“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine bursts the wineskins, the wine is spilled, and the wineskins are ruined. But new wine must be put into new wineskins.” (Mark 2:22) In order to make way for new growth, sometimes you have to shed old structures. John the Baptist preached “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand . . . Prepare the way of the Lord; Make His paths straight.’” (Matthew 3:1-3) Repentance is “changing your mind.” When God wants new facets of the Kingdom of Heaven to be expressed in your life, He will send a messenger to you as well - to minister to your heart ahead of time about a change He is wanting to make. Be sensitive to what He’s asking you to change in your mind. You don’t yet have to know what He is asking you to do. You just have to know that He is asking you to get ready – to make that place supple again.
Part 2: Changing Your Mind
If you are not ecstatic about the next 4 or 5 months - and what God wants to do in your life - you are not thinking about those months like He is! You have an opportunity for growth, right now, that is greater than any growth that you have ever experienced in the Lord! How will that growth occur? Through changed mindsets! That process of renewing your mind, according to the Word of God, is discipleship, and we need to embrace discipleship as a process. The mindset we approach discipleship with will either make the process of discipleship a joy and delight, or a not-so-fun sequence of emotionally harrowing events. Listen to this message to learn more about about how discipleship can be a really fun process in which we are simply able to seek Him and learn from Him!
Part 3: God-Referenced vs. Man-Referenced Thinking
God’s great plans are going to require me (and you) to change! Our old ways of thinking need to be shed in order to experience new growth. Changing our mind is the process of discipleship. All discipleship hinges on not having any righteousness of your own. Rom. 8:5-8 shows us that for all of human thinking, there are 2 different reference frames that people can go through life with: the flesh-focused reference frame and the Spirit-focused reference frame. Jesus said that His Words will abide (rest, dwell) in the heart of His disciples, but the carnally minded are actually at war with God in their thinking. As born-again believers, we have 2 minds, but we are not called to be double-minded. As long as we have our own thoughts, we won’t have His. Col. 2:18-19 shows us that if we have a fleshly mind, we will cheat ourselves of our reward. But, let no one cheat you of your reward - including yourself!
Part 4: One Thing
The Lord wants us to baptized - to be in over our heads - in changing our minds according to the Word! The mind that is set on the Spirit (on the Word) doesn’t just produce life, it produces life AND peace!Being discipled is as simple as being in the Word and letting the Word naturally do the work that it does in our hearts to transform us. But, motivation can be an issue. There are the natural stages of discipleship. We never stop learning about identity in Christ, and we never stop learning about the power that resides within you and the provision that God has for us. But, there is one motivation, one thing, one focus that will never fail you. And that’s to know Him!
Part 5: Being Known by God (Part 1)
Paul, perhaps the greatest discipleship story of all time, had given up all of his personal righteousness, all the standing he had as a Pharisee for one reason, for one thing . . . in his own words, “that I may know Him.” (Phil. 3:10) That’s the ONE THING - to know Him! Knowing Him is one thing, but what does it mean to be known by God? God doesn’t respond to “a lot of words”. God responds to honest words. We see that with Abraham, Moses, and David . . . God chooses to empower those whom He knows! We see in Mt. 7:21-23 that being known by God is an expected aspect of salvation! We see in 1 Cor. 8:3 that we actually love God by allowing Him to know us! Finally we see in Jn. 10:27 that being known by God is the other half, the cooperating partner to knowing Him!
Part 6: Being Known by God (Part 2)
Who, according to Jesus follows Him? People that hear His voice and people that He knows! Knowing God and being known by God is a 2-way street, a 2-way relationship. How can we be known by God? We see in Ps. 139 that David was known by God because he asked God to know Him! We see in Genesis 3 (from the story of Adam and Eve) that while God always knows all things, we can still choose to hide ourselves from Him relationally. In other words, as it relates to our relationship with Him, our omniscient Father generally chooses to make Himself dependent upon our invitation to be known by Him. We see from Ps. 138:6 that God develops deeper relationship with those who have a humble, honest heart towards Him. Finally, we see in James 4:8 that we can be known by God by drawing near to Him. And praise God, we have access by faith to do just that! (Rom. 5:1-2)
Part 7: Being Known by God (Part 3)
If you are one who follows Christ, there are two central things that you do: you hear His voice and He knows you. (Jn. 10:27) When you hear God’s words, you Know Him; when God hears your words, He knows you. If you want to be known by God, the first thing you should do is to ask Him to know you! The reason David was so well known by God was because David had asked God to know Him! (Ps 139:23-24) "Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." When the Israelites were in the wilderness Moses pitched a tent outside the camp where people could go to meet with God. This is a key point in knowing “how to be known by God”: go on dates with God. He wants you to have your own thing, your own history with Him! He does not want you to somehow become vicariously satisfied in living through someone else’s intimacy with Him. God wants to know you personally. Talk with the Lord. He wants to make history with you!