(All Scriptures are from N L T unless otherwise stated.)
John 10:10b. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.
Jesus came so that we could have a rich & satisfying life. My question to you is are you living that life? He wants you to have that life right here on earth not just when you get home to heaven.
God is a God of the now. The New Testament is the revelation of His great plan of redemption, & He wants us to walk in the knowledge & experience of it right now.
We have abundance of grace & the gift of righteousness. God has made us masters of our destiny. The right standing we have brings grace, favour & sonship. Everything Jesus won for us on the cross is ours now.
We are in His kingdom. When you may ask? The answer is right NOW.
NOW we have complete forgivness.
NOW we are a new crearion.
NOW we have victory over the devil.
NOW we are more than conquerors.
NOW we are seated with Christ in heavenly places.
NOW we have healing & prosperity (in all areas).
We are not trying to get any of these things, because He has already given them to us. We do not have to wait till we get home to heaven before we can receive them.
Faith is NOW, & the Bible is a NOW book. We need to look at it, we need to look at its pages & say, NOW I have it NOW (Not later).
Jesus has wiped our past away. He took away that sin nature of ours on the cross. He gave Himself for the church
He did this to present her to himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault. (Eph 5:27). From this verse we see that that we
are without spot or wrinkle right NOW, not just after death.
God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing, I want you to get this Church, He is not going to bless us at some future time but has already blessed us NOW(Eph1:3). God has given us everything we need for life & godliness~not will give it to us when we get to heaven (2Peter 1:2). We have already inherited God’s promise~not will inherit someday.
There are many Christians that walk through life not realising the immensity of what they have inherited. They have misplaced their faith & need to bring it back into the NOW.
Renewing the mind takes place, when? NOW. God tells us to be transformed~not sometime in the future in heaven, but in this life. Here are some points of the NOW life that we to train our brain to embrace.
1. Train Your Brain...For the Adventure.
Mark 11:22 NKJ). So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. Notice that Jesus tell us to have faith in God. (The Amplified version ads the word constantly, so we are to have faith in God constantly). We must be aware putting our faith in anything than God Himself & His Word. When we read His Word we learn that when we are faithless He remains faithful (2 Tim 2:13). Not one of us has perfect faith, But we should strive to have faith in God constantly, there will be times when we allow doubt to creep in. I am comforted by the knowledge that even in those times God is still God & He does not change. He is always faithful!
The disciples were around Jesus for three years & they saw Him constantly operating in faith. When His ministry was reach its climax, He demonstrated His faith to them in an unforgetable way.
They arrived in Jerusalem & Jesus entered the city riding on a donkey, surrounded by the praises of
the people. He went back to stay at Bethany that night, then the next morning he set out to return to the city
Mark 11:12-14 NKJ). Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. 13 And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.” And His disciples heard it.
They went into the city, where Jesus created a stir by clearing the temple. The next night agin stayed at Bethany, in the morning they again set out for Jerusalem. Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.” 22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. Vv 20_22
Here Jesus was giving His disciples an object lesson in faith. Speaking to mountains as He had taught them, When Jesus spoke He believed. But His disciples did not see anything there & then, It
was the next morning they saw what He believed had indeed manifested.
Faith pleases God, & it opens the door to great blessings, we see in Hebrews 11:6 NKJ). But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
On the day we gave our heart to Christ God gave us a spirit of faith, & we already have a measure of faith (2 Corinthians 4:13; Romans 12:3b). But we must learn to release it. To turn the switch of faith on we must use our mouth. AS we speak the Word, we grow in confidence that He will do what He says He will do.
This means that faith must be built on the Word of God. The more we have God’s Word hidden in our hearts, the easier it is to exercise faith in that Word. Faith does not move God, it realigns us with the Word to receive the things of the Spirit.
We see in Proverbs 3: 5a (AMP) Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind.
When sit down on a chair we trust that it will hold our weight & not let us fall to the floor. We need to learn to trust God like that.
The Apostle Thomas’s encounter with the risen Jesus teaches us something vital about faith. John 20:28-29. “My Lord and my God Thomas Exclaimed 29 Then Jesus told him, “You believe because you have seen me. Blessed are those who believe without seeing me.”
If like most Christians you may have doubted God & maybe you have felt guilty about it. Jesus welcomes you to bring your doubts to Him. Like Thomas, be honest with Jesus about your doubts. He will meet you where you are if you are honest with Him. Ask Him to show you that He is who He says He is & to help you to believe that He can do what He says He can do. He will be faithful to do so, & like Thomas your faith will increase.
