How many of us have behaviors that we would like to see changed? The things we know that could be holding us back?
- The greatest challenge that we face as Christians is not to have great faith.
Jesus said that you can have faith the size of a grain of mustard seed and still move mountains (Matthew 17:20).
The scripture also says that faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) So getting faith and having faith are not the main challenge.
- Our greatest challenge is not to overcome the flesh.
Your flesh simply responds to the strongest voice in you and responds to the decisions that we make.
- Our greatest challenge is not really the devil.
Through what Jesus did for us, he is an already defeated foe.
- Our greatest challenge as believers is to change our thinking and thus change our behavior.
- Your victory in this life will follow your right behavior.
- You can change defeat into victory by changing your behavior and you can change your behavior by changing your mind.
The reason that most people are not able to change their behavior is because they are trying to produce change by addressing the fruit of their behavior and not the root of their behavior.
- Being a Christian is not about behavior modification! It is about transformation.
Romans 12:1-2 | TPT (1) Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship. (2) Stop imitating the ideals and opinions of the culture around you, but be inwardly transformed by the Holy Spirit through a total reformation of how you think. This will empower you to discern God’s will as you live a beautiful life, satisfying and perfect in his eyes.
The word “transformed” is the Greek word that we get the English word “metamorphosis”.
Metamorphosis – a change of the form or nature of a thing or person into a completely different one, by natural or supernatural means.
God is interested in something supernatural happening on the inside of us that changes us on the inside.
In other words, if you struggle with your weight, trying to address weight loss by diet and even exercise will not produce lasting results because you are only addressing the results of the behavior that needs to be changed. If you struggle with smoking, trying to address the smoking by simply cutting back on cigarettes, while that is good, is not going to produce lasting change. You see, you are not addressing the root of the smoking, only the fruit. If you are in debt and you simply try and address your financial situation by trying to find a better paying job so that you can have more money to pay your bills and meet your needs, you are simply addressing the fruit of your behavior and not the root of your behavior. There is a root to the behavior that we must address if we are going to see lasting change in our lives.
- We must understand first that we are a spirit, we possess a soul and we live in a body.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 | MSG (23) May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.
- When we receive Christ, our spirits are born again and made new.
2 Corinthians 5:17 |NKJV (17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.
- There is something that we must do about our bodies and our minds.
James 1:21 | NKJV (21) Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls.
But what exactly shapes our thinking?
From the moment you are born, your mind begins to store and catalogs everything that is said and happens to you. This is what shapes your idea of life and the world around you.
Your mind has eyes. (2 Corinthians 4:4 – blinded to the Gospel)
How you see the world around you ultimately determines how you are going to behave.
Matthew 6:22-23 | NKJV (22) “The lamp of the body is the eye. If therefore your eye is good, your whole body will be full of light. (23) But if your eye is bad, your whole body will be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!
- Eye = vision
- Good = clear
- Light = how you see yourself
- Bad = degenerated or diseased
- Darkness = opaque or obscured
Matthew 6:22-23 | NKJV (22) “The lamp of the body is the eye (Your eyes are like a window for your life) (vision). If therefore your eye (vision) is good, your whole body will be full of light. (23) But if your eye (vision) is bad, your whole body (life) will be full of darkness (obscured). If therefore the light (photo) that is in you is darkness (obscured), how great is that darkness (obscurity)!
- The problems that confront you in this life and you are not able to overcome can be traced back to a cloudy and diseased way that you see yourself and your world.
Ephesians 4:17-18 | AMPC (17) So this I say and solemnly testify in [the name of] the Lord [as in His presence], that you must no longer live as the heathen (the Gentiles) do in their perverseness [in the folly, vanity, and emptiness of their souls and the futility] of their minds. (18) Their moral understanding is darkened and their reasoning is beclouded. [They are] alienated (estranged, self-banished) from the life of God [with no share in it; this is] because of the ignorance (the want of knowledge and perception, the willful blindness) that is deep-seated in them, due to their hardness of heart [to the insensitiveness of their moral nature].
- We have no limitation in this life except what our mind sells us based on how we see our lives.
- Your mind is the deciding factor in which course your life will take.
- Your mind is the check valve to the power of God that we are filled with and to the degree that our mind comes into agreement with our spirits, will release that power out of you to affect your life and reality.
- In other words, the supernatural power of God available to help you change your life and the quality of it, can never rise above the level to which your mind comes in agreement with your spirit.
Ephesians 4:20-24 | AMPC (20) But you did not so learn Christ! (21) Assuming that you have really heard Him and been taught by Him, as [all] Truth is in Jesus [embodied and personified in Him], (22) Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; (23) And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], (24) And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
- We must allow the Word of God and the Spirit of God help us to change our thinking and thus change our behavior.
- Your victory in this life will follow your right behavior and right behavior comes as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.