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Overcomers Renew Your Mind! (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)

Sermon on 29 October 2023 by Reverend Lynette Goh


2 Corinthians 10:4-5 - “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ,”

We have to see ourselves as overcomers over the circumstances around us. However, many believers remain disappointed and defeated. It is because they don’t renew their minds. They continue to think the way the world thinks. Our spiritual position is a high position. It is at the right hand of God in Christ Jesus. We have powerful weapons on our side. These weapons can overcome the weapons of the enemy. The meaning of cast down and pull down is very powerful. In Greek, it means destruction, demolish, taking down with force through subtle reasoning of the opponent. Sometimes, we think the thoughts of the enemy. But the Bible tells us that we have to cast down what is not in obedience to Christ. We are human but we have to see ourselves in Christ.

1 John 5:4-5 - “For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?”

Romans 8:37-39 - “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,”

The word strengthens us and gives us faith. We have to remain as conquerors and renew our minds in all things. For many of us, physical reality is more real than spiritual reality. I want to encourage us to see spiritual reality as more real than physical reality.

1 Thessalonians 5:23 - “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.”

In our Spirit, we have the life of God, which means the Zoe, abundant life. Whatever we need for life is already given in the spirit. That is God’s responsibility. He has already done it. However, we need to renew our minds, submit our will and control our emotions as part of our surrendering to God. We need to choose to surrender. God has already done everything. We are not only human. We are empowered by the Holy Spirit. When you decide to renew your mind, the Holy Spirit comes alongside to help you. We have to discipline our bodies.

Romans 12:2 - “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

1 Corinthians 9:27 - “But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.”

What we face in the world is not always God’s doing. God has His plan but there is also man’s choice. In the natural fallen world, we may choose good and follow God. However, we may be affected by people around us who don’t choose the same thing as us. Praise God that He is sovereign. This doesn’t mean that He can control us. We have to submit to Him. God has a supreme rule and how He can work things out for His people. As believers, we follow His plan because we love Him.

Natural thinking occurs because we trust man more than God. We trust in our logic more than God’s word. God has given us a mind that can reason, which helps us in everyday life. However, as spiritual beings, we need to follow the word of God. Many times, the word of God goes beyond logic. We trust in our natural senses more than what God says about our spiritual reality. We need to overcome our natural thinking as we are unable to please God. Without faith and obedience, we cannot receive what God has given to us. Natural thinking leads us to be easily shaken and affected.

Hebrews 11:6 - “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”

James 1:5-8 - “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

Examples where natural thinking leads to bad outcomes:

  1. Jesus’ Hometown

Jesus was unable to do much in his own town. He was astonished at their unbelief. Our mindset plays a crucial role in receiving blessings. Breakthroughs and miracles are not dependent on God alone. We have a part to play as our mindsets and belief systems play a crucial role in receiving blessings, breakthroughs and miracles.

Mark 6:5-6a - “Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them. And He marveled because of their unbelief. Then He went about the villages in a circuit, teaching.”

  1. Peter

He was initially focused on the word but was distracted by the waves. Jesus stretched out His hand and caught Peter, rebuking him for having little faith and for doubting. Are we remaining in our comfort zone? There is a place for stepping out. We shouldn’t focus on the circumstances around us. This is part of the plan of God in our life. Continue to align to the Word and not the world. The world will tell us that we can’t do it. We need to renew our minds on what God calls us to do.

Matthew 14:28-31 - “And Peter answered Him and said, “Lord, if it is You, command me to come to You on the water.” So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?””

  1. The Centurion

The centurion asked Jesus to heal his servant. When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!” And his servant was healed that same hour. Refuse to focus on symptoms, but on the spiritual reality; no room for uncertainty or doubt. From the place of doubt to the place of belief, it is a renewal process. Move from a place of doubt to little faith and then to great faith. Faith means we totally depend on God’s words and obey Him. It is not pride.

Matthew 8:8-9 - “The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.””

Luke 7:9 - “When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!””

Matthew 8:13b - “Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way; and as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that same hour.”

Romans 12:2 - “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

Faith comes from hearing and hearing through the word of Christ. When we walk by faith and not by sight, we are not impacted by circumstances but the words we read in the Bible. We have to speak out our faith. Some people are speaking without believing. That does not link up with what God says to us. We hear His words first, meditate on it, then believe.

Mark 11:22-23 - “So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.”

Mark 4:39 - “Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm.”

Philippians 4:8a - “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

When you are thinking about these things, your mind is actively pondering. Your imagination is also active. It’s not vain but a fruitful imagination. Whenever you think about the word of God, it is a fruitful imagination. So when you are thinking of these things, your mind is renewed. Your attitude determines your altitude. Attitude is defined as a settled way to view something. When we see ourselves as conquerors or overcomers in Christ, our attitude is right too. If we go back to our old ways of thinking, thinking that we are only human, we need to present our requests with thanksgiving to God. Because God is leading us, nothing is impossible. With God, you are not on your own. You are more than conquerors in God.

Luke 1:37 - “For with God nothing will be impossible.””

Amen.

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