Life In The Spirit

When We Walk In The Spirit We Can Experience A Renewing Of Our Mind

Tim Lundy
May 22, 2022    48m
When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we become indwelt by the Holy Spirit. In the message, we learn that walking in the Spirit renews our mind and leads us to ask, how am I allowing the Holy Spirit to influence my life, influence my thoughts, and influence how I live. Video recorded at Los Gatos, California.

messageRegarding Grammar:

This is a transcription of the sermon. People speak differently than they write, and there are common colloquialisms in this transcript that sound good when spoken, and look like bad grammar when written.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:01] Well, good morning, Venture. It is great to be here today and I'm excited in particular because of the chapter of the Bible that we're about to dive into, not just this week, but for a few weeks. In fact, I love how John Piper puts it, he says the greatest book ever written is the Bible. In his estimation, the greatest letter in the Bible is Romans, and then he says the greatest chapter in the book of Romans is Romans chapter 8.

Tim Lundy: [00:00:32] Now people ask me from time to time, what's your favorite chapter in the Bible? And it's usually whatever I'm studying lately with it. But I'll put Romans 8 as in my Mount Rushmore of just passages of Scripture that I think are game changers, that turning point. So if you've got your Bibles, go ahead, and turn there, turn to Romans chapter 8. If you didn't bring a Bible with you, pull the blue one out, pull the blue one out in front of you. You're going to want to read through this passage with me, it's important that we do that together, so pull that Bible out or you can pull it up on your phone either way.

Tim Lundy: [00:01:09] But in Romans chapter 8, we're at this point where we've been looking at what Christ did for five chapters. In the last two chapters, Paul's been really honest about this whole issue of sin and how we're dead to sin, but we still struggle with sin. And last week, we looked at Romans chapter 7, one of the most powerful sections, this raw section, where Paul just says, in my own strength, I don't do the things I want to do, and I do the exact things I don't want to do. And if we're honest, we feel that. And he comes to the end of that chapter, and he says, wretched man that I am, who will save me from this. And when he's talking about that salvation, he's not just talking about the salvation, when I prayed that prayer and I came to Christ, he's talking about as a believer, as a Christian, as somebody who's trying to do it the right way and just can't get back together, who is going to save me from this? And he's walking us perfectly through that same struggle we all have when we try to do this Christian life in our own strength, and he's setting it up perfectly as well because, in Romans chapter 8, he's going to introduce the game-changer, the one that God sent to actually help us live out what Christ has done in us.

Tim Lundy: [00:02:33] If you've got your Bibles, look at the first verse of Romans, chapter 8, we'll just read that first verse. I love that, because it comes out of that where he goes, wretched man that I am, who will save me. And then in verse 1, he says, "There is, therefore..." And that 'therefore' is pointing back to what he just talked about. He says, In light of all of our struggles, "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Isn't that great news? I mean, if you're going to go to the greatest chapter, that might be the greatest verse. That even in the worst part of our struggles, even in the day when you look at it and you go, I'm not doing what I was supposed to do, and I don't do the things I should do and I'm doing the very things I don't want to do. All of those struggles, even in the middle of that, Paul says, hey, hey, look at me, there's no condemnation. And by the way, that also means no self-condemnation. When you condemn yourself, you know what you're doing? You're doing the devil's work for him. And so he looks at us and he says, hey, condemnation, the judgment from God, that's been paid for, and so there's none of that for any of us in Christ Jesus. Here's the point in it no matter how much we struggle with sin, there's no condemnation because of Jesus there's none. And resting in that, and building in that, and living in that, is what actually gives us the strength to move into how we actually struggle with it so that we don't live under that condemnation in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:09] That forgiveness that we have, and here's what you need to realize, and I'll say this to people often, but every so often it clicks in, when you came to Christ and you experienced that forgiveness in Christ, it wasn't just the sins you did up to that moment, it was the sins for your whole life. So every sin in front of you has already been forgiven by Christ because you're in Christ if you're his follower, and so resting in that and knowing that.

