Monday, June 13, 2016

Forgetting The Past / Renewing The Mind


Philippians 3:13-16
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus [perfect] minded; and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. 

One cannot not remember: this being the true understanding of "to forget". How do you "forget"? You can't literally choose to delete something out of memory. So then, how are we supposed to accomplish this? The same way God does...by no longer placing value (care) on the subject. 

The Greek word for "forgetting" in Philippians 3:13 is G1950: epilanthanomai. It means: 
1.       to forget
2.       neglecting, no longer caring for
3.       forgotten, given over to oblivion, i.e. uncared for

The process of forgetting is to no longer care about it. When you don't care, you don't hold onto. 

Like a banana peel after the meat of the banana is eaten. You toss it away because it no longer serves a purpose. And it's easily tossed because there is no care needed for it. And once discarded, does it ever come into mind again? It may still reside in memory, but because it's not cared about, it's no longer brought up from memory...in a sense, it's been "forgotten". 

God remembers our sins no more. How? By making it a non-issue. When it's not an issue, it's easily not remembered...i.e., forgotten..."given over to oblivion". 

It's not that God does not have the ability to not remember (we are created in His image), but He does have the ability (as we do) to focus on only the good things of now, and the good things to come. When our focus in life is our past, it's because we place value (care) on that aspect of our past...either positive or negative. When negative, we hold onto hurts and grudges and unforgiveness. When we hold onto the positives of a given season of life, we can become trapped in that realm, idolizing it and never moving forward above that past time...we become prideful.

We must remain in the Today, anticipating the future the Lord has blessed us with, not the past we can and tend to hold onto. The hardest thing sometimes is to forget (forgive) our own faults of the past—whether it just happened, or it happened decades ago as a child or in a time in life when we were not yet who we are now. We hold our own sins against us. And I do this still.

I can criticize myself in thinking my sermon wasn’t “smooth” enough—which I felt it wasn’t at the time and came out of speaking it with negativity, not thinking on the positives of the Holy Spirit speaking through me words needing to be heard by those listening.

Or blaming myself for not paying attention driving through the mall parking lot; not stopping at a crosswalk. I was angry at myself when I did it as I could have hurt someone. And I did make a couple people crossing in the walk quite cross at me. I could not let it go the time I was in the mall—the women even cursed at me. They didn’t need to do that, for I was already cursing myself for not doing a better job driving. In a sense, I was expecting myself to be perfect which gave me the right to be angry if the roles were reversed and someone else drove through a crosswalk without stopping.

This self-criticism and self-judgment then reflects onto others—I become critical and judgmental of them. I make myself a hypocritical judge and either hold onto my own sins, or the sins of others. A dual unforgiveness.

But why do we do so if God does not? Through Christ, God does not hold our sins against us because we have been made Righteous—made clean through His blood.

1 John 1:7
but if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another; for indeed, the blood of Jesus Christ his Son has pronounced us clean from all sin.

We tend to live in the past of our mistakes, and even in the projecting of our known mistakes into the future. We think Righteousness is a behavior. It’s not, it is an existence. We are not perfect, and won’t be till the Lord comes again. And I know this, but yet still try to live perfect. But our life is not our unchangeable and un-relivable past; our Life is the promised continual blessing of the Lord to better and greater things. We Live and Love for the now into the future. 

Hebrews 8:12
For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more. 

Hebrews 10:17
And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. 

When we discover who we are in Christ, we must reject what we knew, know, or learned before.  This is forgetting what was before, and now knowing only Christ (in ourselves and in others).

1 Corinthians 2:2
For I determined not to know anything among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 

2 Corinthians 5:14-16 
For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: and that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him/them no more. 

Let us not see ourselves or others as before. We must look at ourselves and everyone else through what Christ has accomplished for us. All our flesh sins are forgiven, so why would we look at ourselves or others in the flesh—we've all been made equal—all been given Right-Standing (Righteousness) before the Father.

Romans 3:21-23
But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference [in believers and non-believers / Jews and Gentiles]: for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.

Let us focus on who we all are in Christ, forgetting what and who we were.

Forgetting what's behind is choosing to put aside the learned things of this world we pick up in life growing up--the iniquities of being raised in a fallen world.

But we are born again and have a start-over life. As such, we remove our iniquity habits and mindsets—i.e. "forgetting" how we did things before being born-again and giving control to the Lord—by renewing our mind to who we really are and have become in Christ and because of Christ. In doing so, we put aside the iniquities and ways of life taught by, through, and from this world—to chose to do as the Lord Wills. 

Romans 12:2 
Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. 

When we want to do as the Lord Wills, we have to not do the ways (will) of what our old former flesh did that is stored in our minds (in the spirit thoughts and memories of our minds). 

Our flesh was crucified with Christ! As such, our flesh is dead. We are not battling the flesh, but the memories of the old flesh still in our mind. When we renew our mind, knowing we have Christ's mind, we can put aside the former memories that can trap us into our former behaviours. Our old flesh is no more, our new flesh is Lived out from Christ (our born-Again Spirit) in us. 

Galatians 2:20-21 
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. 

Romans 6:11 
Likewise reckon [take into account and determine that] ye also yourselves to be dead indeed [surely dead] unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. 

We must take into account that sin is dead in us—no longer having authority in the new flesh (new man).  When we become born-again, the flesh died (it IS dead) and we no longer live by that flesh, but now DO Live by the Spirit in us (Romans 8:1-17). With the flesh dead (Crucified with Christ), we now must cleanse (through the Holy Spirit) those things that our mind remembers of the old.

Titus 3:3-5
For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost.

Ephesians 4:22-24 
That ye put off concerning the former conversation [behaviour] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. 

