Living Your Eternity Now
Living Your Eternity Now
As we go through life there are things that we often experience that forge the way we think and the way we act.
Because of those experiences, even after we become Born Again or saved, we often make decisions that we know will have a less likelihood of causing us or increasing pain in our lives. We make some of those decisions even if we know that what we are going to do is contrary to the Word of God. In essence "We make decisions that we feel safe with.
These are valid decisions as I don't know a person within my circle of relationships that enjoy bringing hurt, pain, suffering and unwarranted pressure on their life.
Often as your pastor's that understand God's Covenant made with you, we speak so much from God's perspective of victory that we don't even take into consideration the fact that these thought processes are ingrained in your lives and hearts and it will take the work of God to change your thinking.
I want to say in the beginning that your experiences and mind set does not change God's Word or His Covenant. This Covenant is a binding agreement that God made with us because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and our placing faith in that work on Calvary's cross.
God desires that this Covenant would be lived out and experienced by His people. However He knows that the only way it will be fully realized by us is by knowing it and bringing our lives into agreement with His will that's revealed in His Word.
The quicker you allow your mind to be renewed with the Word of God, the quicker you will develop greater Trust in what the Bible says. When you really trust what the Bible says your faith will develop to the place where your decisions will not be readily affected by your past experiences.
Therefore, for many of God's people, they face a dilemma; and for some they face it every day. That dilemma is, "God says in His Word one thing and my experiences are dictating another.
We often feel safe siding with experiences because at least we know how they will work out. We know that if I make this decision that I will get that result. But what has to be determined is "Does God have a better way?
- Does God have a better way when it comes to how we treat someone? He tells us to esteem or regard others before ourselves
- Does God's principle of forgiveness really free the one that has been hurt? If I hold unforgiveness in my heart, I am the one that really loses?
- Is walking in love with all men a principle in the Word that keeps me free from the bondages that is associated with walking in lust?
- Does following God's principle of tithes and offerings really cause me to increase where He will meet my need according to His riches in glory?
- Do I really serve a healing God who promised to take care of me and heal my sickness and disease?
- Does He really require me to live holy and righteously before Him and through that lifestyle the confidence of my living eternally with Him increases.
The thing is that we will never know these things until we practice the principles that are revealed in His Word consistently “ even when they go against what we previously experienced or was taught in life.
What we have been taught prepared us for life, but what God reveals prepares us for His Kingdom and subsequently living with Him forever.
What stands between making decisions based on your experiences and making decisions based on the Word is "increasing your knowledge of God's Word and applying His principle of faith.
Sooner or later we are going to have to embrace God's way of living so in essence our lives can reflect Heaven on earth.
So there are two main things that we are going to briefly look at one being "renewing your mind and the other "faith which is placing trust in God's Word and believing that God is going to fulfill what He said.
In Romans chapter 12, we see where God reveals to us the importance of aligning our thought processes and therefore our lives up with what He requires.
The fact that our lives have been influenced by worldly thinking is revealed and the reason why our minds are to be renewed.
1 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. 2 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.
As God is appealing to the church here in Rome, the principle of renewing the mind resounds loud and clear.
He is speaking specifically to people that placed trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and is calling them [or as interpreted here in the NKJV, "beseech] to line their lives up with a specific act or request.
In the prior chapters he instructed through the apostle Paul concerning living lives of obedience to God. God saved them and exalted them to live as the kings and priests that God actually made them.
The first chapters reveal the "mercies of God towards us as Believer's who once walked according to the pattern of this world as the Book of Romans deals with the fact that:
- we are not to feel "condemned because of our past actions
- that the Blood of Christ "justified us or made us totally free from the guilt and shame of those sinful actions
- that we have been "sanctified through that Blood by washing us and cleansing us from even the conscience of sin
- that whom Christ justified, He also "glorified which is the state that the people of God will inherit after this life is over and we enter the presence of God.
Being free from condemnation, being sanctified, justified and glorified are things that we are not able to attain on our own and there is no way we could ever pay the required price to achieve them. Therefore, God extends unto us these "mercies to help us meet the requirements.
God actually elevates us as people who lived in sin to positions of royalty and commands us to live free from that sin.
