Vibrancy and vitality of spirit are key – but how does this happen? “So keep your thoughts continually fixed on all that is authentic and real, honourable and admirable, beautiful and respectful, pure and holy, merciful and kind. Fasten your thoughts on every glorious work of God, praising Him always.” (Philippians 4:8) How are you moving towards knowing Him fully?
How can we “take thoughts captive?” How can we “keep our eyes on Jesus”? How do we “overcome“? How do we go from “one degree of glory to another“? How do we “defeat sin and temptation“? How do we “sit with Jesus in heavenly places“?
The above quotes from the Bible are familiar enough and we probably think we understand what they mean and how amazing their truth is. However, the question is, are they in any way real and visible in our everyday life. Are they part of our personal reality? They are all attainable because they are part of what Jesus bought on the cross and what He invites us to experience. It’s time, to be honest; otherwise, we are just kidding ourselves and others. God is calling us to break through into a new place of “knowing Him” where these things become our daily experience.
We want to do them all but where do you begin? Whilst there are practical disciplines and habits we can employ to help us, the shift only happens from a place of “abiding”, entwinement, stillness, and intimacy with God. As we often don’t really perceive the value of this place of abiding, it can be a slow process; although it appears that trials, suffering, loss, and isolation can be accelerators of it. The main commodity that needs to be invested is time – both quality and quantity.
Renewing The Mind
One key “shift” on this journey to a new reality is to restore the place of our “spirit” and bring our soul (mind, emotions, and will) and our body under its authority. A mind that is renewed by the spirit (small‘s’) can think and see in a different way. Why did Jesus speak in parables so often? He wasn’t into just dispensing information that could be accepted “in faith”. He spoke in such a way that people had to consider what He meant and they had to spend a lot of time thinking about what He had said before they could even get to the point where that could believe it “by faith”.
Knowing Him: Final Words
In a world full of theologians proclaiming information about knowing Him and how God relates to us, Jesus was different. He didn’t even make his message clear. He spoke in parables, in pictures, none of which had a quick or obvious explanation. It was not the acceptance of information that He deemed important but people’s engagement.
When we engage our spirit-led minds, our conclusions belong to us fully. When we utilise our spirit-renewed mind we authentically start to engage and encounter and only then do our beliefs truly become our own.