“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
(Romans 12:2, ESV)
With our redeemed nature comes a sincere desire to please God. Not because we want to obtain favor since we’ve already been bestowed favor upon us through the perfect sacrifice of Jesus. But rather, out of a thankful heart that has been transformed by His Mercy and Grace. Even though we are redeemed the struggle to conform to this world is still there, this force may be within us and hard to discern, reinforced worldly forces outside of us that are assigned to wear us down until we succumb to the ways of our old nature. This is the tension we live in until our Liberating King redeems all of the creation.
RENEWING OUR MIND
Many people want to experience the depths of God’s Kingdom, but they do not realize that those depths begin with simple shifts and renewals of their mindsets. As long as you meddle with the worldly customs and behaviors your mind lives in a fog that cannot attain any of its capacity redeemed by Christ. (1 Cor. 2:16 – You have the Mind of Christ) We were formed in our Mothers womb with purpose and destiny. To come to this world to encounter our Liberating King and co-labor with Him to redeem creation. The fog, the confusion, the frustration, the anxiety are all signs something is holding you back from your destiny. You will be surprised to know that it’s not the enemy or his forces holding you back.
What are the customs and behaviors of the world? Some don’t look as wicked and evil as we may think, but they are in direct opposition to the Standard Jesus Christ left for each of us. Many of those customs we’ve adopted and have become part of our behavioral lifestyle that we are unable to discern if we are led by God or the ways of the world.
TRACING OUR BEHAVIOR BACK TO WORDLY WAYS
An easy tell tale sign that our behavioral lifestyle has been rooted in worldly ways is to examine our actions in light of what scripture says our response to daily life should be. I would like to zero in on one core need we all have as believers to bring to light the reality of our heart attitude and alignment to a Kingdom Culture. We all have three types of relationships in common in life, those who are in a place of authority over us, those who we are equals with in authority/relationship and those we are the authority to.
At the core of those relationships is a kingdom heart attitude that Jesus put much value in, which is forgiveness.
OFFENSES WILL COME | DO YOU HAVE A FORGIVING HEART?
In Luke 17:1-4 Jesus declares to his disciples that it’s impossible to avoid offenses in life. He gives a warning to those who cause the offense, but he does not dwell on the offender. He focuses on the appropriate response to offenses that His disciples are to have when they are faced with them. Notice what He says:
“Then He said to the disciples, “It is impossible except that offenses will come. But woe to him through whom they come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he was thrown into the sea, than to offend one of these little ones. Take heed to yourselves. “If your brother sins against you, rebuke him. And if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turns to you, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.”” (Luke 17:1–4, MEV)
An offended heart would quickly focus on on the “woe” and “it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck and he was thrown into the sea” in regards to their offender. But Jesus is not too concern for the offender as He is about our response to offenses and the heart attitude we are to have towards the offender. In this case, Jesus says, forgive and take heed always to have a forgiving heart, no matter how many times someone offends you.
In other words, Jesus will take care of the unrepentant offender, but He cannot take care of you if you do not forgive. Read this very carefully, because our focus in all relationships is not who is right and wrong? But rather, am I on God’s side of the issue, which is did I forgive.
Today, take a moment to examine your heart. The sincere desire of your heart is to please God, and this can only be found in a heart surrendered to him with no offense towards brothers and sisters. God’s will is good towards us, pleasing to Him and complete in Him.