The thing is the commands to live according to God's standards would be useless unless He also gave us the manner for us to accomplish this.
He therefore tells us in view of the mercies we have already received to "¦present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
As we are told to present our bodies as living sacrifices, we are to literally "offer; yield; or put something at another person's disposal.
Here, God is the One we are to place something at for Him to use as He sees fit and our bodies is the object that we are to yield to Him.
The body here is referred to as a living sacrifice. This is a living offering as compared to the Old Testament offerings that would die at the hands of the priests.
Something dead cannot sin as when we come to the conclusion life the legacy has been written and it no longer has the ability to or even the desire to in a way that's contrary to God's standard for living.
The question has been asked: "How can the body become a sacrifice? This was answered:
- Let the eye look on nothing God views as evil; and it is a sacrifice.
- Let the tongue utter nothing improper, corrupt or immoral; and it is an offering.
- Let the hand work no sin; and it is a sacrifice wholly consumed by fire.
This life we live is now "holy or set apart for God to use as He sees fit. It's holy in the sense of "being set apart for God's use; therefore used for pure and righteous purposes. When we live in this manner, we are free from sinful practices or living a lifestyle of sin.
God told us to be holy as He is holy and this is the manner we are expected to conduct ourselves in while we live in the earth. It does not matter what goes on around us, we are called to a higher standard of living.
Living holy is referred to a lifestyle that is acceptable to God and is what is "reasonably [fair, sensible, logical] acceptable by God as an act of service or pure worship.
Therefore, in asking this question, "Is There Another the first thing for us to ask if we are going to measure up to God's standard is, "Do I measure up to His requirement of presenting my body as a living sacrifice, is it holy and do I offer it as my act of worship?
The reason it's important to ask and settle this question is because this does not end here, because after you present your body, there's the requirement for us to also submit our minds to Him as well.
Verse 2 calls us out of the world's way of thinking and into being Kingdom minded. We're told "And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind¦
Being told to not be conformed refers to the act of someone living in a way that does not represent his new inner heart life. It's not how he wants to live and knows what he's doing is contrary to how God intends for him to be living.
In all actuality the Greek construction of this phrase was not one that was giving the people instruction, but was giving correction. The statement actually "forbids the continuance of an action that is already going on.
Paul the apostle exhorts the saints, "Stop assuming an outward expression which is patterned after this world, an expression which does not come from, nor is it representative of what you are in your inner being as a born-again child of God.
For a Christian to live in conformity of the world is like us walking around with a masquerade costume on. It hides Jesus Christ Who is living in our hearts and becomes a curtain or covering that the Holy Spirit cannot reflect Him through.
Therefore in essence, Paul is addressing behaviors the people were already doing that were patterned after the world or how the people of the society they lived in were acting. God has called us to be better and live above mediocrity.
The world's standard and manner of thinking and living is far below how God wants His children to live and the sooner we understand this and line our lives up with it, the more effective we will be as the Church of the Lord Jesus.
If we are going to refrain from doing one thing, it has to be replaced with another. Therefore as we're told to not be conformed to the pattern of this world [refrain from this] we're admonished to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Paul exhorts us to be transformed. The Greek word is "metamorphoomai and speaks of "the act of a person changing his outward expression from that which he has to a different one; an expression which comes from and is representative of his inner being.
Being the word that we transliterate in our English language as metamorphosis, it reflects a change from one complete form to another completely different form after which you cannot assume the previous form again.
God intends for us to reflect Him and once we're Born Again, we're not expected to go back to how we were.
Our thoughts, actions, negative patterns and prior conquests that made up how people viewed us are no longer to be the things that identify us as that person is no longer operating in the earth.
God expects us to "Change the way we were before we got saved that reflected our depraved [immoral, corrupt and wicked] nature and become a representative of God based on our new nature, received in righteousness and holiness.
To do this takes realizing that the faith God gave me must be active in my life. We cannot allow our faith to lie dormant and expect to reflect the glory of God to those around us.
Activating our faith means that we will do what the Bible tells us to do and trust that God will prove true to His Word. Verse 3 of Romans 12 says:
3 For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.
God lets us know that each of us has a measure of the most precious commodity in the earth which is faith.
