I live in Oklahoma just right outside of Tulsa. When I think of how long it takes for me to get to church or to work or into Tulsa, I always have this set amount of minutes. That’s because I’ve done it so much I know how long it takes, with or without traffic.
I want you to take a moment to think about this. Think about where you live. How long does it take you to drive to church? How long does it take you to drive to school? How long does it take you to drive to work? How long does it take you to drive to your friend’s house? How long would it take you to drive to the nearest big city? How long would it take you to drive to the nearest state? How long would it take to drive to Tulsa, Oklahoma? Now let’s go a little farther. How long would it take you to get to Los Angeles? How long would it take you to get to New York City? How long would it take you to get to Miami?
You see, when I asked you those first questions, you had a number in mind because you had done it before – repeatedly. So you had this idea, this way of thinking being established because of something that was already established – your trips to those places. Then I asked about places just a little further out. These might be places you’ve been to a lot or just a few times. But then I asked you about places you might have never been to before. For some of you, your mind probably kept in line with the questioning. A few of you actually broke free from the thought pattern though.
What am I talking about? Go back and look at what I said. Look at the wording on the questions. At first I asked how long it would take you to drive to these places you had already been. I asked a bunch of questions, creating a pattern in your thinking. Then I continued that pattern by pressing it further to places you might not have been. Then, with your mind already set in a pattern, I removed the restriction of driving. I didn’t ask how long it would take to drive to LA, NYC, or Miami. I asked how long it would take you to get there. If you were in a plane, it wouldn’t take you long at all.
Your mind was trained to think inline with a pattern. If you broke free from that pattern without being told – good for you. The point I want to make is that from the time we are born until we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior – our mind has developed a pattern of thinking in line with the world. It’s totally contrary to the Word of God, the will of God, the way that Christians should think.
This is exactly why Romans 12:2 says, “And 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.”
God understands that your mind has basically been brainwashed to think like an unbeliever, a carnal, worldly sinner. So trying to get you to enjoy the benefits of salvation is going to be really hard when you have been thinking totally opposite for so long. God’s Kingdom operates by faith. The world does not. And it’s really hard to pick that up (among other things) when you have a mind that thinks totally opposite. So God wants you to get your thinking in line with the Word of God, not the world. We do that by reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible. Once our mind starts getting in line, our actions will, our lives will. And you will see the benefits of it in your life. You will see your prayers working more, your faith working more, and the things that God has called you to do and be working out in your life.
Get your mind out of the pattern that the world has established and get it established to the pattern of the Word of God. Once you do, you’ll see the benefits and also see how messed up your thinking was to begin with. Establish your thinking in line with God’s pattern and you’re going to blessed.