Tag Archive | identity

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 52 – Renew Your Mind

Pursuing the Heart of God – Day 52

 Renew Your Mind

Father in heaven, You have made me a new creation in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me (Psalm 51:10). I now submit my mind to Your spirit for complete renewal. Lord, give my mind a makeover, so that I may think and act according to Your will and ways. Lord, let me not focus on the way the world thinks and reasons, but only as You would have me think and reason. Show me what I must do to renew my mind.

A Message from God’s Heart to Yours:

Dear sweet child of Mine—that’s what I want you to hear today—you are My child. Your identity in Christ makes you My child—it completes you. You are uniquely you because I created you in My image and yet different than every other person on earth. Your identity as My child gives you access to all of Me and all that I have. You lack nothing.

You were bought a price (1 Corinthians 6:19-20), the death of My Son, Jesus Christ. Your redemption was purchased by the blood of Jesus, nailed to a tree, for the sin of all humanity. Your identity in Me became secure when you invited Jesus in to your heart, confessing Him as your Savior and Lord. I placed My Holy Spirit in your heart to seal you as My child, to speak to you on My behalf, to guide you, comfort you, and give you My wisdom. He reminds you of Scripture and interprets the Word of God for you.

You have been given the mind of Christ. One way to renew your mind is to meditate on My Word. Read it, ponder it, digest it, and live it out. You may speak to Me about My Word any time.  My Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). My Spirit will illumine it for you and make it come alive with meaning for every situation you face. Know My wisdom and My will for your life when you spend time in My Word. Discover My character and My love. Hear My instructions and My commands. Allow it to permeate your mind and revitalize your thoughts. Take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).

Set your mind on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace (Romans 8:5-6). You are no longer of this world. You are a stranger to it. Do not live, think and act as the world does. The world causes you to focus on yourself—put yourself first, take care of yourself, please yourself, do whatever makes you happy. This kind of thinking is opposite of kingdom thinking. I say, put others ahead of yourself. Live as Christ who did not come to be served, but to serve (Matthew 20:28). Humble yourself and serve others in love.  

Do not take care of yourself and live independently from Me, but depend on Me for everything. I desire an intimate relationship with you which means that you put Me first, seeking Me and My will before you run ahead making your own decisions and your own plans. I desire only the best for your life. Your plans may be good, but are they My best for you? Begin a new practice of seeking Me first in all you do. Refresh your method of operation. Seek Me first. You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with your whole heart (Jeremiah 29:13).

Allow the Spirit of truth to transform your spiritual heart. You may have believed some words that were not true about yourself. You may have bought into the lies of the enemy; an untrue identity. Let the Spirit expose the lies and replace them with the truth—you are a child of God, you are loved, you are radiant, you are smart, and you are talented. Renew your thoughts with the truth by tuning in to the voice of My Spirit within you. Let Me renew your identity in Christ. I will refresh your mind and restore your soul. Remain in Me and be rejuvenated daily.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gift of the Holy Spirit who renews my mind, refreshes my spirit and restores my soul. You are an awesome Daddy, and I am so blessed to be called Your child. I love you, and I desire to walk with you and talk with you daily. Please share Your heart with me now regarding my personal circumstances. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Two-way Conversation with God: 

  • Father God, You have adopted me as Your very own. Please renew my thinking along those lines. Tell me more about my personal and individual identity in Christ. (Record every word you hear.)

 

  • Jesus, my Savior, You have made me a new creation with the mind of Christ. Please renew my mind and correct my thinking. How do you see me? (Write down all the thoughts He gives you.)

 

  • Holy Spirit, create in me a pure heart and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Teach me how to re-connect with You to refresh my thinking and my actions according to God’s will. (Journal all the impressions and thoughts He gives you.)

Review God’s thoughts and impressions you’ve sensed and written above. What Scripture comes to mind as you review your notes? Use the concordance of your Bible to look up an impression from God’s Word. Record the verse or passage here. Write all insights and encouragement the Holy Spirit illumines for you as you read God’s Word right now.

