Tag Archives: romans 12:2

No eye has seen



No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love Him. These are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.  1 Corinthians 2:9-10


We were created with powerful imaginations. Some see a barren field and imagine a bountiful garden or a vast building project. Some see a blank canvas and imagine a beautiful painting. Some hear tones and rhythm and imagine a musical masterpiece. God will allow us even to imagine He doesn’t exist if we insist on such a notion. But what mind can imagine what God has prepared for those who love Him? The answer: no wisdom of man can unveil the mysteries of God. However, God’s Spirit reveals these things.


God’s Spirit searches even our hidden thoughts. Helpful therapies can scratch below the surface of our understanding of things. But whatever dark mental fortresses these therapies cannot penetrate, the Spirit of God is able to enter in and shine a revealing light. Beyond our thoughts God’s Spirit perceives the fiery desires that furnace our ambitions and motives, even when they are hidden from our own heart. And what the Spirit reveals, He can heal.


The gifts of God are revealed by this same Spirit, if He lives in us. While our eyes and ears can only perceive our physical world, the Spirit can reveal our spiritual reality.


Without the Spirit of God, such things are regardless as foolish and worthless. They cannot be understood. The Bible is the best seller of all time, yet it is not understood by mere human minds. To them it is foolishness. (V 14) Only the Spirit of God can reveal its meaning and application. We can call ourselves Christians, but if we don’t have or obey the Spirit of God, these things will remain hidden. They are discerned and related only by God’s Spirit. Philosophy, literature, education, the lessons of the humanities, the arts and sciences – all these speak of knowledge. But God’s wisdom is spoken by the Spirit to those who have the Spirit. That is, God speaks to those who have the mind of Christ. (V 16)


The mind of Christ is not molded after the ways of the world, nor does it pursue them. They are foolishness. And we cannot have the mind of Christ without being transformed by God’s power through the renewal of our minds by His Spirit. This daily cleansing is our path to understanding God’s good and perfect will. (Romans 12:2)


We begin to imagine the mysteries of God and His will for our life when we ask Him to help us see ourselves and the world around us through the eyes of Jesus.



The cure has begun



You will never influence the world for God by trying to be like the world.


“I think you’ve seen Aslan,” said Edmund.

“Aslan!” said Eustace. “I’ve heard that name mentioned several times since we joined the Dawn Treader. And I felt—I don’t know what—I hated it. But I was hating everything then. And by the way, I’d like to apologize. I’m afraid I’ve been pretty beastly.”

“That’s all right,” said Edmund. “Between ourselves, you haven’t been as bad as I was on my first trip to Narnia. You were only an ass, but I was a traitor.”. . .

It would be nice, and fairly nearly true, to say that “from that time forth Eustace was a different boy.” To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy. He had relapses. There were still many days when he could be very tiresome. But most of those I shall not notice. The cure had begun.

From The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
Compiled in A Year with Aslan by C.S. Lewis


Are you living a truly transformed life as promised (the old has gone; the new has come)? Or does your Christian life look remarkably like it did before Christ?  It is easy to get sidetracked even after a life-altering event. Like Eustice in the story, relapses happen. But we dare not accept them as permanent. Rather we need to shake it off, ask forgiveness, and get back on track with the Spirit of God leading us.


I’m sure you feel the same way as Eustice, not wanting to relapse back to his old, harmful habits. One way to watch for this is to ask, “Does my life appear remarkably different from before I met Jesus? In what ways does my life reflect my love for this world’s pleasures?” Take this to God and let Him continue to mold you into His image.  His cure has started its work in us. Let it not be abandoned, but rather cooperate fully with the Great Physician.


Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2



Battle for the mind

What trials have you faced or are you now facing that pose a battle for the control of your mind? Is it a serious illness, the grief that accompanies a serious loss, a deep disappointment with how life has turned out, a continual longing for satisfaction that always escapes you, or a temptation you can’t seem to escape? Each of these and others affect the way we perceive and respond to our circumstances. Unattended and unresolved, they influence how we perceive ourselves and lead us to question our very identity and how we perceive and respond to others and to God.

This is the spiritual battle for the mind. It is a battle we will each fight all our life. But although we enter the battlefield each day, it is not God’s intent that we are defeated by it. On the contrary, although we won’t fully escape the battle until he calls us home to heaven, he equips us to overcome the battle while we live now. He desires us to experience victory and abundant joy each day, even as we face our battles.

But if we ignore or neglect the tools God gives us to fight the battle, we bring even more distress to our minds, and confusion that prevent us from experiencing victory over the struggles that confront us. In absence of relying on God, we trust in our own abilities or we wallow in self-pity, so consumed by the wounds we experience, we find no strength to seek the healing touch of the great physician.

What are we to do in such a daily and life long struggle? First, we need to remind ourselves that “our struggle is not against flesh and blood…but against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12) Your fight is not with your spouse or child or coworker, it is against evil forces that war against healthy relationships. If we want to live a victorious life, we must be aware of this reality so we can be vigilant of the real dangers before us. We have to know the enemy before we can defeat them.

Second, we have to equip ourselves with God’s tools for surviving the battle. How foolish it would be to walk into a real battlefield without protective armor. “Put on the full armor of God.” The armor includes truth, righteousness, peace, faith, the Word, and salvation. (Ephesians 6:11-18) “Take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5) Let’s not idly walk into minefields unaware of their danger.

Third, we have to renew our minds daily. “Be transformed by the renewing of your minds.” Romans 12:2 “Put off your old self. Be made new in the attitude of your minds. Put on your new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” (Ephesians 4:22-24) “The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6)

The daily battle may rage on. Trust God and you will be able to stand firm, and victorious!

The Edge Zones

My brother and I share interest in sustainable agriculture and helping others to live their lives with greater freedom and meaning. One of the concepts he has mentioned to me is about ‘edge zones.’ These are the areas where one terrain type meets another: a forest meets a meadow, a meadow meets a farm, a pond intersects both. The edge zones are always where you will find the most diversity, excitement, conflict,and resolution. Years ago, before realizing this principle, I had the idea that wildflowers would just grow and take over. Of course, I soon learned that the edge zone with my lawn would provide an ever creeping force and the battle requires constant maintenance, which I am not willing to spend a life on. And so it works out its own degree of resolution: some flowers, some weeds and grass, seeming content to live together.

There are edge zones in our lives, places where we intersect with various tasks and people. Like the zone between work and home, between home and vacations, between grocery shopping and relaxation, between personal time and family. What there should NOT be is an edge zone between our life faith and our life. Myron Rush would say, “We don’t have a secular and a sacred life; we have but one life to live, wherever we are. (paraphrased) We live by faith where and while we work, where we play, while we shop, when we visit people. There are people waiting in the edge zones of your life.

Like young Antouin, whom we met while waiting at the U of Iowa Cancer Clinic. He was sitting by himself, confined to a wheelchair, lonely, almost in tears. We chatted for a while and prayed together. There were tears of appreciation in his eyes when we left. Or young Jonah, 6, who needs a bone marrow transplant to survive an autoimmune problem. Prayers are asked that the right person will be found. His parents and brother don’t qualify — there are possibly 200 people who have signed up but none the match he needs. You can read Jonah’s story here: http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/jonahkolesar

People like Antouin and Jonah are waiting in the edge zones of your life. Don’t miss them. Pray. Seek out others God puts in your path. The edge zones are adventures where you Go Light Your World.

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2