When declaring the Word 7 believing for something you haven’t seen yet, our faith become the assurance that we have it, for Hebrews 11:1 N K J) says Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
The things we hope have no substance, they are out there somewhere in the future. We do not see them yet. But as we act on the Word of God, Faith gives substance to those things we are hoping for. & Because our faith is based on God’s Word, it becomes the substance; it is the evidence fot the things we are hoping for.
Hope is in the future but faith brings it into the NOW.
Take healing for example. Many people hope to be healed, but that is no more than mental assent. When we walk by faith we know what is impossible to man is possible to God (Luke 18:27) We also know that by His stripes we are healed (Isaiah 53:5b). These & other declarations from God’s Word become evidence of our healing even before it manifests. Like Jesus cursing the fig tree, we declare the Word for healing & believe we have what we say.
That Word become the substance until the healing is manifested, so we can praise God: Thank you, Father, because Your Word says Jesus took my infirmities & sickness (Matthew 8:17). Thank you that by His stripes I am healed.
If you are believing to overcome fear, anxiety, defeat or any other mental stronghold, the Word will be the substance of your faith. Keep on declaring it & thanking Him that you have it before you see it. 1 John 5:4 declares For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.
2. Train your Brain ... To Live with the Spirit.
1Corinthians 6:19 Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself.
Immorality is not only a sin against the body. It is a sin against the Holy Spirit who dwells in the body.
Every Christian is temple to the Holy Spirit. The Physical temple under the old covenant was where God dwelt among His people, but now we are living under a new, better covenant. God dwells inside each one of us.
It is a privilege & a joy that we are one with Him, spirit to Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:17) We have God‘s love nature within us. We must renew our mind to the wonder of His constant presence with us.
His presence means we can:
· Train our brain to delight in the Lord. This is what King David choose Psalm 37:4 AMP) Delight yourself in the LORD, And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart.
Make the choice to find your greatest joy & satisfaction in your personal relationship with God.
Those who delight in themselves in the Lord enjoy a sense of nearness to God. They take pleasure in living in the truth of His Word.
Those who delight in Him come to want what He wants. When the desires & secret petions of their heart are shaped by the Word of God, God grants them.
· Train your brain to live intimately with Him. He’s more real than the person you are sitting next to. Take time with Him. Sit together with Him as you would with someone you are having a cup of tea with. Let Him be your best friend. Cast your cares upon Him. Make your requests to Him. Listen to Him. He wants to direct you on the right track for your life.
Make intimacy your lifestyle, as natural as breathing the air. People say they can’t pray all day; I have to go to work. But walking with God isn’t about spending three hours in the prayer closet every day & being super~spiritual. It is about being in His kingdom. Conscious of His Word. Alert to His leading. You then start to realise it doesn’t matter where you go~the bathroom, the shopping centre or even the boardroom He is there.
· Train your brain to rely absolutely on Him.
The Holy Spirit is our Comforter, our Helper, our Strengthener. Paul talks of His special ministry in Romans 8:26 And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.
When the Spirit sees us in need or a hard place~when we don’t know how to pray about it~He comes alongside us. If we come to Him & say, “God, help me, I can’t see my way out of this”, He is there, pleading for us, taking our place& carrying our burden.
Over the years I have found this such a strength, when I am in a hard place, I press in to the Spirit. Suddenly, supernaturally, there is a breakthrough. & I just know everything is alright. It is as if the fear or distress that tries to come against me is diluted. The next thing I know is whatever the problem was just temporary & subject to change. God has made the seemingly impossible possible.
3. Train Your Brain...As an Ambassador of Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:20 NKJ. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God.
Do you know that you are Christ’s ambassador? Just as you were reconciled to God through Jesus. He now entrusts you to tell others that they too, can be reconciled to God & have a loving personal relationship with Him. Think of someone you can be Christ’s ambassador, & pray for an opportunity to share God’s love with that person.
According to this verse we are God’s ambassadors, that is His personal representatives. & God makes His appeal to mankind to be saved
through us as believers in Jesus Christ. This is a very big responsibility, one that we need to take seriously. We must display the character of Jesus through our love for one another & through the good fruit He has produced in our lives, so that others will be drawn to Him. In 1 Timothy 2:3-6 we see what is God’s agenda. This is good and pleases God our Saviour, 4 who wants everyone to be saved and to understand the truth. 5 For, There is one God and one Mediator who can reconcile God and humanity—the man Christ Jesus. 6 He gave his life to purchase freedom for everyone. This is the message God gave to the world at just the right time.
God wants above all else for His love to be known to the whole world, so He appointed both you & me to be His ambassadors in sharing His offer of love with others.
We need to train our brain to embrace His love mission to the world. The message we carry is earth shaking: Be reconciled to God (2 Corinthains 5:20b). & we are not to offer it half~hartedly, Paul says “We implore you. We plead with you. We beg you. That is the urgent cry of God’s heart.
