“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God.” Philippians 2:5-6 NKJV
Jesus had the power to be equal to God but chose to be humble. Paul tells us to let this mind be in you which was also in Christ. In Philippians 2 Paul tells us to be humble and to be like-minded amongst each other and to look out for other’s interest, not just our own.
Being humble is a mindset, a Christ-like mindset. But, it doesn’t begin in the mind. The actual transformation needs to take place in the heart for it to change your mind. See, the mind is the gateway for God’s word to flow in and out of, but it is your heart that governs how you project His truth out to the world. The heart is your spiritual connection with God and where your relationship with Him is formed. We can read biblical instructions all day long and do what they say, but are the instructions written in your heart? Are you living by God’s standards to please Him, or are you just doing what it says to please everyone around you because that’s the way you should act as a Christian? See as Christians living for Christ, we don’t act! We live God’s word with all of our heart and all of our mind because we have chosen to be grounded on a foundation of Christ. That foundation is our relationship with Him as our Father.
Being humble is a mindset that is controlled by the heart. To be humble means to sacrifice yourself for others, and to be a servant to others. There will be times in your life where this will be very difficult depending on the circumstance and the people God wants you to impact. God wants you to submit yourself through obedience and to show the world that you stand for His kingdom no matter what sacrifice you have to make to humble yourself.
I want to start this post with this verse in mind…
Philippians 2:13NIV“For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill His good purpose”
I am sure you have asked yourself and people have asked you; “what is your purpose in life?” or “what do you think your calling is?” I know I have asked these questions to myself numerous times throughout my life. When I read this verse from Philippians it hit me. The question on calling and purpose have halfway been answered through this verse. It is God who works in us to will and act. This tells me that God does the work in our life to fulfill His purpose in our life. But, there is one important thing we must do for God to work in us. We must allow Christ into our life through a relationship with Him, so He can work in us to fulfill His good purpose.
If we invite the Lord into our life and establish that close relationship with Him, He will show us the way to our calling and purpose. This is where most people get stuck as they try and figure their life out by trying different things to discover what their calling is. For some people this could come naturally, but for most out there it can be a long drawn out discovery process. Your calling can be multiple things throughout your lifetime. It can be a calling to serve somewhere, it can be a calling to lead somewhere, or it can be a calling to play in a worship band at the age of 65, you never can tell what God has in store for you if you don’t communicate with Him and get close to Him. So, first thing is first, seek the Lord, then seek your calling.
Seeking a relationship with Christ and understanding His word can help you recognize His will and His purpose. You must strengthen your spiritual life through prayer and worship, and be spiritually cognizant of how He works through you daily. Through understanding you will realize that He is providing you with direction and all you must do is follow it. You are the one driving, but God is giving you the directions.
If you are at that point where you think you will never be called to do anything, then it’s time to strengthen your relationship with God. If you feel you have a strong relationship with Him but are still having a difficult time finding your calling, then maybe it’s time for you to start putting in more effort. God will pave the way in this relationship with Him, but He is not going to hand you a future on a silver platter. He wants you to pursue it and work for it.
God’s calling for you is a gift that you need to discover. When you do, you need to own it with all your heart and soul by putting in every ounce of effort to make it possible.
Fear is a common emotion which has the power to crush your dreams, take you captive, and imprison you by turning your thoughts and feelings against you. Fear is stressful, debilitating, weakening, discouraging, and produces nothing but negativity toward your plans, your execution, and your commitment. It is an emotional prison. You can see everything outside, but you can’t experience or feel it and cannot touch it. It is the worst because you can see your dreams right in front of you but fear has you trapped within its boundary. What makes fear so difficult to deal with? I don’t have the answer for everyone but the key to getting out of this cage is right in your hand. The problem is that most people do not know how to use the key. A simple key moves in two directions, left or right to lock or unlock. Your key is the decision you make to either face it or not to face it. For most of us it is a process because fears are powerful and we can experience some very uncomfortable feelings when dealing with them. The best way to grow out of fear is to experience the inevitable over and over again. The more you experience the more you grow. Through growth, you are expanding your comfort zone. It’s basically winning a territorial battle by taking back territories that were consumed by fear.
Be strong and take courage! Don’t let fear keep you from your potential.
In Matthew 5:14, Jesus tells all of us to become the light of the world. As believers in Christ, we shine our light by displaying acts of righteousness and good deeds so others may see that and come to glorify Christ themselves. That is what we hope for!
As a Christian, we don’t see this as displaying acts, we see it as just living a life for Christ through Christ like character.
What you shine upon the world is based on the character you developed through the principles you choose to live by. Your character needs to grow everyday by reading God’s truth. As you stay consistent in His word you will notice your character transforming toward the kind of person God wants you to be.
We all have a heart condition! Our goal to a healthy heart is to be righteous in the eyes of God by emulating Christ in everything we do. This means being the most righteous human beings we can be. This means being sinless in our actions and our thoughts. Right now you are thinking “that’s impossible!” and you’re right! It is impossible, especially when it involves the deepest thoughts in our minds. Not to worry though, God loves us so much that He would never leave us hanging!
