Creating meaningful change

In order to see God, understand his ways, and have his thoughts; you have to begin to do things differently.

You have to go after Jesus Christ and pursue his understanding and ways, so that they become your own experiences, knowledge and behaviors/ways. 

After you were filled with the Holy Ghost, some behaviors and thoughts about your life changed immediately, while others remained with you. The thoughts and the responses from your thoughts, become the things that testify against you. These are the things that other people can witness.

Trust me when I say this; the demon world is watching. While your behaviors are speaking for or against you, they can (at the same time) potentially work against you spiritually. How you respond to events or the things around you determines the blessings or curses that follow your actions.

Be not deceived, God cannot be blamed (mocked) for the outcome. What things you sow in your life, you will reap them.

What needs to be addressed are the behaviors that follow your thinking and produce outcomes that can cause new problems or support old ones and the continuation of suffering. Inappropriate responses to situations can work against you spiritually and potentially cause trials and tribulations that challenge the positive experiences you've gained in Christ. 

To being growing in Jesus Christ, your thinking has to change.

First, you need to think about every experience as a potential for spiritual growth. No matter how challenging or difficult the situation gets, it still works for your good, if and only if, you actually use the situation for spiritual growth. 

You have to approach every experience as an opportunity to learn a better way of doing or handling it. You should approach every situation where you are proving, disproving, and making meaningful changes as you listen to Jesus Christ. 

Approaching life in this way will create new thoughts and, because you are responding appropriately and examining the outcomes of those responses, they eventually become new behaviors in you that produce results that please God, as described in his word.

Why feedback

Feedback is important to spiritual growth

Remember, the things around you can potentially remove the Word of God from your heart. 

Therefore, it is up to you what feelings you allow to follow your experiences. Your thoughts will cause you to approach and follow a problem from a specific vantage point. From that vantage point, you build your experiences, judge situations, form opinions, and finally, develop a plan to respond.

Everyone deals with or approaches the same problems from a specific point of view. What follows your responses are outcomes, which can provide some interesting feedback.

Everyone has a point of view or vantage point in which they see life. Your point of view comes from past experiences.

Before you were saved, your knowledge about God was limited. Because you lacked knowledge about God and his ways, any response to worship, prayer, studying the Bible, etc. came from your observation of other saved folks via personal encounters, television, or exposure to other ministries and how they do things.

How you form new ideas and experiences could also be a mixture of religion as well as non-religious knowledge. As you experience problems (now armed with the Bible, doctrine and other things) you try to find a way to fit the scriptures into problem solving - hitting or missing the mark. Yet, the Lord does not want you to be tossed around. Hitting and missing with the Word of God causes us to form our own points of view of what in the Bible works and does not work.

For example: a saved husband and wife responding to a bad neighbor will think about the problem from different points of view and thus, their dialog about the problem will come from those varying points of view.

How each of you see the situation will determine what you believe to be true about the situation. What follows your thinking are one or more beliefs and responses to that problem. Each response can produce different outcomes.

Pleasing the Lord can never happen solving or thinking through a problem differently from Christ. It is impossible to please God when answering problems from your own point of view. We were shaped in iniquity. Our thoughts are not God's thoughts, neither our ways His. Every way of a man is right in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the heart. As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he. Trust in the Lord with all thy heart and do not lean to your own understanding.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord and in His law does he meditate day and night. He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water...

Take no thought for tomorrow, for tomorrow will take thought for the things of itself. The cares of this world choked the Word and the Word of God become unfruitful. But he that has his hope in Him, purifies himself, because He is pure. Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus.

But be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Be not conformed to this world. The fruit of the Spirit are these... if they remain in you, then you can neither be unfruitful nor unbarren in Christ Jesus.

Why change

Overcome the old man

Remember, things around you could work for or against you spiritually, depending on how you see them. Therefore, you must make an effort to see and define what is happening to you and become more aware of the things around you. Your thoughts working together with what you sense with your eyes, ears, smell, taste and touch merging together, affects how you feel; and that feeling directs your motivate and tells you what to do. 

You overcome your old man and form new responses by connecting what you are experiencing to dialog with Jesus Christ. "Lord this thing really hurts. I don't have clarity about what is going on, but I trust you and believe that what ever is going on is to help me answer this problem differently, so that sin does not reign over my mortal body and so that the outcomes from my hearing and responding to you in my life are blessings and not curses."

What I mean by engaging Jesus Christ is, learning the best ways to do things by praying and getting up and moving against the thing your afraid of or need relief from. Grace is available to every child of God who is deliberately creating meaningful changes in their life. This way, grace works along with the believer to open doors, create new opportunities and to provide a path forward in Jesus Christ. Grace is not meant to cover sin in the believer or behavior. The shedding of blood for our sins is already done. It cannot be reapplied. Christ will not die over and over again to create a path to heaven - it doesn't work that way. Making it to heaven is not about how much you obey leadership or follow the church doctrine. It is about transformations, dying to sinful behaviors, and being rewritten by Jesus Christ.

Meaningful change must become your banner, and walking with finely-tuned ears to hear and eyes to see Jesus Christ MUST become your DAILY garment. Engaging Jesus Christ means you are constantly changing and making the appropriate adjustments in how and what you do. Engaging Jesus Christ also causes you to know what is true. They will teach you his ways and you learn about his thoughts. Over time they become your ways and thoughts. Christ's testimony becomes your testimony. When people see you, they see, hear and sense change.

