by Pastor Tim Burt
1 Cor. 2:10 “But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit…”
We have all seen it at some time, a person doing a magic trick. He takes the coin in his left hand. He squeezes and blows on it. He opens it and the coin is gone. He opens his other hand and there it is. That is called magic, the art of illusion. God does not do magic. We don’t hand Him our problems where He takes them in His hand, squeezes and blows on them, and they are suddenly gone. That’s illusion but God is about SOLUTION.
Too many of the problems that we experience, we've contributed to creating. Marriage problems for example, don’t just happen. We do things God tells us we shouldn't do. We don’t do things God tells us we should do. By disobeying God we create problems.
When people get in crisis situations, they often pray out of desperation, but what they are usually looking for is the magician, not God. They want God to wave His wand and make their problems go away. There are many in the world that offer illusionary solutions (for a fee) but God is not one of them. If problems are born out of our character dysfunction, God's solution is going to be to help transform us so that we don't repeat creating these problems again and again. Oh don't get me wrong. God will help us in a multitude of ways to get to a better place, but beyond that, God is all about transformation! He is interested in transforming us. He is interested in transforming how we think, how we speak, and how we behave. He is interested in transforming our attitudes and motives. He wants to help purge us from selfish ways and teach us to become a vessel of His love with a servant attitude so that we will become more conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, our role model of selflessness. Every word Jesus spoke leads to transformation. That doesn't mean becoming Mother Theresa. It means learning to prefer others over yourself, and from a sincere heart.
So let me illustrate how that happens. Think of God wanting to transform you as you read this scripture. 1 Thessalonians 5:23 (NIV) says, "May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ."
If you were anything like me you might have responded Blameless? Who me? I’m as close to blameless and holy as I am to Jupiter. That’s how I felt when I first read this verse. So, let me break it down. You are a three-part being. You are a spirit. You are a soul (made up of your mind and emotions,) and you are a body. When you gave your life to Jesus, He made your spirit new. It was instantly transformed. The blood of Jesus washed your sins away and God put a white robe of righteousness upon you. Isaiah 61:10 (NLT) says, “I am overwhelmed with joy in the Lord my God! For He has dressed me with the clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness. I am like a bridegroom in His wedding suit or a bride with her jewels.”
You are a spirit, soul, and body and your spirit is to take lead of your life. You soul and body weren't made to lead you in life. They will take you to problem land. They are corrupted and haven’t been instantly changed. Your spirit has the capability of hearing from the Spirit of God. Your mind hasn't. What you hear from God by your spirit is what you teach your mind to think.
1 Cor. 2:6-16 (NLT) says, “Yet when I am among mature Christians, I do speak with words of wisdom, but not the kind of wisdom that belongs to this world… No, the wisdom we speak of is the secret wisdom of God… But we know these things because God has revealed them to us by His Spirit… And God has actually given us His Spirit (not the world's spirit) so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us….But people who aren't Christians can't understand these truths from God's Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them because only those who have the Spirit can understand what the Spirit means. We who have the Spirit understand these things, but others can't understand us at all….but we can understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ."
You have many thoughts you think about every day. You talk to yourself about many things. Your conscience is engaged in that conversation. Your conscience isn't your spirit. Your conscience is a part of your soul – your mind and emotions. Before you gave your life to Jesus, your conscience was trained by the many voices of the world that speak into your life. But when you gave your life to Jesus, the Holy Spirit took residence within you, and that’s who is now supposed to teach and transform your conscience and thinking. That is what is meant by the verse Romans 12:2 (NLT) “Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”
This transformation will take time because you will have to make the personal decision to hear and obey God’s voice speaking to you through the scriptures over and over and over again. And you will have to make the decision to change. He won’t make you. So how fast you change depends on your willingness to seek and to listen to the voice of God. It won’t be magic. It will be a process. God in His mercy and grace will wash and forgive you of your sins when you blow it and repent. Listening and obeying repeatedly over time is what will cause your character transformation. Hardship and the desire to get out of our problems has a way of helping us remember what we don’t want to go through again. God doesn't want hardship for us. He wants obedience that minimizes problems and instead leads us to the blessing and joy of following Him. If God just did the magic and took the problems you created away, then you would not be transformed into Christ’s image and you’d repeat those stupid mistakes and sins over and over again. He is interested in the transformation of your spirit, soul and body! While this is happening, He’ll always be by your side to speak to you and lead you – if you will listen! He’ll listen to every prayer, and help you in every step. And you will change!
2 Corinthians 3:18 (NLT) "... And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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