By Tawna Wilkinson (elder)
…and [you] were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life…and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness (Ephesians 4:21-23).
…put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator (Colossians 3:10).
By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures (Proverbs 24:3,4).
“When our thoughts [and actions] are out of alignment with God’s truth, our lifestyle is in opposition to God.”At the same time, when our thoughts and actions are aligned with God’s truth, our lifestyle merges with agreement with him, and we find ourselves in varying degrees of freedom.
Jill, Phelia and Preston, and Jay’s devotions these past 3 days have encouraged us to:
The above is the process of putting off our old self. And each step is vital in our relationship with the Father and one another. But there’s one more. And it’s as critical as the first three.
Replacing - the renewal of our mind, and putting on the new self.
When we leave this piece out - replacing the lies we’ve believed with its opposite - we are “like a house that has been swept clean and made tidy but is empty… (Luke 11:25 TPT).” In other words, after we have gone through the all-important steps of repenting, receiving and rebuking, our minds and souls must be filled with what God intended us to be filled with from the beginning. Then, and only then, will our healing be complete. Having this understanding and knowledge can be the difference between leading a full life in Christ, or continually shadow-boxing the enemy.
This is a beautiful, messy, and ongoing activity. Be assured the enemy won’t back down. He will continue to re-present us with opportunity to return to our old selves. But God doesn’t leave us clueless or powerless as to how to partner with him in keeping our new selves and healing intact. That’s what the New Testament is all about. The gospels of Jesus are filled with how God intended mankind to be. Paul, Peter, James, John and Jude’s letters are packed with who we are, and who aren’t in Christ. And Holy Spirit lives in us, availing us at any given moment, with guidance and power to replace what always belonged. Because he knows that without the re-placement of our true humanity, we will be impotent to be agents of change in the earth.
These “four R’s” are a God-given template that will bring about our reformation - our transformation - gifting us with a lifestyle of freedom in the Spirit to be genuine human beings, “created to live loved,” bringing the kingdom of God to earth, now.
Father, thank you for desiring our re-formation - our trans-formation - into your likeness, once again. Thank you for making the way possible through the life, death, burial and resurrection power of Jesus Christ. And thank you for gifting us with the map of your word, and the indwelling and guiding power of Holy Spirit who partners with us. You are so good and kind. Continue expanding the force and simple elegance of the “four R’s.”May we utilize them continually in our beautiful, messy and ongoing process. We desire that our entire being - body, mind, soul and spirit - demonstrate in word and deed, our love for you, and one another. Your kingdom come. Your will be done. On earth as it is in heaven - in us and through us. Amen.
I Corinthians 13
*The opening quote and the “four R’s” are excerpt from the very helpful Freedom Class Manuel by Brian Brennt & Mike Riches.
**”Created to live loved” is a term used by Caroline Leaf, in her beautiful ministry on the renewal of the mind. A Christ-following, communication pathologist and cognitive neuroscientist. drleaf.com