Have you ever wondered why the Church today looks so different from her beginnings? Well, I have! And, in my search for truth, I’ve come to see that the difference is many believers today have two heads. Yes, that’s right–the modern Church is full of Schizophrenics!
The Bible admonishes us to be single minded, and James 1:8 tells us why. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. The early Church was anything but unstable–a bit rowdy, but definitely not unstable!
They understood that they could not worship God and the idol of self at the same time!
When they received Christ, they grasped the fact that life, as they’d known it, was history. Now, they had the privilege of allowing Christ to live through them–moment by moment, making the choice to depend on Him to be in control.
Those early believers quickly learned that the flesh would get the upper hand if not kept in subjection. They knew they were crucified to the flesh, but at the same time, that the flesh was NOT dead. No, it was very much alive—but, it was clear in their minds that they were no longer under its dominion! The flesh, and of course the ensuing sin that comes out of the flesh, was no longer their master! They were under a new law–the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
So, how does this actually impact the practical aspects of life?
Have you ever tried to perform a skill and, at the same time, have your mind set on something else? It doesn’t work very well, does it? In order to succeed, you must focus on what you’re doing or you will fail to accomplish your desired goal. This is an important principle of everyday life–and it works in the spiritual realm the same way.
You cannot focus your attention on Christ and you at the same time–if you want to live a stable life, that is. Depending on yourself to meet your own needs is not Christianity! This practice is called PRIDE. Not necessarily the kind that says, “Look how great I am!” But the kind that says, “God, you have wars and famines to look after, so I’ll just take care of myself.” It’s more the “rugged individualism” the world has taught us to admire–the idea of “pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.”
The early Christians understood the principle of single focus. And it should be no different for us today. When we receive Christ, we ought to be prepared NOT to live by the flesh, but to live by the Spirit–moment by moment–realizing that the flesh is no longer our master.
But, beware: Don’t expect the flesh to roll over and play dead!
It’s not going to give up that easily, which is why we’re admonished in Galatians 5:16, “Walk in the Spirit and you WILL NOT fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” In other words, if you do NOT walk in the Spirit, you WILL fulfill the lusts of the flesh! The flesh is the only way the self (apart from Christ) knows how to behave.
So then, what is my role–what does God expect of me as a Christian? Am I just to occupy space, do nothing and wait for physical death to come so I can go to heaven? I don’t think so. Maybe I am to work day and night, trying to imitate Christ the best I possibly can. No, that’s not it either.
As we abide in Christ, His life flows through us. The Bible tells us He only said and did what God gave Him to say and do. If Christ lives in us, don’t you think He still wants to continue this same pattern? Can you see how we have missed so much by trying to live the Christian life in our own strength?
If you have thoughts that don’t line up with the Word, toss them!
Don’t entertain them for one minute! Reject them, and immediately substitute them with Christ’s thoughts. Choose this day whom you will serve–Christ or self. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus!”[Phil. 2:5]. If we stay single-minded by yielding to Him, we can lose the Schizophrenic label!
The Innkeeper, vol. 11, #1, January 2007 (Faith Family Ministries), 6,7. FFMI P.O. Box 1200 Blue Ridge, GA 30513. Ph. 706-632-8886. http://www.FaithFamily.net Founders and Directors: Dr. Bill and Toni Morgan
Biblical allusions: Luke 9:23; 2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 2:20; Gal. 5:24; Rom. 6:6; Rom. 8:2,5,6; Heb. 12:1,2; John 15:1-8; 2 Cor. 10:3-5; Josh. 24:15