Tim Lundy: [00:04:38] That's why the psalmist says, he says, "Your mercies are new every morning." Isn't that a great promise? Isn't it awesome that as Christians we don't have to ration God's mercy? I mean, think about it, you don't have to at the beginning of the week go, okay, I'm only going to get this much mercy from God this week and so I better not blow it, you know, I'm going to try to be good for a few days, so I don't cash in too much mercy. And you're sitting there living your whole life trying to ration mercy. The psalmist says, do you know what God loves to do every day? When you get up in the morning, he goes, Oh, I've got new mercy today, I've got you covered today, I've paid for this today. And you can rest in it, there's no condemnation, no matter what you've done, no matter what may come to your mind, no matter what in your heart that you immediately go, I hate this about myself.

Tim Lundy: [00:05:35] You know, one of the most famous stories in the whole Bible is the woman who was caught in adultery. John chapter 8, and we jump in immediately but just stop for a moment, this woman was literally caught in the act of adultery. Can you imagine anything more shameful? You talk about a shame walk and being publicly exposed. I'm not really tracking it, but it keeps coming on my newsreel all the time, the Johnny Depp, Amber Heard trial. And everything I read about it, and I'm just like, ugh. Or it's even the headline, you go... And part of me is kind of sad that you go, oh, I'd hate to have my dirty laundry like that just exposed. This woman, as she's brought forward before Jesus, by a group who just wants to use her as a pawn, they don't really care about her sin, and they certainly don't care about her. And they just want to set Jesus up, hey, Jesus, the law says we're supposed to stone somebody who does this. What do you say, are we going to kill her? You know the story, when Jesus says, great, whoever's without sin, go ahead and pick up the first stone, and one by one, they all drift away. Do you Remember Jesus' words to her? He's drawing the dirt and then he looks up and they're all gone, and it's just the woman and Jesus. Remember, he said whoever is without sin actually has the right to stone her, to condemn her, he was the only one there that actually would have been right to do so if he wanted in the law. But he looks at her, he says, is there nobody left to condemn you? Then I don't condemn you. There's no condemnation, even in the most shameful and the worst, I just can't imagine all that she went through.

Tim Lundy: [00:07:28] Now some people read that story and they go, see, Jesus doesn't care about sexual sins, all he cares about is judgmental people. You've got to read everything he said, do you remember what he said? He said, "Neither do I condemn you." And then he gives her this little line, "Go and sin no more." You got to stop doing this, this isn't good for you. In fact, this is keeping you from experiencing the very life God designed. And that's exactly what Jesus did there in that story, is what Paul's walking us through in the book of Romans, of recognizing that because of Christ, we're not condemned. But likewise, he's looking at us and going, okay, how do you live in a way that you go and sin no more, that you don't stay trapped in these same cycles?

Tim Lundy: [00:08:24] And the key of the whole part of it we're going to see starting a Romans 8, is the work of the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. In fact, one of the things I hate when we talk about the Holy Spirit in church, so often all we do is focus on assigned gifts, we focus on miracles and things, certainly under his activity. But the core ministry that he does in the life of every believer is what we're going to see in Romans 8. And so particularly today, we're not going to look at everything the Holy Spirit does, but we are going to look particularly at this section where he talks about how does the Holy Spirit help us live this out? How is he changing us in it?

Tim Lundy: [00:09:05] Read with me, starting in verse 2, Paul says, "For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death." And remember I told you a couple of weeks ago, the two covenants. One covenant, he said, the old covenant, it was the law written on stone tablets, it was these rules out here. And then the new covenant that Jeremiah promised about, that the scripture pointed to, is that it's not going to be written on the outside, I'm going to actually place my Spirit within you and change you from the inside out. And so Paul says, this is the key, are you trying to live that old on the outside? Are you living according to the law of the Spirit of life? "For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin he condemned sin in the flesh, 4in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." Here's the goal, the goal is life, the goal is peace. The goal is not just to turn you into a good boy or a good girl that you stop doing those bad things, no, it's those bad things, it's sin that's keeping you from experiencing life and peace, from flourishing the way God designed it for every single one of us. He continues on with it, "For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8Those who are in the flesh cannot please God." Without Christ and without the Spirit, you can't please God, no matter how hard you try. "You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you."

