Take 5 (April 10-14, 2017)

Dr. Bill Tanzey • Pastor of Counseling & Community Life

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Are You Being Transformed By God?
(An inventory to reveal if you are growing in the likeness of Christ.)

MONDAY: Is Your Mind Being Transformed?

Phil. 4:6

After accepting Jesus Christ, the believer faces a “Mind Game.” Where and how you focus your thought life reveals how much Jesus is transforming you. The Apostle Paul understood this. While an inmate in a Roman jail, he tells the Church at Philippi about where the enemy attacks: In our hearts and in our minds. That means that the mind is a battlefield; our thoughts can determine how much of a beachhead the enemy can establish in our lives.

The ultimate freedom for Christians is the power to select (or cancel) where we will allow our minds to dwell. This means we can retain God in our knowledge, focusing on what is true and noble and expelling thoughts that are destructive… Even those habitual thoughts that invade our psyches…The psalmist said: I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).

Prayerfully submit your mind to Christ.

TUESDAY: Is Your Will Being Transformed?

John 7:17

Being a Christian is being renovated by Jesus Christ. That renovation is a transforming action of our wills. In this passage our Lord makes it clear that we should mold our will with His will! This means we have single-minded determination to submit our will under the tent of the will of God.

William Law said it well:

“Would you know who the greatest saint in the world is? It is not he who prays most or fasts most; it is not he who gives most alms or is most eminent for temperance, chastity or justice; but it is he who is always thankful to God, who wills everything that God wills, who receives everything as an instance of God’s goodness and has a heart always ready to praise God for it.”

Pray that your will is lost in His will.

WEDNESDAY: Is Your Body Being Transformed?

1 Cor. 6:19-20; Rom. 8:13

Spiritual transformation is to be total transformation. Not only is our inner self impacted by the gospel, but so too should our outer self reflect that change. Doing what He said becomes increasingly who we become. Our bodies are central to this great truth.

Thus, the body is to increasingly be seen as belonging to Him. That means our bodies lie right at the center of the transforming life. That eliminates guiding our steps to wrongdoing or exploiting our bodies with evil. One can look around and see that these precious human bodies, which are the masterpieces of God’s creation, are often warped by wrongdoing. That prevents transformation. Remember that your body is the original and primary place of your dominion and responsibility. Treat it well.

Read aloud 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 and Romans 8:13 three times.

THURSDAY: Is Your Heart Being Transformed?

Rom. 14:17; Gal. 5:24

Factual evidence of being transformed by Christ involves an ever-increasing change of heart. We are driven by feelings. We cannot live without them and almost can’t live with them. Assuming that feelings spring from the heart means that we need to do heart exams constantly.

Jesus said that the heart of a man or woman reveals who he or she truly is. As we grow in Christ we must refuse to be held captive to our old feelings. When we “stay” in those feelings we become “god” of our world. The Bible makes a strong and compelling case for changing our hearts; and abandoning destructive feelings, such as revenge or anger, and replacing them with joy and peace. Hatred stirs up strife and pride stirs dishonor. A settled heart is a Christ-like heart that finds sweet shalom.

Do a personal heart exam and surrender your heart to Him.

FRIDAY: Is Your Soul Being Transformed?

Deu. 4:9; Matt. 11:19; Ps. 1

That thing that is running your life at any particular moment is your soul. The soul of the man in Psalm 1 is aligned with God’s will. He is first characterized as one who leads a life that doesn’t follow his plan, but does follow God’s plan. I call that “rearranging our souls under His.” That means we don’t stand in life as those who assume that nothing is wrong.

Dallas Willard said:

“If you live within only human ‘wisdom,’ you will find it constantly necessary to do what is wrong. And in that case you will become an ‘authority’ on what is right and wrong – because, after all, you will have to manage right and wrong.”

Since you are reading this on Good Friday, pray for a blessed Easter!