.  He is seeking to understand something physically, “how can I again enter into my mother’s womb to be born again?”  Rebirth is not a physical phenomena, Nicodemus is looking from an earthy perspective not from a heavenly one.  Jesus explains:

“Jesus said, “You’re not listening. Let me say it again. Unless a person submits to this original creation—the ‘wind-hovering-over-the-water’ creation, the invisible moving the visible, a baptism into a new life—it’s not possible to enter God’s kingdom. When you look at a baby, it’s just that: a body you can look at and touch. But the person who takes shape within is formed by something you can’t see and touch—the Spirit—and becomes a living spirit. “So don’t be so surprised when I tell you that you have to be ‘born from above’—out of this world, so to speak. You know well enough how the wind blows this way and that. You hear it rustling through the trees, but you have no idea where it comes from or where it’s headed next. That’s the way it is with everyone ‘born from above’ by the wind of God, the Spirit of God.” John 3:5-8 (MSG)  

     Jesus describes rebirth as our submitting to God and His original plan for us. He is speaking of us placing our faith and our lives in Jesus Christ; accepting His death, burial and resurrection as the payment for our short-comings, mistakes and rebellion against God and His Word. Salvation covers our faults by Jesus sacrifice on the cross. His resurrection conquers death and gives us new life. When we make the faith decision, we then become part of the Kingdom of God. We are now born from above. But what does that really mean?

Imagine for a moment growing up in a very small village in a meager household with only one parent, an aunt, or a caregiver.  Suddenly, when you’re almost grown, two people come into your life and claim they are your long lost parents. You were taken from them when you were quit small. It is apparent that they have been searching for you, they love you, and missed you very much. They sweep you back to this grand palace with everything you could need at your disposial.  Might it take a while before you actually are comfortable with your new situation and what is available to you? Are truly ready to step into your new role? Are you up to the challenge of what is expected and how you are to act in your new role? Would it be east to fall back into the ways of your old life? How do you break the old mindset? Can you fit into this new place?  First, you have to want it. Even so, it certainly doesn’t happen overnight, it is a transforming process.

Stepping into a new role effectively requires a new mindset; a renewing of one’s thinking and perspective, otherwise we will be less than effective in our new life.  We must know who we are and what is expected of us.  Mastering this requires us to be intentional, surrendered and patient because it is a process. It is possible as believers in Christ, for us to be quick to enjoy the benefits of being part of the Kingdom; yet be much slower to renew our thinking and become Kingdom thinkers. We must desire and seek Him and His wisdom. As we walk by His Spirit, we begin to look more Christ-like and be transformed from glory to glory.

“To this day, in fact, whenever Moses is read, a veil lies over their hearts, but whenever a person turns to the Lord the veil is removed.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. All of us, gazing with unveiled face on the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as from the Lord who is the Spirit.”            2 Corinthians 3:16-18 (NABRE)

God has call us kings and priests and ambassadors. (Revelation 1:6) (2 Corinthians 5:17-21) How do we renew our thinking to think and act from the Kingdom perspective in order to represent Him will?  When in a pinch, do we respond as Jesus would rather than from our nature? Have we learned to respond in love, rather than defend ourselves or retaliate when pressed?  Most of us know that His Word is part of the transforming answer but do we understand the Holy Spirit’s roll in the transformation? Do we believe 1 Corinthians 2:16? We can have the mind of Christ in our situations!

For who has known the Lord’s mind, that he may instruct Him?  But we have the mind of Christ. “ 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (HCSB)

Lord, give us grace, strength and desire to: Make our own attitude like that of Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 2:5)  and “Let the word of Christ dwell in us richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in our hearts to God.” (Colossians 3:15)

 

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