Every Christian is called to the ministry of reconciliation train your brain to be passionate to bring others to Christ. All around us, people are going to hell. Jesus looked at the multitudes & saw them as sheep without a shepherd, & He was overcome with compassion for them (Mark 6:34) Keep your heart steeped in the softness of Jesus.
The victorious life includes living for others not just ourselves. We are going to heaven, but we need to know how to share the love of Christ with others as well. Jesus even promised we would do greater works than He did (John 14:12). Religious spirits don’t like us hearing that because it makes us rise up in the authority God has given us.
Jesus needs to be real to us or we will never share about Him. That’s why the Word of God must come alive to us. When we know its resurrection power, we speak the Word & people are saved, encouraged, delivered & healed.
As you sit under the Word for a while, you will be surprised what comes up in you that you can release into people’s lives. God will give you something to share with somebody~ it might be
“Jesus loves you,” or they may have a bad back & you ask, “Can I pray for you?” When they sense His power you don’t have to say much more.
Satan wants to keep us selfish & looking inwards. But God points us outwards. There is so much pain & hurt, sickness & brokenness in the world. WE need to train our brain to know His love nature within us. The next thing we must do is fill our words & actions with love & carry them, in the Holy Spirits anointing power, to those who are lost & dying.
4. Train Your Brain ...To Reign. Revelation 1:5
-6 and from Jesus Christ. He is the faithful witness to these things, the first to rise from the dead, and the ruler of all the kings of the world. All glory to him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by shedding his blood for us. 6 He has made us a Kingdom of priests for God his Father. All glory and power to him forever and ever! Amen.
Verse five affirms how much Jesus loves us by shedding His blood that we might be freed from sin. This passage communicates that we are worth something because Jesus loves us & shed His blood for us.
Do not allow your sense of worth to be based on opinions or actions of others. Do not try to find your worth in how you look or what you do. Do not to find your worth in how people treat you. Rather let your sense of worth come through a relationship with Jesus Christ. Remember you are secure in Him. He loves you.
When we were born again we were born into a line of royalty. There is royal blood in us. We are a royal priesthood chosen to proclaim God’s praises (1Peter 2:9).
In fact we are more than royalty. Our Brother, Jeus is King of kings & Lord of lords. We are princes & princesses of heaven.
When God seated us in heavenly places, He put us in the highest place of honour, victory & authority. We are reigning with Christ. You may not feel like it, but that’s how God see’s you. Your right~standing puts you in that position. You are reigning NOW.
This means that you have to train your brain to reign. Reigning is about two things: victory & authority. First, victory on the cross Jesus destroyed the devil’s work (1John 3:8), & He wants us to live in that victory here & now: Luke 10:19 Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you.
Snakes & scorpions are symbolic of all demonic powers. & they are under our feet! How wonderful to know we to reign victoriously with Christ over satan who is a defeated foe.
Second, authority. Jesus has all authority in heaven & earth (Matthew 58:18), & He has chosen to share it with us.
Victorious believers are those who know & exercise their authority. Again the basis for our authority is knowing who we are in Christ. When you start to know your righteousness, you start to sense the authority & power of it.
Exercise it by confessing it over your life with thanksgiving...”Thank you, Lord, I am reigning in Christ”. Declare it over the enemy whenever he assaults you. Speak & meditate on victory & not defeat. Overcome whatever you are going through by the power of the Word. Keep your eyes on visions God has placed in your heart, calling them into reality.
There is one more area where you need to exercise your authority in Christ: being His ambassador. He says, “I’ve given you all authority, so go & proclaim the gospel. Lay hands on the sick. Deliver people from demons. Speak my Word. Care for those who are broken. Pray for those who are lost. Go & be my extension in the earth”. We are His hands & feet, His mouthpiece. He is not going to do it for us; He is waiting for us to move. We can only do it if we stand up in our authority.
AS those seated in heavenly places by faith, we are not looking up pleading, We are looking down, thanking Him for our position In Christ, seeing the things we desire for our life & speaking them into reality. We are like eagles flying higher than the other birds. Isaiah 40:31 But those who trust in the
LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.
It is like we are up there with the eagles not down with the chooks! We sore with Him when we train our brain to reign.
In the first message on training our mind I pointed out that the mind is like a control tower & the gateway to our soul. What we allow in our minds shapes our heart.
The condition of our hearts matters greatly to God for He said that David was a man after His own heart (Acts 13:22b). If we allow God’s Word to renew our mind, our heart will be shaped after God’s heart.
Acknowledgements Dr. Margaret Court.