Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Minds and Hearts

Something has been happening to me lately. I think it's the beginning of transformation. Not physically (though I hope that can change soon), but mentally and spiritually.

Paul told the Romans, "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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." (Romans 12:1) [I don't know why, but I always remember this verse in NKJ translation. I can't say it any other way!]

I have always had trouble understanding transformation. How does it happen? What part do you have in it?

I think it's finally gotten through my thick skull - at least, one part of it, I think. The key, it seems to me, is found not in Romans but elsewhere, in verses like these:

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks. ~Luke 6:45

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things. ~Philippians 4:8

In the Greek, the word translated "overflow" is perisseuma - which can mean the abundance in which one delights.

This year, I have made some changes in my daily life. For one, I don't have cable tv any more. It was initially a financial decision, but the longer I'm without it, the less I miss it. While I still have movies and sometimes watch something online, I've spent far more time thinking about "things above." Between my own bible study and listening to men and women who teach the Word, I have found quite a bit of time to sit at God's feet, despite all the business of life.

I wouldn't say that I always make the time, or that I always do what I should. But I can sense a transformation. It's transforming what I care about. My priorities have shifted dramatically this year. It's transforming what I think about. It's (very slowly) transforming my speech.

God's Word is so faithful. If we delight in His word, He will bring transformation. His word does not return back void.

So I think I'm beginning to get it. We think on things that are true, noble, praiseworthy, admirable, excellent, things of God. And out of that, out of that abundance in which we delight, will come that which will please the Lord.

What is it that you delight in? What is it that you take in "in abundance," so that it's left over at the end of the day? What is the overflow that's in your heart?

Oh, Father, lead us to you that the overflow of our hearts would speak only of you!

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