"Sadly, many Christians today do not exercise their minds to be of service to God. They allow others to do their spiritual thinking for them. If they can find their theology from a book, they will not bother to study God's Word themselves. If a speaker makes an authoritative statement, they readily accept it without verifying whether it is biblical. Paul urged Christians to strive for maturity in their thinking (1 Cor. 14:20). He said there was a time when his spiritual thinking was immature, but he had prepared his mind to know and understand the great truths of God (1 Cor. 13:11). He had not allowed others to do his thinking for him. When you became a Christian, God renewed your mind (Rom. 12:2). Be certain to use your mind in a way that brings glory to God." - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
If I can say for certain about an area of my life that God has certainly changed...that would be in the way I perceive things. Of how I now prioritize things. Essentially what's important to me has been changing because God's changing me.
To do so, I will clearly admit, at times have been painful. To let go of a way of thinking isn't easy. To make a change in place of that way of thinking is daunting.
But you and I will never know the transformation of our minds to God's way of thinking until we start making Him a priority.
Movies, TV, Sports, events, or anything else outside of you and Jesus time takes away from the short amount of time granted to you on this Earth. Politics consume some Christians to the point where a casual observer will see more passion for that than they have about their walk with God. Same goes for sports. I have been living here for almost 2 decades and to quote Paul, have seen many many Christians shipwrecked in their walk with God over something like sports. You oppose 'their team' and you will get hours of rebuttal. Say one derogatory thing about God and they have to go.
What God's been doing with me has been nothing short of miraculous. I cannot memorialize Scripture because my brain can't sort it like others do. But He HAS given me ways to find it when His Spirit says here it is, look up the rest. Honestly when complaining to God in my frustration over memorizing it, He DID reply audibly to me. "I gave you Google...look it up there."
I see so many unsatisfied people trying to find joy in a world of sensory overload.
I can't drive 2 miles from my home and not come across a restaurant or other venue where some business isn't trying to be a source of happiness or joy to a person. We are inundated with a thousand cable channels, countless internet streaming services, countless websites with content to try to sway our thoughts and lives.
God said...let my Word richly dwell within you.
God said...I am the light of the world.
God said...come to me you who are weary and heavy burdened and I will give you rest.
I read a line in a fiction book many years ago but it's factually correct.
A tired body means a tired mind.
A tired mind makes mistakes.
Satan gets our world going in such a way to make sure we do not have the time to rest. So that we do not have the ability to think about Scripture. So that we are finding joy in other places and things.
Read of how much Jesus wants to be your one and only.
Read of how jealous He is of time spent with you.
Read about the right relationship between a husband and wife in the Bible and amplify it. That's what Jesus thinks of between Himself and the Church.
The most precious commodity in all of time was the spilt blood of Jesus.
It was poured out to save you and I.
Why would we consume our lives giving out time, energy and talents to things that take us away from Jesus?
Now, it's a given, you need to make a living. Scripture says that if one isn't willing to work, then he will not eat.
Scripture also says that after the fall of man, he would toil for his existence the rest of the days of his life. There goes the idea of retirement.
So what occupies your life? Are you in love with your Savior or are you dating others throughout your week? That's what it boils down to about letting other things be more important to you than Jesus. You are married to Christ in your Salvation yet you go out with others rather than spending time with Jesus.
If what gets you fired up isn't Jesus then you my friend have a significant problem.
My fears of what I would have to give up consumed me. Fears of what He would ask of me consumed me.
I am putting all my cards on the table.
I was very much afraid!
I have had more "But...but God!" moments than I have of just obeying moments.
Jesus still says of me...and you...follow Me!
Not follow me plus that..
Not follow me and this too...
Not follow me but my family...
Your responsibility is to follow the commands of Jesus. Your family will stand on their own before Christ.
Nobody has a defense lawyer before Jesus. Nobody has anyone to stand with them before Christ.
The Bible says He knows our thoughts and intentions. He knows where our soul and Spirit meet. He knows everything. So lying to ourselves...yes He knows we do that too.
So what ARE your priorities?
Spending hours ranting about politics, sports or people but not giving God time in prayer or the Bible?
Spending hours watching sports but won't give God a couple of those hours in Church?
It's a very famous statement from the NFL. Sunday's used to belong to the Church, now it belongs to us.
I have learned more in the last 3 years about God and Spiritual matters that my whole lifetime...because He moved me past my fears and opened my heart and mind to learning.
Was rather interesting to hear Dr. Michael Youseff mention today that he made a mistake of sharing a message that God gave to him personally with other Christians. I have probably done the same mistake. Like Dr. Youseff, it doesn't turn out well most of the time. People look at you funny and wonder about your sanity. Why? Because of their Spiritual immaturity.
God will indeed have things to show and say to you that are for you to share.
He will also have things for you that are meant for you alone.
It isn't always going to be a 'group hug!' situation...there will be times when He will speak directly to you about Himself and His love for you.
Look at Joseph. His family was cruel towards him for his sharing a dream from God! To the point some of the tribes of Israel wanted to kill him! But note, in all of it...God used it all to make his dream a reality.
I can relate so well to Joseph. I too was shown something from God long ago. Yet I got so eager to do it I came close to ending my life. I thought I knew more than God on how to make it happen!
So God waited until I settled down and came back to Him on His terms not mine.
Then the works He had for me began to take shape.
You cannot know the will of God without time with God. You cannot understand the things of God without being willing to do what you are told by God. You cannot live for Jesus if you are living for the things of this world.
Start today. Just talk to Jesus as you would a friend. Be as open as you can be. He's promised that by no means He would cast you away. He loves you and truly wants what's best for you.
Why isn't there a revival in the Church today? People are outside of the Church making those things more important than a right relationship with God.
Begin in prayer. You need nobody's book to read to start.
Then get a Bible. Make the time EVERY day to be reading some portion of it.
Be willing to hand your fears of what might be or what might happen to Jesus.
Then you will see your thinking change.
Then you will see your life change.
Then you will discover the lover of your soul in ways you never thought possible.