Prayer:

Dear Jesus, I am grateful for Your Word, Your Spirit, and Your love. Give me the desire to meditate on Your Word, to connect with Your Spirit, and to understand the depth of Your love for me. Renew my mind, heart, and strength as I pursue a more intimate relationship with You. Thank You for speaking to me daily and refreshing me with Your words of loving kindness and encouragement. Continue to show me more aspects of Your character and Your heart. In the name of Jesus, my Lord, I pray. Amen.

Supporting Scripture:

Psalm 51:10-12, 10Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11Do not cast me from Your presence or take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12Restore to me the joy of Your salvation and grant me a willing sprit to sustain me.”

Jeremiah 29:11-14, 11“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 13You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart. 14I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”

Matthew 20:26-28, 26“Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—28just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Romans 8:5-6, 5Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

Romans 12:2, 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.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20, 19Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18, 17Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His image with ever-increasing glory, which comes form the Lord, who is the Spirit.

2 Corinthians 4:16, Therefore we do not lose heart, though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5, 3For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. 4The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

Hebrews 4:12-13, 12For the Word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Titus 3:5-7, 5He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit 6whom He poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7so that, having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.

1 John 5:6, This is the one who came by water and blood—Jesus Christ. He did not come by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth.

2 John :2-3, 2because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever: 3Grace, mercy, and pace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

3 John 3:4, I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

Copyright © Sindy Nagel. All Rights Reserved

 

 

Roadblock #2 – Fear – The Enemy of Confidence

Apprehension about the unknown can keep us from understanding the mystery of God. But fear is not from God. Second Timothy 1:7 says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” I had a fear of God, but not the right kind of fear. Before I got to know God better, apprehension shrouded my desire to speak in conversation with Him. I feared that everything that came out of God’s mouth would convict me. I dreaded His wrath, because I did not know the truth about His character.

God is loving, kind, compassionate, forgiving, faithful, trustworthy, and so much more. He loves us so much He wants to have an intimate relationship with each of us. I had to get to know God more intimately before the only fear I felt toward Him equaled awe and reverence. Psalm 147:11 says, “The Lord delights in those who fear Him, who put their hope in His unfailing love.” God delights when we fear Him with a reverence that acknowledges we can put our trust in Him and depend on Him for everything.

Now that I know God better because of spending time in His Word and listening to His voice, I no longer fear Him with anxiety and apprehension. I can’t wait to speak with Him because He amazes me. I now fear God out of reverence and respect because He has made His loving character known to me through His Word and His voice. I can depend on Him to meet all my needs. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 111:10).

            Read Acts 9. It’s the story of Saul, later renamed Paul. After the death and resurrection of Christ, Saul threatened to kill Jesus’ disciples and take His followers as prisoners to Jerusalem. As he neared Damascus, however, he saw a light from heaven flash around him. “He fell to the ground and heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?’” (Acts 9:4) It was the voice of Jesus. Saul could have fallen from the fear and dread of what was about to happen, or from the awe and reverence of being in the presence of the Lord. As he met the Lord face to face, Saul may have feared his own identity as one who persecuted the Jesus who stood before him.

Is it possible your identity causes you anxiety in communicating with Jesus? If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you are a child of God. No longer are you a slave to fear. Psalm 34:4 says, “I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears.” However, you may not feel connected to God. Maybe you’ve strayed from living a life that pleases God, and the shame you feel causes you to fear God’s wrath. Perhaps you have stopped attending church, reading the Bible, or praying regularly. As a result, you experience apprehension about how Jesus would relate to you if He spoke to you.

Many times, we claim our identity from external sources in our lives. My identity branded me early in life when I heard my mom repeatedly refer to me as “an accident.” Accidents are unwanted, unexpected events that we don’t plan for and that sometimes cause pain: physical, emotional, or spiritual. I knew my mom had not planned me; therefore, I believed I was unwanted and unloved. My conception and birth had caused my mother undue emotional pain and then emotionally scarred me for much of my life. The external label “accident” spawned an internal insecurity about my identity that stuck with me for more than thirty years.

