There is a spiritual form of a horrible disease that is being lived out way too often in the life of many Christians today.
What do I mean?
It is a believer, one who claims the born again experience through faith in Jesus Christ, yet lives their life with the same strongholds that held them before they came to faith.
They have the same fears, insecurities, anxieties, jealousy, addictions to prescription drugs, marijuana, alcohol or porn; they use abusive anger or whining to control people and engage in lustful imagination.
Maybe they live with the more acceptable forms of the old life:
movies with nudity and filled with inappropriate language,
and improper dress that attracts attention.
They are living out of their old mind.
The mind is the ideology, philosophy, reasoning, thought patterns and world view by which one lives. It is the stuff that shapes behavior patterns, defense mechanisms and the systems by which adversity, trials and tragedy are handled.
These things are shaped in us by our family and friends from our earliest days. They continue to be shaped in us through education, childhood experiences and dealing with the circumstances of life. They are the "old man" or the "old woman" by which we lived before we came to Christ.
The apostle Paul instructed the believers at Corinth, "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is complete" (2 Cor. 10:4-6, MEV).
Here are 2 ways strongholds prevent us from renewing the mind.
1. Strongholds are attitudes and behaviors that continue in our life because we think, "That is just who I am." We live with things because we believe they are unchangeable.
2. A stronghold is deception (wrong philosophy, reasoning, or thought pattern) filled with hopelessness. It determines or establishes a behavior pattern and keeps one tied to an addiction.
Living out of the old mind will cause us to deal with life the way we would have before we came to Christ. It makes a person a prisoner of war held captive by the enemy, even though they have been born again.
It is imperative to follow the Scripture's instructions. Cast down those empty imaginations, reasoning and philosophies.
Bring every thought pattern into obedience to Christ. That is, bring every thought pattern, reasoning, philosophy and ideology in conformity to the principles and precepts of God's Word. When you do that, your behavior will follow!
"That you put off the former way of life in the old nature, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new nature, which was created according to God in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph. 4:22-24, MEV).
Renew your mind in the power of the Holy Spirit with the living Word of God. Then you will live in the fullness of your new life in Christ.
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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