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Brand New Mind

Dr. Jon Morrissette - 5/5/2019

Since Easter, we’ve been looking at some powerful promises. The first promise relates to the SOUL. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, and see, the new has come!” Jesus is Bread from Heaven for a famished soul. Jesus is Living Water, welling up within us to eternal life. Jesus is the Vine, we are the Branches. Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Jesus is the Gate, the Door. Jesus is the Great I Am, the Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and End. Jesus is the Son of God, the Firstborn from the Dead, the Resurrection and Life, the Lord of the Church. The King of Kings, King of God’s Eternal Kingdom.

We study the Scriptures because we believe that by them, we can have life—but the Scriptures point us to Christ. We go to temples/cathedrals/church buildings hoping to be filled by God’s presence… but God makes us temples of his Holy Spirit, and Christ takes up residence in each of us by faith. Jesus doesn’t just give us life, he IS life. Jesus doesn’t just show us love; he IS love. Jesus doesn’t just teach us truth, he IS truth.

What we’re saying is that without Jesus it’s just the same old same old. The old never passes. Flesh begets flesh. Carnality begets carnality. Weakness weakness. But in relationship with Jesus the BRAND NEW YOU HAS COME! The NEW CREATION germinates, sprouts, emerges, thrives, multiplies. You never live so vibrant and full a life as when your soul abides in Jesus for life. Faith in Jesus hasn’t been tried and found wanting… Jesus has largely been left untried and left unwanted.

One of the most provocative things Jesus ever told people was stop consuming religion. Stop consuming hollow Christianity. Stop consuming hollow worship. Stop consuming the show, the programs. Stop commericializing your faith. Jesus said, “Consume me! My body is real food! My blood is real drink! I offer myself to you for the life of the world!” How do we so easily miss Jesus? Jesus is our soul food, our soul drink, our salvation, our resurrection, our redemption, our only hope.

But then last week, we explored God’s promise regarding the HEART in Ezekiel 26:25-27, “I will also sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean. I will cleanse you from all your impurities and all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. I will place my Spirit within you and cause you to follow my statutes and carefully observe my ordinances.”

If we’d just pray to God, he would create in us a pure heart. If we’d just open our Hearts to His Word… God’s word is “living and effective and sharper than any double-edged sword, penetrating as far as the separation of soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It is able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” There isn’t any mess, any entanglement, any darkness, any addiction, any fear, any impurity… God cannot heal.

This morning we expand our conversation further. What would it look like for God to give us a Brand New MIND? In Ephesians 4:23-24 we’re told to “be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Romans 12:2 says, “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.”

I’ve got to say this right at the top of this message. Our culture tells us that the key to life, happiness, and peace is to have an open heart and an open mind.

When I was younger my brothers and I spent a lot of time down at Horse Creek. We climbed its banks, leapt from its trees, hiked its trails, threw its rocks, molded its clay, ignited its grasses with fire, harassed is beavers, spooked its snapping turtles, hooked its fish, suffered its mosquitos and deer flies and poison oak, waded and swam its waters. Horse Creek was an epic adventure every day.

But you know what we never did. We never swam with our eyes or mouths open. For all its wonders Horse Creek was a vile cocktail of farm chemicals, hog runoff, rotting fish and animal carcasses, floating trash, seaweed, and every imaginable filth. You didn’t eat its fish, drink its water—it would sting your eyes, burn your mouth, and sicken your stomach. This is the exact thing we have in the world. You don’t indiscriminately open your heart, mind, mouth, and eyes to the world! I mean, we’re told to do so! We’re shamed into doing so! But there is nothing life-giving about it.

The battle for the heart, the battle for your very soul, begins in your mind. “Ah, if you would just open your mind, you could have a great life.” An open mind in itself is no more refreshing then swimming in Horse Creek with your mouth wide open. There are things we should never open the mouth of our mind to and consume. There are things we should spit out of our mind and never drink again. But the most important insight the Bible gives about the mind is that it needs pure food and drink.

1 Peter 2:2 says, “Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation.” Matthew 5:6 says, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Colossians 3:1-4 (a few of my anchor verses), “So if you have been raised with Christ, seek the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.”

The world says open your heart/mind to everything; The word says “no, set your hearts/minds on the eternal.” Openness allows the world to mold us into its own image. But God wants to mold us into his glory/likeness/image. It’s God whom we should open our hearts/minds to. Not the world

One of my favorite pastimes at Horse Creek was “seining.” We would go to the downtown Ace Hardware and buy an 8 foot seining net (the biggest they had). On each end of the net, was a long wooden pull. Each brother would walk his side of the creek poking that wooden pole at every dark hole and lump of grass we encountered. At times the water would churn, the net would get heavy. We’d lift the net out of the water, carry it to an open area, and sort our catch. You never know what you’re going to find in a creek. Rocks, junk, crayfish, snapping turtles, snakes, leeches, all species of fish, sticks.

Sometimes we treat our heart and mind like a seining net! You turn on the TV and start surfing the channels. You log into the Internet, and you start clicking away. Your social media blows up with new stories, messages, snaps, tweets, videos, articles. Our thumbs can’t fly across the screen fast enough consuming content.

We sein through so much sludge every moment of every day. Our minds fully loaded, bursting, and breaking with every vile thing. It’s as if in our culture, curiosity has become a virtue. Not purity, but curiosity. It’s a virtue to surf, to click, to consume, to poke around and “sein” the dark/murky. If purity is anything these days, it’s a vice.

Philippians 4:8. Paul’s practical counsel to Christians. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on [set upon] these things.”