Tim Lundy: [00:11:27] All right, there's a lot in that passage, we'll walk through it. Well, here's what he's pointing out, the Holy Spirit is continuing the work of Jesus in our lives today. Remember, Jesus said to his disciples, he said, I'm about to leave. And they were like, You can't leave. And he said, Actually, it's a good thing, it's good that I leave because I'm leaving and the Spirit is coming, and what he's going to do, this continuing work, is amazing. If you compare the two between Christ and the Holy Spirit, in Christ he lived among us, the Spirit lives in us. And so you look, the same word is used, he said he dwells in us. That we've dwelled, literally means he abides, he's made it his home. It's the exact same word that John says in John 1, that Christ came, and he dwelled among us. This is what we celebrate every Christmas, we go, it's amazing, the incarnation, that God would be with us, that God would be among us. Paul is saying, hey, the same thing happened in your life, it's like a little Christmas, God is literally in you, he dwells, he does life there.

Tim Lundy: [00:12:35] He saves us. Christ saves us. the Spirit seals us. You'll see it in several places, the reason you keep your salvation is not because you're so great, it's because God is so powerful that he literally seals us in it, what Christ has done, so none are lost in that.

Tim Lundy: [00:12:55] The third thing we see, Christ paid the penalty of sin. It says broke here, it should be, it's an ongoing work, so he breaks the power of sin. Christ paid the penalty. the Spirit is breaking the power of sin in our life. And so as we work that out, the way that he does that, is that we experience this change in our life when we walk in the Spirit. When we walk in the Spirit. Paul says this in Galatians, he said it in our passage, he says, there's a way of life where you've got to decide how you're going to do life, and the Spirit is calling you, and you're called to walk in the Spirit. He wants to help you, one of the names of the Holy Spirit is the Helper, in fact, Jesus refers to him that way. He says, I'm going to go, but when the Helper comes, and then he describes the ministries and the things that the Holy Spirit does in our life.

Tim Lundy: [00:13:49] Now, when I use that term, helper, I want to be careful. Because a lot of times, and maybe we treat him this way, we think of a helper as like my little buddy. You know, it's good to have my helper. In fact, you know, when my boys were little, especially, anytime I was doing a project around the house, man, they wanted to jump in. They wanted, if I'm painting, give me a paintbrush, Dad. And you know what that meant as a parent, you know, there's more paint everywhere else with it, but they want to be a part of the project. It's amazing, as they become teenagers, how that propensity to want to jump in there has slowed down quite a bit with that.

Tim Lundy: [00:14:25] When Jesus calls the Holy Spirit our helper, he's not talking about that he's our little buddy, he's there to you know, kind of follow us around, hey, can I help? Could I jump in? Now, sometimes we treat him that way, he's not a helper to help us with our agenda. What he is here to do, is to help us actually experience God's agenda. So it's not a derogatory term, it's not something on the side. It's the same term, by the way, when Adam and Eve, before Eve was created, what did God say about Eve? He says, I'm going to make for Adam a helper, suitable, helper corresponding. It's not a derogatory term, he's not creating Adam's little buddy who's there to, you know, kind of pick up the pieces. What he's saying is God's given him an agenda to rule the Earth and fill the earth, which Adam can't pull off on his own. So he gives one who corresponds perfectly with Adam, that together they can rule the Earth and fill the earth.

Tim Lundy: [00:15:30] So the Holy Spirit comes into our lives to help us accomplish God's agenda. In fact, part of the way he helps us do that is by exposing our agendas and where they conflict with God's agenda. Now we use that term walk in the Spirit a lot, and you go, what does that actually mean? What does it mean? It can become one of those Christian terms, are you walking in the Spirit? Well, the Scripture breaks it down for us as you look at it. I mean, the core thing is, you allow him to be in control of every area of our lives, you allow him to be in control. And Paul puts it this way in Ephesians, he says, "Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit." Now, why does he compare it to alcohol? Is Paul really worried about drunkenness? No, that's not the point of the passage, obviously, Scripture says don't get drunk. But he's using the analogy of, if you get drunk, you know what it does, it starts controlling every area of your life. That's why so many people, and I just say this to young people, so many people can look back on stupid mistakes they made in their life, and they were connected to alcohol. And it wasn't just about the alcohol, it was all the other decisions that went with it. And so Paul is saying in the same way, when you get drunk, it has control of your decision-making, life, and how you do life.

