There is a Christian school of thought that teaches believers that in order to be pleasing to God, we must deny our own will. Many quote the Lord’s words while He was on earth when He often made it plain that He came to do the Father’s will and not His own. How was the will of Jesus different from the will of His Fathers? We will never know from the bible because He never discussed it. We can speculate that while He was in the garden of Gethsemane and began to sweat drops like blood, the Lord’s human will was struggling with His impending death on the cross and the Father’s desire that He become sin and be briefly separated from Him. Jesus took control of His human will by submitting it to the will of His Father.
Recently a Facebook self-proclaimed teacher wrote the following: I died to self when I find out that the real enemy, far worst than the devil himself, is my own thoughts. The Bible says our carnal mind is enmity against God (Rom 8:7). My thought pattern makes up for who I am. As a man thinketh so is he (Psalm 23:7). It means who I am is the enemy of who God is.”
A facebooker with more than 3000 professing Christian friends, this is a person who is teaching when she needs to be taught. Actually, her words describe the condition of professing Christians who are NOT born again.” Such a teaching suggests that the author has experienced a counterfeit birth herself and that she is functioning by the power of her soul and not her regenerated spirit.
Yet her teaching that I am struggling with the most is the implication that we are to be transformed to a state where we have no human will at all. Is that really God’s intent? My question is “Why give us a will if He desires to be in complete control over it?” I can answer this question. In the fall of mankind, contamination of the human soul set in. The carnal mind, of which the human will is but a part, became at enmity with God and is therefore un-reliable. Yet, a major purpose of the cross was to prepare the way to replace the carnal mind with the mind of Christ, available to all those who become “born again.” As long as we are not conformed to this world, the totality of the soul, which includes both the mind, emotions and the will can be renewed, as we work out its salvation with fear and trembling throughout the course of our earthly lives in Him.
So how does the will itself become “renewed” yet not destroyed?
I believe that if God desired to be in complete control of the human will, He would have created a robot. Though not robots, angels are somewhat ”robotic” in nature. Their creation is controlled, either by God or by Satan. Individualism and self-will seem not to be permitted in their creation. Yet we are allowed to bow to the beat of our own drum— free to worship ourselves.
Yet if it were not for our capacity to control our own will, Satan would possess us. Herein lies the danger. To have the mind of Christ does not mean that your own mind is done away with. If so, how could you choose whether to have bacon and eggs for breakfast or a bowl of corn flakes? You would not be able to choose unless you absolutely knew God’s divine will on the matter. That example may sound ridiculous but when you consider what is going on in sincere but mindless Christianity, you might want to reconsider. Christians are looking for God to choose their church, their friends, their mate, their occupation, even the kind of car that they drive. Since God gave us a human will to make such choices, guess who steps in and mimics the voice of God? When you let the devil choose FOR you, then he is the one who is guiding your steps, and not the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost is called the Helper and not the Controller or the Possessor.
Here is the good news. Once you are born again, you are no longer a victim to your own carnal mind, which is a synonym for the flesh. If you walk in the spirit, you will not fulfill the lusts and desires of the carnal mind. You HAVE at the moment of your rebirth, the mind of Christ to enlighten YOUR mind and to empower YOUR human will. A mind that is controlled by the spirit is a “spiritual mind.” The spiritual mind is sober and open to the things of God. As we walk in the spirit, the spiritual mind overshadows the carnal mind.
If you would like to learn the difference between the soul and the spirit, how the 2 are divided from each other, how to walk in the spirit, the power of the cross and the resurrection, all of our membership levels provide courses of study that will be of great benefit to your spiritual growth and development.
To find out how to register, call 518-477-5759.