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Summary: Your mind controls your actions. God calls Christians to be different from the world.

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God’s Design for Your Mind

July 25, 2004

Intro: The control of our mind is a constant battle we fight. We are bombarded with images, ideas, and arguments to try to control the way we think.

Theme: How we think will influence how we act.

**(Video of Obi Wan Kanobi and Jedi mind control)

We must continually monitor our mind so that we are acting according to God’s design for us. We must allow God to perform an “Extreme Makeover” for our mind.

In scripture, the word “mind” is used 121 times. Several different Hebrew and Greek words are used for the English word mind. The basic definition is:

Mind=Thinking through or thinking over; the place of knowing and reasoning.

If our mind is a place of knowing and understanding, it is imperative that we allow God to shape our minds the way He desires them to know and understand.

The Natural Mind

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.”

Ephesians 4:17-19 (NIV)

1-“Futile Thinking”

“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking.”

Ephesians 4:17

Darkened minds look for answers in human enlightenment.

Those who do not have a spiritual life are incapable of finding meaningful fulfillment for their lives. They look in all the wrong places for what they crave.

2- “Darkened Understanding”

“They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them…”

Ephesians 4:18

People who do not have a relationship with God are doomed to live in darkness.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.” 2 Cor. 4:4(NIV)

Satan has blinded the understanding of those who don’t know Christ.

You may say, “That’s not fair!” but look at the next aspect of darkened minds.

3- “Hardening Hearts”

“…separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts.”

Ephesians 4:18

People have lost spiritual understanding because they were closed to the direction of God.

The Result

“Lost Sensitivity”

“Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.” Ephesians 4:19

People have lost all moral direction and they seek to satisfy their own desires.

The Changed Mind

Christians are called to think differently from those who don’t know Christ.

“You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.” Ephesians 4:20-21(NIV)

The difference between the natural mind and the changed mind is the acceptance of Truth.

“Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.” Ephesians 4:21

Jesus put it this way:

“This is the crisis we are in: God-light streamed into the world, but men and women everywhere ran for the darkness… Everyone who makes a practice of doing evil hates the truth and won’t come near it fearing a painful exposure. But anyone working and living in truth and reality welcomes God-light so the work can be seen for the God-work it is.” John 3:19-21(Message)

We are faced with two options:

1- We can be a deserter of truth

OR

2- We can be a disciple of truth.

The effect of truth is a changed understanding of life.

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off the old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds.”

Ephesians 4:22-23(NIV)

We must put off our old way of thinking and embrace God’s way of thinking.

Kenny Luck, the Men’s Pastor at Saddleback Church describes the world’s way of thinking this way:

Old

Hedonism = indulge

Narcissism = impress

Materialism = increase

This is the value system the world lives by and tries to influence our mind to buy into.

**Show TV commercial

God has called us to a new way of thinking.

The desire to indulge is to be replaced with self-control.

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you, hypocrites!

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