Developing A Winning Mind
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: 1 Corinthians 2:11-16
Sunday 10th July 2016
Today, we continue the series ‘From Glory To Glory’ which we commenced last week. This message is titled ‘Developing a Winning Mind’, in preparation for the forthcoming ‘Maximise Life 2016 Convention’.
Let’s read our foundation scripture for today’s message, from 1 Corinthians 2:11-16: ‘No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit. And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us. When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom. Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit’s words to explain spiritual truths. But people who aren’t spiritual can’t receive these truths from God’s Spirit. It all sounds foolish to them and they can’t understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means. Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others. For, “Who can know the Lord’s thoughts? Who knows enough to teach him?” But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ (NLT).
It should be noted that the degree to which we can develop a winning mind, is the level to which we would experience success in life. Our foundation scripture reminds us of the work the Holy Spirit does in revealing to us the mind of Christ, a prerequisite for enjoying successfully living, according to the will of God. The Holy Spirit discerns and unfolds God’s thoughts to us. The mind of Christ is not worldly driven, but focuses on the finished work of redemption and what God’s word says about us.
In reiterating the words of 1 Corinthians 2:11, which read: ‘No one can know a person’s thoughts except that person’s own spirit, and no one can know God’s thoughts except God’s own Spirit’, we can establish the exclusivity of the mind, the contents of which can only be revealed by the owner. Knowing God’s thoughts are however crucial in enjoying the blessings of life, and it is vital that we desire to know what God has in mind for us. Sadly, many believers have been confined by worldly thinking that have no foundation in God; they been led by their imaginations and the news around them, which has led to making wrong choices. However, God’s thoughts for each of us transcend worldly imagination. Here is the reason, why Jeremiah records God’s words concerning us: ‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope’ (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s thoughts give us an advantage, giving strength in the present and hope in the future.
Our lives were not designed to be subject to the opinions of the experts, which for most of the times are negative. Our lives have not been designed to unfold randomly, with hit or miss decisions. So how do we gain access to God’s thoughts for our lives? Our foundation scripture reveals this to us: ‘Who ever knows what you're thinking and planning except you yourself? The same with God — except that He not only knows what He's thinking, but He lets us in on it. God offers a full report on the gifts of life and salvation that he is giving us’ (1 Corinthians 2:11-12 MSG). The Holy Spirit lets us into the mind of God, giving us access to the gifts of life and salvation that God has freely given to us, through Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit connects our mind to that of God’s. God desires that we have access to the mind of Christ. As we receive the ministry of our invited guests at Maximise Life this year, they would be revealing God’s thoughts to us, in order to empower us to fulfil God’s purpose for our lives. The more of God’s thoughts we know, the more we are able to press and reach further, and lay hold of God’s plan for our lives.
As God’s mind is revealed through his servants and through the word of God that you read daily, it is vital that you take a stand. Stay in the arena of the mind of Christ. Your victory, prosperity, healing and wholeness is already guaranteed despite the present contradictory circumstances that you may be experiencing. The devil is not going to back away easily, so you need to take a stand. Here is 1 Peter 5:8, ‘Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour’ (AMP). Our minds are the battleground of life – our success is predicated on the confidence that we instil within our minds that God’s word concerning us holds true. Our thinking must line up with God’s word as this would eventually shape our lives. Remember those words in Proverbs 23:7, ‘As a man thinks in his heart, so is he’. So, can I encourage you to bring your thoughts in alignment with God’s words as you listen to the teaching during Maximise Life Convention and afterwards.
Here are four things to do in order to align your mind with God’s word:
1. Make up your mind to obey what Christ says to you, even if it doesn’t make sense: The story in John 2, relating the events at the wedding at Cana of Galilee, illustrates this point perfectly. Jesus had instructed the servants to pour water into the purification water pots. Here is verse 6-10: ‘Standing nearby were six stone water jars, used for Jewish ceremonial washing. Each could hold twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus told the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” When the jars had been filled, he said, “Now dip some out, and take it to the master of ceremonies.” So the servants followed his instructions. When the master of ceremonies tasted the water that was now wine, not knowing where it had come from (though, of course, the servants knew), he called the bridegroom over. “A host always serves the best wine first,” he said. “Then, when everyone has had a lot to drink, he brings out the less expensive wine. But you have kept the best until now!” (NLT). Jesus mother had the same experience in Luke 1. Jeremiah was instructed by God to speak to the nations in Jeremiah 1, a task he considered impossible. With God, all things are possible. Our responsibility is to obey Christ.
2. Focus on the word, not your circumstances: As a believer, you cannot afford to be moved by the things you see. Rather, your mind ought to be anchored to what God’s word says concerning you. The story in Matthew 14:25-29 unfolds this way; ‘About three o’clock in the morning Jesus came toward them, walking on the water. When the disciples saw him walking on the water, they were terrified. In their fear, they cried out, “It’s a ghost!” But Jesus spoke to them at once. “Don’t be afraid,” he said. “Take courage. I am here!” Then Peter called to him, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.” “Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus’ (NLT). The word that Jesus gave to Peter ‘Yes come’ was all he needed to hear to experience that incredible event in his life. We can also begin to experience God’s best for us, as we positively respond to His word.
3. Refuse to entertain suggestions and deceptions of the devil: The devil is a defeated foe. Here is the reason why Jesus said in Luke 10:18-19, ‘“Yes,” he told them, “I saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning! Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy, and you can walk among snakes and scorpions and crush them. Nothing will injure you’ (NLT). We already have the authority over the devil; hence we must live our lives, exuding this victory already won for us by Christ.
4. Confess the word of God: Your confession ought to be in line with what God says concerning you, and not what the circumstances dictate. The physically weak must declare the words of God: ‘Let the weak say, ‘I am strong’ (Joel 3:10). Declare what God’s word says about you, as the power of life is in the tongue. Here is Joshua 1:8-9 which reads: ‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success’ (Also see Hebrews 10:23-24).
So at this forthcoming Maximise Life Convention, let these action points undergird your decisions, as you listen to God’s word concerning you, through His servants in developing a winning mind.
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