John 3:16NIV For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.
If we were all perfect and sinless then we would not be free thinking humans with a conscious mind and an indwelling spirit. God wouldn’t have a need to send His one and only son to save us from sin. If God made us in this robotic way then how would He gain the true love of His people? There would be no need for love! God created us with minds and hearts that make up the fervent spirit inside of us. Our spirit is the inner being that dwells within our bodies which God wants to connect with individually if we accept Him in our lives.
Our hearts make up who we are as beings. Why would God only examine the outward actions of human beings when every action comes from the heart? He wants to see and connect with what and who is inside. He wants to examine the source of our human nature which is our heart. When you give your life to the Lord, you are giving Him your body, mind, and heart, which together make up the temple for His Holy Spirit to reside inside of you.
This past weekend I had an awesome time of praise and worship at Heavenfest in Morrison, Colorado. It was 2 days of watching Christian musicians from a variety of genres. The crowd was people of all ages praising and worshiping our Lord Jesus Christ all day and all night. The weather was hot but it was worth it. There was one Christian rapper that stood out to me because of the messages that he shared upon the stage. They were messages that needed to be heard by all that were there, especially the younger generation. The rapper goes by the name Propaganda. I found this one particular message that everyone must hear and share.
I just came back from a long much needed vacation. Which is the reason I have been off the weekly rhythm. It gave me time to think about this next post because this one is about my favorite topic, faith! To me, this is the most important piece of armor out of all of them. Without faith everything else becomes vulnerable. What good is righteousness without faith? What good is salvation without faith? What good is truth and peace without faith? Faith in general means to have trust and to believe in a reality that is unseen through the human eye. God wants us to have faith within our hearts because that is where He wants us to feel His presence. Feeling the presence of God working through our hearts is much greater than any of the five senses that He has given us to fully function on this earth. If we have Christ in our hearts it will be in our nature to trust in God as He works through us. This is what faith is! Faith is initially gained by accepting the Lord into our life as a young believer and then as we gain wisdom through God’s Word our faith becomes a shield that protects us so the relationship between us and the Lord becomes inseparable.
A soldier in battle holds their shield out in front of them to take any blow that comes from the enemy. Paul mentions that it protects us from the fiery arrows that come from the enemy. He doesn’t mention just arrows but fiery arrows. Fiery arrows are intended to do widespread damage so it can affect multiple soldiers at once. They can also cause enough damage so that the armor on the soldier will be ineffective if it becomes engulfed in flames. From a spiritual perspective the enemy wants to hit us personally and everyone around us. They will shoot whatever they have to disrupt our relationships between family, friends, and most importantly our relationship with Jesus Christ. However, if we hold our shield out in front and stand strong in faith, everything behind our shield is protected. The fiery arrows from the enemy can be great enough to burn through our breastplate, our helmet, and deliver enough damage that will inhibit us from reaching our sword to fight back if we are burned bad enough. Our shield is described as our faith because behind faith lies our righteous hearts, our minds on salvation, our focus on God’s truth and peace.
There are a lot of believers that tend to lose faith during times of trials. They may think the struggle is impossible to overcome. If these believers can just read God’s Word, and understand that these times of trials and tribulations are when God wants us to communicate with Him the most. These trials are the ultimate test to faith but there are a lot of us that give up or forget that He is there waiting to hear our voice call His name.
When you understand the Word of God and have faith in His salvation, it begins to change who you are as an individual. This transformation takes place in the heart. Paul mentions the breastplate of righteousness as a part of God’s armor. The actual breastplate of a Roman soldier would protect the chest and the upper torso in battle. It protects the internal organs, the ribs, and of course the most vital organ, the heart. The heart that Paul is referring to though, is not the physical heart but the heart that ascertains who you are as a person. Your heart is what makes you a one of a kind individual. The heart of a person is where everything comes from such as personalities, emotions, character, and other elements that can make up a person’s nature. God wants you to change your nature. He wants you to change the person you are now to one of righteousness. He wants you to change your mindset, your morals and the standards you live by. He wants you to put on the breastplate of righteousness by living with a righteous heart that thrives under righteous values.
With all the distractions the world puts in front of you, you have to keep your spiritual heart pumping. If your spiritual heart stops pumping, the Holy Spirit within you stops flowing. A righteous heart keeps the Holy Spirit alive inside of you. Your body becomes a temple for the Holy Spirit. So when God’s Spirit thrives through you, you begin to notice changes in your actions. So when Paul tells you to put on the breastplate of righteousness, he is saying to uphold the righteous values that you need to live by, no matter what the circumstances are. So how do we have a righteous heart? It is done through faith and by living under the values that bring glory to the Lord in everything you do. Living for the Lord means you have left the old you by being born again. We are all born in the flesh but the new you, is born in the Spirit!
Bible Challenge: What is the difference between your heart, soul, and spirit?
Look up these three Greek terms (Psyche, Pneuma, Kardia) in any concordance and answer the question above. This challenge can help you get an understanding of how these terms correlate with each other.