Sermon Details

Why Nothing Chnages In My Life (Part 1)

Sunday, 24 February 2013

-As I mentioned at the beginning of our prophecy update, we’ll also be doing something a little different for our teaching in Romans as well. -Here’s why, prior to our arrival in chapter twelve, I had been anticipating teaching verse two, only to realize that after, I need to reteach it. -So, for today, and Lord willing next Sunday, I need to do just that. Namely, revisit and re-teach this most fascinating verse in our Bibles.

Romans 12:2 NKJV 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.

-By way of introduction, I would like to begin by asking a question, and please know that as always, it’s one for which I ask of myself as well. -Have you ever wondered why it is we can study God’s Word, pray, fellowship at church, even share the Gospel, yet nothing ever changes? -The same question a different way; why is it, that I can know what God’s Word says, and how to do what God’s Word says, yet never do it?

-It’s this question that I hope to answer from God’s Word in what will be a two part series that I’ve titled, “Why Nothing Changes in My Life.” -If the truth be known, I’ve been sitting on, and praying about this teaching for the better part of one month now, and believe now is the time. -By that I mean, I think that now is the time for this word, fitly spoken, for such a time as this, and for what should be deemed good reason.

-Here’s where I’m going with all this, a while back a brother from the mainland sent me a TED video that sort of turned the light on for me. -It just so happened to be at the time that I was preparing a teaching in the “Fulfilled Christian Life” series, which we will be resuming after. -Actually, it served as an epiphany of sorts as it relates to verse two of Romans twelve, in that I felt as though I wasn’t thorough enough.

-More specifically, I sensed I’d only scratched the surface in terms of what it really meant to be transformed by the renewing of our minds. -I would be disingenuous were I to tell you after teaching through verse two, that I was satisfied with my understanding of what this meant. -After I had sought the Lord concerning my dissatisfaction, He granted me the much-needed grace of re-teaching this most profound verse.

-I sensed from the Lord that not only was I to re-teach it, but that He would change me, in and through my studying it, and re-teaching it. -However, this process of changing or, transforming, if you prefer, is not an event rather, it’s a process, taking place over a period of time. -So, I would like to thank you in advance for your time, as I take some time, to share with you that which God has so profoundly showed me.

-In a sentence, the Lord has shown me that I can preach and teach all I want about a fulfilled Christian life, yet never see the transformation. -Let me explain, how to live a fulfilled Christian life, and what living a fulfilled Christian life will look like, are both insufficient to change me. -The reason they are both insufficient is because only the “why” will motivate me, and enable me, to want to know “how” and do the “what.”

-The truth of the matter is, this is how God has wired our minds and hearts in that the “why” motivates us to respond changing our behavior. -By the way, this is why some Christians get it, and others don’t. This is why some Christians have a passion for the Lord and others don’t. -This is why some Christians live a fulfilled and joy filled Christian life, and other Christians live an unfulfilled and miserable Christian life.

-By way of illustration, and for purpose of discussion, let’s say that I teach Romans twelve in such a way that I only give you how and what. -In other words, my teaching would be something like; dying to self is “how” you can have joyful life, and it’s “what” you need to do to have it. -So, “why” don’t more Christians who know how to live their life, do what they need to do so they can live that life? They don’t know why!

-Because they don’t know why, they won’t die, and because they don’t die, they won’t live that abundant fulfilling life Jesus came to give. -The bottom line is I won’t die to self because that’s what I’m to do. I die to self because I believe in “why” I am to do it. I first need the why! -At the risk of complicating something that’s actually quite simple, God made our brains with what I like to call the big three, if you please.

-In looking from the top down, our brains have three major components, the outer neo-cortex is the what, and as such it’s the rational part. -The two inner components make up the limbic system of our brains, and as such they are responsible for our feelings, and our emotions. -It’s also responsible for all our behavior, and even all of our decisions, however it has no capacity in the realm of rational thought process.

-Herein lies the problem, I won’t change my behavior merely with the what, nor the how, because I didn’t first have the why to change it. -When you start with the why first, then, and only then, will you have the decision making capacity to change your behavior and die to self. -Lest you think that this is bordering on psychology or psychiatry, let me hasten to say that this is neither. Rather it’s physiology and biology.

-Here’s how it works, once the limbic system of my brain physiologically understands why, it enables me to know both how and what to do. -In other words, once the decision has been made, and the behavior controlled, the how and what I do can be rationalized in the neo-cortex. -This is “why” we make what we call “gut decisions,” or “follow our feelings.” This is why we don’t make decisions when it doesn’t feel right.

-This explains why we as Christians can have all the information, all the facts and figures, all the scriptures, and never change our behavior. -We know “how” we are to behave as Christians and we have even rationalized that it’s “what” we are to do as Christians, but we don’t do it. -Why? The “why” question is answered with “why.” More specifically, the reason why we don’t do the how or the, what is, we don’t believe.

-That’s why we don’t make the decision to act on that which is clearly rational and change our behavior in how we live our lives in this world. -We do know what we believe, and even how we believe, we don’t know why we believe what we believe, and that’s why nothing changes. -What decides whether or not my life changes or not is do I believe in what I’m doing and how I’m doing it? What I do proves what I believe.

-Please put this truth of “what I do proves what I believe” in your hip pocket for next week as it will be germane to the renewing of our minds. -In closing, I’ll take it one step further and say, we can never hope to have a changed and transformed life absent this renewed thinking. -This of course presupposes that you even want that which Jesus came to give you, namely new life, an abundant life, nay even eternal life.