Summary: A mature Believer must have the hard steel of discernment and perseverance blended together with the soft steel of humility. True humility is not a groveling, self-despising spirit. It is a right estimate of ourselves, as God sees us.
assurance and confidence.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore comfort each other and edify one another, just as you also are doing. 12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves. 14 Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all. 15 See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all. 16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 18 in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 19 Do not quench the Spirit. 20 Do not despise prophecies. 21 Test all things; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. 23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
This passage, along with many others, lists a whole "bunch of stuff" that, as Christians, we are to do. We are not to do them to gain salvation or Holiness, BUT we are to do them out of obedience, because it is the Word of God and these make up the fabric of real Christianity. Unless we are engaged in these many activities or are at least striving to do so, THEN we are in no way living the life of Spirituality.
Proverbs 23:7 for as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Therefore, the question..,
"How do we control our minds?"
even more searching,
"Who or what is controlling our minds?"
If (and it is) obedience to God’s Biblical instructions is the needed factor for a life of holiness, how do I accomplish this impossible task of obeying God’s Biblical instructions? That’s not a rhetorical question! The answer is absolutely vital to living the real Christian life.
It is amazing how far some Christians will go and how they will twist the Scriptures to excuse their lack of obedience in these areas or their lack of striving to obey God’s instructions.
God clearly states in His Word that we are Born Again instantly, but the Christian life is a growth in grace. Even the Apostle Paul, near the close of his life, said that he had not yet attained that goal, but he continued to press on toward that goal.
Philippians 3:12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. 16 Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind. 17 Brethren, join in following my example, and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. 18 For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: 19 whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly (their natural desires), and whose glory is in their shame -- who set their mind on earthly things.
As we have seen, our minds are set on either the things of the flesh or the things of the Spirit. When our minds are set on the things of the flesh, that mind set will control our thinking and actions. Changing the setting from the flesh (carnal) to the Spirit (Spiritual) is a choice of obedience.
Some say that living the Christian life is simply "yielding"… and they are right.., except what is generally meant by their use of the term "yielding" is simply to do nothing and God will do everything in our lives to bring us to holiness or to a attitude in which our minds are "set on the Spiritual".
Some try to tell us that we have no responsibility in Christian living, because Christ has done it all for us, therefore we have all things because of our "position" in Christ. They also go on to say that even if we did try to do something, it would be sin because the only thing a human can do is sin.