Your environment

Things around you can either benefit or hurt you

Everything that touches your senses has the potential of challenging the word of God in your heart and causing you to reject the word and settle for alternative, often uncomfortable yet tolerable, experiences such as: anxiety, stress, fear, disobedience, bad thoughts, or adverse thoughts. This behavior is called walking in the flesh. Walking in the spirit makes you free and creates a quiet, consistent behavior under any circumstance.

When you walk in the spirit while addressing problems, you create meaningful transformation. The transformation that takes place as a result of Christ, is definable, repeatable and can only happen because of this relationship. Change required by God comes from knowledge about Christ, His thoughts and ways of doing things.

Your thoughts have to be transformed by interacting with Jesus Christ during the event or situation, and not JUST ON YOUR KNEES. The Holy Ghost teaches you in the midst of the problem, like an apprentice and mentor relationship.  You learn, from him, how to best respond by listening, seeing and responding, and then observing the outcome. If the outcome did not produce a blessing, be honest with the Lord. Repent and try again to hear him and respond appropriately. The grace of God has you covered. Use that grace to learn his thoughts and his ways.

A child of God who is pursuing perfection in Christ Jesus has their senses exercised in righteousness because they are not relying on their own point of view, vantage point, or the way they see things in order to drive their understanding about that thing. When it comes to taking the word out of the heart, everything around you is suspect.

Dealing with others

Dealing with other people

Interacting with other people can present many challenges. Answering how or what results can come from our responses can be difficult to answer if we have never had a particular experience or if you have never tried to be deliberate about solving it. You have to think about everything around you and ask what impact does this have on me spiritually; what kinds of experiences and growth can I expect?

Remember everything has the potential to challenge, pull on, or redirect your understanding about the word of God. When you were first filled with the Holy Ghost, your responses to issues or events in your life were not behaviors the church believed to be appropriate to their doctrinal beliefs. Time and learning the church doctrine helped shape your thinking about different things. It was not your engaging Christ about them and responding to him that created or introduced to you the appropriate responses.

You cannot grow spiritually in Jesus Chris with that approach to change, neither can that approach nor using doctrine or social behaviors help you solve problems or address issues as Christ would. Doing it the way Jesus would requires getting instructions directly from Jesus, and following him in the best way you understand him. Don't worry, the more you listen and respond, the better you will get at knowing the difference between your own thoughts speaking or Christ speaking. Look at the outcomes.

God sent two words into the earth. A blessing and a curse. Read Deuteronomy 28th chapter - your response answers one of the things mentioned in there. All experiences can benefit or challenge change in you. They can shift you from or extract any of the positive thoughts and experiences you have gained from your relationship with Christ, or even challenge outcomes that come as a result of obeying the Lord. The natural perception is so powerful that the Lord can send a blessing and your natural eyes will ignore it and remain focused on a different subject. You must learn to become a watchman. 

You cannot be a watchman or servant over God's people if you have not learned how that works. Neither can you be a leader of God's people if you have not learned by struggling through your own weaknesses, learning about how God applied compassion and mercy to your changes. That is how to navigate from grace to grace; change to change.

Here are some examples of how to respond to various situations. 

The Homeless

The Homeless

Homeless people begging for money can be a problem if you are living to please God and you see a situation where you have no idea what caused it. From the natural perspective, we think about many possibilities before we give. Did they end up like that due to drugs, drinking, or a lack of knowledge? As a child of God, should you think about them that way in order to give or should you think about them in a different way? 

The worst thing that you could do is offend God or the Holy Ghost by thinking about the poor in such a way that the response Christ wants from you towards them is not received by you, and your fallback response does not come from the Lord.

Yes, the homeless is part of God's creation and therefore you must respect God as their creator. The most powerful thing about you and I are that we do not own our thoughts. Everywhere we are influenced. Our responses and what we learn are encapsulated in our social environment. We are rewarded or punished in society if we are different. The system of reward and punishment is built into society.  You learned to act or respond to things from what is normal to your community.

The differences between what is normal in one city than another, is seen when a person from another state or country enters a social environment. Let's use a church as an example.

A person travels across the country to the US and visits another church. Not only will their appearance trigger a response from the congregates, but their behaviors and mannerisms may create challenges for the people that support the environment. Their perceptions about the visitor determines how they will respond. If it is a racist, insensitive environment, words could be spoken addressing the ethnicity of the person.

In my 40+ years of being saved, I have seen preachers on the east coast prejudge saints (from the same organization) who live in California based on their appearance, labeling them ungodly. This belief was applied to all believers in California. When I moved to Washington State I saw independence from doctrinal points of view and a genuine love for the Lord. I, myself, have grown in ways that would not have happened if moving to Washington didn't cause me to prove the Word of God.

What I learned over the years while living on the east coast did not work on the West coast. So, I begin a dialog with Jesus Christ asking why. His reply to me is that his Word is the same everywhere; it is our customs and social environments that influence or change the meaning and application of God's word.

While we see the importance of speaking the same things, approaching change by using doctrine or sitting others down and teaching them as opposed to grabbing them by the hand and mentoring them, is wrong.

Our experiences need change. Our thoughts need to be transformed and renewed after knowledge of Jesus Christ.

God bless you.

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