What incredible advice! Don’t go indiscriminately seining. Dwell on the very best, the excellent. You can consume everything that’s edible—or you could hunger/thirst for what’s best. Crave pure spiritual milk—the word of God. Hunger and thirst hard after Christ’s righteousness. Set your hearts on things above, on Christ. Set your minds on things above. Put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. *That doesn’t sound like seining to me! That doesn’t sound like swimming with your eyes wide open, heart wide open, mouth wide open, mind wide open!

Some of you no matter what I say will never stop seining. You are in-sein. What does it mean to be in-sein? In-sein means you keep on doing the same thing while hoping to get a different result. You keep on poking your pole and dragging your mind through the same dark waters… “hoping” to pull up something life-giving… yet continually coming up empty.

You know what you get when you sein? 50 shades of muck and mire. Let’s see what was the very first thing Jesus taught his disciples. Oh yea! “Lay down and nets and come follow me!” Stop being perpetually in-sein mode? YEP! Dwell, hunger, thirst, abide, crave, eat, drink, consume, listen, hear, obey, follow Jesus!

One of the realities we face being in the world is our nets, our minds, become damaged. Even when we’re careful, we realize our minds need profound healing. There are so many areas in which we need mental healing. What might it look like for us to seek healing power of Gods Holy Spirit? “Lord, mend our hearts, mind, soul”

We need Physical/Neurological Healing. Because of the fall, every one of our minds is impaired in many ways. Our minds are not WHOLE. They are subject to physical/neurological defect, chemical imbalance, sickness, disease. Though infinitely mysterious and profoundly spiritual, the mind is also part of your body, and subject to the same brokenness as any other part of our body is subject.

There can be so much shame/stigma assigned to mental health. Whatever our weaknesses, hope is found taking matters to the Lord. I love Romans 8:26, it says, “… The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” It’s so agonizing seeking healing. You pray and pray, maybe about your own weakness, maybe that of someone else. Friend… trust your family’s feedback, trust your doctor’s counsel, take your meds, but get on your knees in prayer and let the Spirit groan on your behalf before the throne of God. “Lord Jesus make this mind whole.”

We need Spiritual Healing. There are real spiritual, satanic, demonic forces, powers, and strongholds in the world. Ephesians 6:12 says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this darkness, against evil, spiritual forces in the heavens.” In the gospels we see how Jesus delivered people from stronghold after stronghold. Colossians 1:13 describes how Jesus “rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom (dominion) of the Son he loves.” 1 John 4:4 says, “You are from God, little children, and you have conquered them [evil spirits], because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.”

So often, in the gospels spiritual strongholds manifest physically. A person is spiritually oppressed, but it manifests in a person being deaf, mute, dangerous violent, self-harming. Spiritual oppression can manifest itself emotionally as envy, anger, bitterness, depression, anxiety. I’m not in any way against medical intervention… but it’s foolish to not look at the spiritual picture as well and ask the Holy Spirit to calm the turbulent waters of the heart/mind/soul. “Lord deliver this mind dominion darkness.”

We need Ideological Healing. We need idea + logical healing. Our minds are totally governed by thoughts, ideas, philosophies. Our minds have their own kind of internal logic. The Bible doesn’t have a flattering view of the mind. Romans 1:21-22 describes how people’s thinking “becomes nonsense”, our “senseless minds darkened.” how “Those claiming to be wise become fools.” Our core ideology, our core logic, can become deeply depraved.

My favorite title for Jesus is “Logos, Logic.” It’s translated “Word” in the gospel of John. Jesus IS the WORD. Jesus IS Truth. Jesus IS logic. His ideas, logic, thinking, teachings, words, worldview, mind IS perfect. In Jesus God’s idea/logic became flesh.

In 2 Corinthians 10:5 Paul says, “We demolish arguments and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ.” John 16:12-13 Jesus promises his Holy Spirit, “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth.” 1 Corinthians 2:13-16, “This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, "Who has known the mind of the LORD so as to instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ.” “Lord let me know your Living Word.”

We Need Emotional Healing. Lurking beneath the surface, are these powerful emotions/feelings/passions. Men are just as prone as women to these things. Galatians 5:16-25. There is this raw, unfiltered, lawless, toxic part of ourselves—manifest in “hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, envy, drunkenness, carousing.” The Holy Spirit of God is the only One powerful enough to renovate our personality. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Against such things as these there is no law… but those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions/desires. Since we live by the Spirit, we must follow the Spirit…” “Lord make this mind whole.”

We need Moral/Ethical Healing. Romans 1:28-32, “because they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, God delivered them over to a corrupt mind so that they do what is not right. 29 They are filled with all unrighteousness, evil, greed, and wickedness. They are full of envy, murder, quarrels, deceit, and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, arrogant, proud, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 senseless, untrustworthy, unloving, and unmerciful. 32 Although they know God’s just sentence—that those who practice such things deserve to die—they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them.”

In 1 Timothy 4:2 Paul talks about how our conscience can become “seared as with a hot iron.” When you sear your finger, all the nerve endings die, it becomes numb, feeling nothing, sensing nothing. When those nerves are seared, there is nothing doctors can do. And I’ll tell you, when a conscience is seared, the professionals don’t know what to do. If you do evil, they throw you in jail and throw away the key. But what can God do by his Spirit? John 16:8-12, “When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: 9 About sin, because they do not believe in me; 10 about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; 11 and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.” “Lord heal my conscience.” Tell me you don’t yearn for a BRAND NEW MIND. Where outside Jesus is it found?

Scripture Verses

Philippians 4:8, Colossians 3:1-4, Romans 12:2, Ephesians 4: 23-24

Worship Playlist

  • The Lion and the Lamb
  • It is Well (Bethel)
  • Broken Vessels (Amazing Grace)
  • I Will Look Up

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