We no longer exist as the old man. It was crucified with Christ. We have been made new, not only in the Spirit, but also in the flesh. But our minds remember the old man. This is the renewing of the mind: believing we ARE the new man (in both the Spirit and the flesh), that our old ways are actually dead and did die (no longer having authority over us), and that the only reason we still do those old things (sins) are because they (sins) are embedded into our minds (memories) and our conscience. We in the flesh and the Spirit do not have a sin-nature (it is put to death). 

Romans 7:17-18a,22-25a 
But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells...For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! 

It's still our flesh, but we must not consider it as the flesh before it was crucified with Christ. We "I" do not sin, but it is sin living in me that produces sin. But where does sin live in the flesh then if our flesh has been crucified and our Spirit is the Spirit of Christ—if we truly are a new creature? 

2 Corinthians 5:17 
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 

Where then? Our minds. Sin lives in our minds producing a sin-conscience towards God. We are to renew our minds out from what it (we) knew and held true...a nature of sin. We must not let that sin of our old self influence our conscience as it did before, as it can keep doing (when we allow it), or as it did with Adam and Eve after eating the fruit. That even though we do still sin, we must have a clean (not sin) conscience towards our Father. 

1 Peter 3:21-22
The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: Who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.  

Acts 24:16 
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men. 

When we try and live the Law, we focus on our sins—creating a sin-conscience (making ourselves conscience of our sins / faults). But when we Live as the Righteousness of Christ, KNOWING that ALL our sins ARE forgiven, we focus on what He did, not what we aren't doing. 

Romans 6:14,18 
For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace...Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. 

This takes renewing of the mind to clear ones old mind from the remembrances of its former self (and the things it did that didn't align with what the Lord desires of us) and the subsequent guilt-conscience that establishes itself from those sins. 

I had a sin-conscience. I was so focused on my imperfections; I could not even face God as my Father. I was ashamed...just like Adam and Eve felt. I hid myself from Him. Even punishing myself for my sins in my attempt to live (out of my own ability) a "perfect Christian life"—all self-righteous dead works. I hated myself and my inability to live up to a standard I read and believed I needed to achieve so God could be proud of me—even though it wasn't really me seeking His approval of me, it was me trying to prove myself to God so that I could be proud in front of Him—MY accomplishments. But He never hid from me. I just did not understand my Right-Standing with Him that Christ freely gave me and all people—that being HIS accomplishment. I had to remove the sin-conscience veil over my heart.

I had made myself an enemy of God in my mental reality, not His reality. We never have been enemies to Him in His reality—only in our own minds (our own sin-conscience).

Colossians 1:21-22
 And you, that were sometime alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight.

My mind (sin-conscience) was my own enemy. I had and have to free myself from it through understanding my Right-Standing through Christ. What my mind holds onto as worldly-true (not Godly Truth) are my strongholds to this world. This renewing and removal of strongholds took time; and is still taking time. Renewing my mind to these revelations of who I truly am in Him and what it is to experience a Life as Living in His Kingdom here on this world. Boy, has my mind hit a few hard 180's as it repents (changes direction) from what it knew to accept what is His Reality. 

And we CAN renew our minds. We have the perfect mind of Christ. And if something in the spirit of our mind does not line up with that God-Given Reality, then He will reveal to us, to make sure we understand, that we are Righteous (ARE perfect-minded). 

Philippians 3:15 
Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus [perfect] minded; and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. 
 
This is the painful change we endeavor to do and do experience. Our mind, because it has been trained by the fallen world in which we live, holds all those fallen-world-experiences as true (as reality). When it comes into the experiences of the Kingdom Reality, it DOES NOT like it. It throws our mind for a loop sometimes. Even the Disciples experienced this renewing of their minds; being witnesses to things never being in their conscience as a possibility (like the Father speaking from the Heavens, or the storm being calmed)--who in their "right mind" (fallen-world mind) would think that such things could occur: 

Matthew 17:5-8 
While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him. And when the disciples heard it, they fell on their face, and were sore [exceedingly] afraid. And Jesus came and touched them, and said, Arise, and be not afraid. And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only. 

Mark 6:51 
And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore [exceedingly] amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. 

It took Jesus 3 years demonstrating the Kingdom for the Disciples to renew their minds. It wasn't always easy for them. It's not always easy for us. Or quick in our understanding of quick. 

We feel these renewing pains. It does not destroy life (even though we "feel" the dying of the old sometimes), but instills New Life (Abundant Life) in us that is directly from the Lord--His Ways, His Will, His Doing that we, in unity with Him, do. For when we do with Him, we can't also “do with” the remembrances of the old flesh—we have to let go of one (the old) as we hold onto the other (Christ). This is the removal of strongholds.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds); casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

This is something the Lord shared with Kelly for us, to help give us comfort and understanding to some of the things we have faced and do face in our life, growth in Him, and growth with each other: 

"You and the Holy Spirit are intertwined just as you think. Now, the spirit and the Holy Spirit are working together. Heaven rejoices but your flesh rebels. This can cause problems with your relationship, this can cause problems with communication, this can cause heartache and emotional upheaval that is NOT NECESSARY. I want you to live your life more fully - Right now you feel a weight - Literally on your shoulders PUSHING YOU DOWN." 

"That is your mind - your strongholds trying to keep you a part of this world - It has been (your body/mind) through all of this change and it does not like it. It is confused. Your mind is confused. It is used to the ways of this world but you are NO LONGER OF THIS WORLD." 

"This is normal, natural - do not be ashamed but rejoice in your growth in me. I do. Heaven and the angles and the Holy Spirit in you rejoices. We want you to REJOICE with us. Can you do that?"



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