With our faith placed in the proper "Person you can subdue kingdoms, move mountains, change situations and do what would seem impossible.
But our faith must come to a place where it grows as God intends and in doing so we please God as Hebrews 11:6 says "Without faith it's impossible to please God.
A renewed mind that's given over to the Word of God allows faith to consistently grow as what you are trying to do in renewing your mind is no longer the struggle that it once was.
You are not struggling with the philosophies of the age as you embrace the principles that are outlined in the Word of God. It becomes easier to trust God when given a negative report or when faced with lack as the Word that you placed in your heart calms your nerves and gives you an assurance that God is still in control.
Therefore the renewed mind and faith in God becomes the foundation for you being used by God to do what may appear to be impossible and do something that others that may have the appearance of royalty would be overlooked in.
We now come to the purpose for the question that is posed to us today, "Is There Another?
It's asked you not to get you to look around to try and find someone that may appear better qualified, have better looks, or even have a greater education. It's asked to get you to separate yourself and see that not many mighty are called, but those that God anoints and appoints to carry out His purposes. First Corinthians 1:26
For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence.
This qualifies every one of us and allows us to measure up to the things that God called us to. We may not have the degree, but we have our faith in God; we may not be as intelligent as our neighbor, but we have the mind of Christ and His wisdom, righteousness, sanctification and redemption has become our lives.
God still wants to use you and all we need to be doing is being about our Father's business.
In First Samuel chapter 16, we have where God rejected the current king named Saul and was now ready to anoint one of the sons of a sheep herder named Jesse to be the new king.
What I want to say first is just because you're anointed for a task it does not mean that you will not face "opposition to your purpose as you go through life. If you read the entire story, you see where the new king would almost face death AFTER he was anointed “ but God still prevailed.
Although the current king remained in office for a number of years, the new king was being prepared to rule the kingdom the way God intended.
How did he get to this point? What made David so special in God's eyes that he was referred to as a man after My own heart?
He was a man that loved the Lord His God with all his heart, soul mind and strength and honored his "righteous earthly father by doing what was requested of him.
First Samuel 16
Now the Lord said to Samuel, "How long will you mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go; I am sending you to Jesse the Bethlehemite. For I have provided Myself a king among his sons.
2 And Samuel said, "How can I go? If Saul hears it, he will kill me.
But the Lord said, "Take a heifer with you, and say, ˜I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.' 3 Then invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; you shall anoint for Me the one I name to you.
4 So Samuel did what the Lord said, and went to Bethlehem. And the elders of the town trembled at his coming, and said, "Do you come peaceably?
5 And he said, "Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord. Sanctify yourselves, and come with me to the sacrifice. Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons, and invited them to the sacrifice.
6 So it was, when they came, that he looked at Eliab and said, "Surely the Lord's anointed is before Him!
7 But the Lord said to Samuel, "Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.
8 So Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one. 9 Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, "Neither has the Lord chosen this one. 10 Thus Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel. And Samuel said to Jesse, "The Lord has not chosen these. 11 And Samuel said to Jesse, "Are all the young men here? Then he said, "There remains yet the youngest, and there he is, keeping the sheep.
And Samuel said to Jesse, "Send and bring him. For we will not sit down till he comes here. 12 So he sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, with bright eyes, and good-looking. And the Lord said, "Arise, anoint him; for this is the one! 13 Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers; and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward. So Samuel arose and went to Ramah.
The question in verse 11 was, "Do you have any more sons? In essence is there another that is hidden from our sight?
God has rejected these from being king, but there's someone in the house that has been chosen.
You are chosen by God because of the things we face in our generation. You may not feel like it, but you are anointed as a king and God is requiring that you prepare to reign with Him.
Look at your challenges as being opposition to the place that God has already elevated you to.
Just as David killed the lion and bear, as David killed Goliath and as was prophesied, his ten thousands, these were all preparation for him to reign.
Your opposition is preparing you to judge right; preparing you to have wisdom that you can't gain through a book and defeat an enemy that most others either ignore or run away from.
Is there another? Yes there is and you are it!!