Another fear that blocked my communication with God was the fear of intimacy. I feared He wouldn’t speak to me; therefore, I didn’t want to experience the pain of rejection. I wasn’t even sure He listened to me when I talked to Him. I hesitated to get emotionally close to God and become too dependent on Him because I feared He would let me down, as others had.

I knew I was a child of God, but I didn’t feel like His child. What if God also viewed me as an accident? What if He didn’t love me either? What if my sins were too big for God to forgive? God wouldn’t speak to me. I was nothing to Him. I was nobody special. Why would He talk to me? Do you ever experience conversations like this within yourself? Are you insecure about your relationship with Jesus? Are you unsure about your identity in Christ? I was. My uncertainties caused me to approach the throne of God with fear and trembling, not in confidence with awe and wonder.

The first time I sat down to listen for God’s voice, I needed reassurance from God that He wasn’t angry with me. I wanted to know how He felt about me. I longed to know who He saw when He looked at me. I craved His attention, positive or negative. I prepared myself for whatever He would say to me. I wanted to know who I was to God and that He had a plan for my life. Battling depression for the second time, I desperately needed a reason to go on.

My depression counseling sessions had turned into spiritual mentoring meetings. My counselor described how he listened to Jesus’s voice and encouraged me to try it. He instructed me to record my conversations with Jesus in a journal. During one session, we talked about how God has His own special name for each of His children. My counselor invited me to consider asking God, “What is your name for me?”

A name is more than a way to identify someone. It’s a birthright; it represents our heritage, our legacy, our inheritance. It becomes our own challenge to make our names good and live up to our full potential as God’s creation. This starts when we seek God for His name for us. We can’t live into our God-given identity and purpose until we understand what that is.

God’s chosen name for you may be different than the name your parents gave you. Many people throughout the Old and New Testaments received their names, name changes, or identity, directly from the mouth of God and Jesus: Abram (Abraham), Sarai (Sarah), Isaac, Jacob (Israel), John the Baptist, Jesus, Simon (Peter), and Saul (Paul), to cite a few.

Considering the possibility that God had a special name for me, I was excited to learn it.  It was the missing link to my identity, my sanity, and my confidence in Christ. One evening, I escaped the noise of my family and retired to my quiet bedroom. This marked the first time that I really tried to hear God speak. I wanted to capture whatever I heard from God that night, so I wrote all my thoughts in a notebook.

I asked God, “What do you think of me? Who am I to you? Do you have a name for me?” I listened intently but heard nothing. I kept asking the same questions but didn’t know what to expect or how the answer would come to me. Would I hear an audible voice? Again I inquired of God, “Who do you see when you look at me? What is your name for me?”

In one very distinct moment, I heard a name whispered in my thoughts. I wrote it down, but I quickly dismissed it, not being able to relate to it at all. I asked God again, “What is your name for me?” Again, the voice in my head repeated the name. Once more, I thought I’d heard it incorrectly. I couldn’t identify with the name. I didn’t understand its meaning. I had expected to hear a name like “beloved one,” similar to the name one of my friend’s had heard.

A third time, I requested God’s name for me. Yet again, God confirmed it in my thoughts, and this time the words took center stage in my head, displayed in all capital letters. Three times God clearly spoke the same name to me in my thoughts. I knew it must be the name He had given me—but I didn’t recognize the meaning behind it.

One way to confirm and comprehend what God says to us is to go to Scripture. Using the concordance in my Bible, I began a two-hour search for all the verses and meanings I could find about the name God had spoken to me. Seeing the name appear in more than twenty-five verses surprised me. As I read each verse and the surrounding passages, a feeling of peace and joy came over me. Emotion overwhelmed me. When I discovered the meaning of God’s name for me, it resonated with me. This name would most likely not mean the same thing to any other person, but it embodied everything I longed to be to God and everything I desired to hear from God at that moment.

