I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
In Sunday School yesterday, we talked about ruts. If you take the same path over and over again, you’ll form a rut in the ground. That rut is fine as long as you always go the same way. But, if you need to go a new direction, you’ll have to expend some effort to get out of the rut and take a new path.
We can get into a rut where it seems like we keep making the same mistake over and over again. The sad part is, the longer we take to get out of the rut, the deeper it can get and the harder it is to get out of it. But, if the practice is a good one, it is just a difficult to get out of so it's harder to do wrong.
Our brains actually make paths for the things we do most often. For example, when you practice something repeatedly, whether its language, music, sports, writing, your brain builds a path that forms a kind of rut in your gray matter. This makes it easier for the nerves to talk to each other so the thoughts or functions happen faster.
This is why someone who is constantly practices a foul shot can perform it with ease. Or when you memorize something, you can recall it years later. There is a brain rut that makes the action almost second nature. And, like a rut in the road, it takes more effort to change the behavior…it’s easier to follow the rut.
These ruts in our brains from what we think about most is why it is so difficult to change our thinking. This is what the Holy Spirit was getting at when He inspired Paul to write today’s verse.
“transform by the renewing of your mind,…”
Dear ones, renewing our minds means getting new ruts. We’ve got to spend the energy it takes to get out of what we’ve learned from the world over all these years and make ourselves and our minds available to what the Spirit is trying to teach us.
The good news is that the process is the same. We didn’t learn to be negative, downtrodden and selfish overnight. It took time and concentration. So, with time and concentration, we can learn to speak life, have a mind a Christ, see with our Spiritual eyes, follow after the Spirit so we will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
When we were born again, we gained a new nature…no longer a slave to human nature, we took on a spiritual nature. As we nurture our spirit with the Word of God, fellowship, prayer, study, working in our calling, we allow that spirit to grow and flourish. We build ‘ruts’ of following after the Holy Spirit.
Soon, it will take effort to doubt God. You’ll have to fight to be unsure of God. You’ll have to choose to operate in the things of the world.
When you build new ruts, trusting God will come as easily as, well, riding a bike.
Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you. I am thankful to God for the privilege of use. I pray that you have been and will continue to be as blessed by these messages as I am in sharing them.
Sis. Stephanie Robinson
Lifeline is the evangelistic ministry of Fellowship Church in Jonesboro, GA.
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Alton Watkins, Pastor