Recently in Canadian politics a member of Parliament suddenly decided to switch parties. She left her party, walked across the floor of the House of Commons, and took a place among those of a previously opposing party. In so doing this individual now acquired a new leader. No longer did she heed the voice of the former party leader, but now she followed the voice and values and authority of a ‘new’ leader. Now she had a ‘new’ opposing party too. Everything had taken a reversal!
This is what it is like when a person comes to Christ! One turns around and leaves the old way (repents) and no longer follows the inner dictates of their own ego. Now one follows a ‘new’ leader, the Lord Jesus Christ Who now dwells within! “All things have become new!” (2 Cor. 5:17, NKJV). Paul put it like this, “He [Jesus] has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col. 1:13,14).
But old habits can die hard. We must train our thinking to hear and obey that sometimes still and small voice of the Spirit speaking within us. We need to feed our minds on the Word of God and recognize and obey what it teaches. We must work toward maturity as scripture says: “But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.” (Heb. 5:14)
Constant use… that’s how we learn any new habit – we do it over and over again. Each time it gets a little bit easier, and soon – surprisingly soon – it takes no effort at all. Romans 12:2 says, “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.”
As we grow in this habit of listening first to the voice of God in the Scripture and through the indwelling Spirit, we are in fact learning to “seek first the kingdom of God” as Jesus taught:
Do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” (Matt. 6:31-33)
We learn to appreciate more what Paul confessed “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16)! Our priorities change and decision making becomes easier.
The Kingdom of God is simply wherever God rules. Though He rules over the entire universe, He has given to us the freedom to accept His rule or refuse it. Billy Graham observed “I have never known a man who received Christ and ever regretted it.”
Neither have I.
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