That evening, God met me at the bottom of the pit of depression I occupied. He showered me with His loving kindness. He lifted me up out of the darkness and washed off the mud. I connected with Him in a way I never had before. I had a new understanding that God is alive. He’s a loving Father who cares about me and wants to have a relationship with me. I felt special, wanted, and loved by God. I felt important to God, a priority to Him. When I discovered how God felt about me, nothing else mattered. My fear dissipated and my confidence in the Lord replaced it. When I felt loved and wanted by the God of the universe, I had a new reason to live and a new excitement about what the future would hold for me. No longer did I fear spending time with God.

Shortly after I received God’s name for me and began spending more time alone with Him, my church went through a 40 Days of Purpose study from the book The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. From this study, God revealed and confirmed many things to me as He healed me and strengthened me.

God brought to light the reason He created me and His purpose for my life here on earth. He wants me to help set His captives free, like He set me free, by awakening hearts to Him. He wants me to help lead His people to the promised land, which is the abundant life in Christ, through a personal, intimate relationship with Him. He wants me to be a light to the Gentiles, people who do not know God yet. Really, these assignments represent activities He calls all of His children to carry out. It’s what Jesus did when He walked the earth. God’s Word promises, in John 14:12, we will do even greater things than Jesus did. Can you believe it?

If you have not yet heard the voice of God, I encourage you to listen. If you do not yet know God’s name for you, I pray you will ask Him. If you find yourself imprisoned by Satan’s lies about your identity, I invite you to seek God’s truth and let God Himself set you straight.

God is a gentleman. He pursues us, but He doesn’t crash in on us and take us over. In Revelation 3:20, Jesus says, “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me.” Jesus continually pursues us. He is pursuing you now. He stands at the door to your heart and knocks, saying, “Here I am!” He patiently waits for you to listen, hear His voice, open the door, and let Him in to enjoy intimate relationship with the living God.

Open the door to Jesus. He will come in, sit with you, and eat with you. Are you hungry to hear God’s voice? Are you desperate enough to listen? He waits for your response. Will you open your door, and your ears, to what God has to say to you? He calls you by name. No need to fear God because of who you are or who you are not. You are His child, loved and redeemed by Him. Identify yourself with the name God so carefully chose for you before the world began. Your name is engraved on His palms (see Isaiah 49:16).

Some lies swirling around in our heads evolve from the idea that the only things God will say to you are: He will convict you of your sin, or God will ask you to do something you don’t want to do, or He’s full of only wrath and fury toward you because of your sin. Are these falsehoods feeding your fear of intimacy with God? Get your copy of 7 Roadblocks to Hearing God Speak, and start identifying and eliminating any lies you may be unknowingly investing in.

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Book Two in Hearing God’s Voice Series

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

He Knows My Name

He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. (Psalm 147:4)

Sweet child of mine, you were in my thoughts before I formed your heart and gave you the breath of life. I know your thoughts, I see your tears, and I hear your call. I am with you wherever you go; I will never leave you. Your life is in my hands.

I determine the number of the stars and call them each by name. How much more precious you are to me than anything in all my creation. I know you and call you by name. You are not only my offspring, but also my heir. All that I have is yours. Live in the abundance I offer you. Seek me for your wisdom. Call on me for your strength. Listen to my counsel. Receive the comfort I give you. My perfect peace belongs to you.

Search for me as treasure. Your true identity lies in me. When you know me, you will find your source of joy and peace. I have come to give you life. In my death and resurrection, you receive forgiveness of your sins and reconciliation to me. You, too, are raised to a new life in me. Discard your old ways and find the meaning of true life when you believe in me. I am your Father, you are my own, I call you by name.

Maranatha! Gospel – He Knows My Name Lyrics

I have a Maker

He formed my heart

Before even time began

My life was in His hands

He knows my name

He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls

And hears me when I call

I have a Father

He calls me His own

He’ll never leave me

No matter where I go

He knows my name

He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls

And hears me when I call

He knows my name

He knows my every thought

He sees each tear that falls

And hears when I call

Read more at http://www.songlyrics.com/maranatha!-gospel/he-knows-my-name-lyrics/#bqDqpKdMzXexelrg.99