Tim Lundy: [00:16:54] Now, he contrasts it, he says, "But you need to be filled with the Spirit." You need to be filled with the Spirit. Now, that may be confusing because you look at it and say, well, Tim, didn't he just say in Romans chapter 8 that if you're in Christ, the Spirit's in you, he dwells in us. You just told me, he dwells in me, and now Paul is telling me I need to be filled, there's a difference between the two. If you're a Christian, let me just say this, the moment that you come to Christ, the Spirit in you, he dwells in you. But there's still a decision, and this is part of that process, a decision that you have to make of is he just going to dwell in me or is my life actually filled with the Spirit?

Tim Lundy: [00:17:37] James Emory White, I think, gives the best example of it, I've got my two pitches here. Here are two different lives, now, look at this and you can see one life, two lives. First life, I've got my Alka-Seltzer packets, this represents the Holy Spirit. So person number one, they come to Christ, in that moment, they have the Spirit, all right, he dwells there, he's there. But then Paul says, yeah, is this how you want to do life, or do you allow yourself to be filled with the Spirit? Now notice the difference, they both had the Spirit, but one life is very contained. I've kind of got my category, let's keep it there, I don't want to get out of control here. In fact, for some Christians, it's like, yeah, I'd much rather have the Holy Spirit like this. Or do you allow your life? And notice here, when you're filled with the Spirit, what does he do? He wants to fill every area of your life. Here's a question I'd have for you, does your life have the fizz, or is it pretty contained? Are you living in a way that you go, well, I know I have him because Scripture says it, or are you actually experiencing him? And the thing about the fizz, did you notice that you don't get to pick which categories like, okay, I want fizz in this half and I don't want it in this half. And that's what Paul's teaching in this passage, he's saying to us. hey, in the same way that that wine will control you if you drink too much of it, man you want your life in a way that I'm filled with the Spirit, I'm not picking categories of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:19:41] Now to do that, remember, we're talking particularly around the issue of sin, I have to listen to his conviction about sin in our lives. So when he convicts me about sin, I listen to him, it's one of the key things he's doing, by the way. Jesus said this, Jesus said, "When I leave, the Spirit's going to come." And here's why it's good that the Spirit's in the world, now the Spirit's in the world because he's in us, so he's in Christian, so as Christians take the church throughout the world, we're bringing the Holy Spirit there. And one of the things that the Holy Spirit does, Jesus says when he comes, notice what he says, he will convict the world concerning three things, concerning sin, concerning righteousness, and concerning judgment. Basically what the Holy Spirit does, just with his presence, he shows this is wrong, this is what's right, and this is the implication of it. Whether you like it or not, God designed the universe in a way that right and wrong and judgment are part of it, and the Holy Spirit brings that through His presence.

Tim Lundy: [00:20:48] Sometimes it's just through the presence of Christians, and people don't always like it, by the way. Have you ever been surprised by issues with it? Sometimes the heat and the anger toward Christians. And you look at it, now, sometimes it's there because Christians are being jerks, so they deserve it. But sometimes, you know what's happening in that, there's a conviction that comes, and I don't like somebody pointing out my life's wrong, or saying there's right or wrong, and in this issue suddenly becomes so angry. It's why Jesus, by the way, do you remember what Jesus said? He said, They hate me, and they're going to hate you. Now he is not commanding us to go out and be the kind of people that are hate, but he is saying there comes a point through the presence of Jesus and I would say through the presence of the Holy Spirit, man, just standing up for what is right or speaking truth. You'll suddenly find people and they're so angry about it, do you know what's going on? They're feeling convicted by the work of the Spirit, and when it happens, can I just say this to us as Christians? Quit taking it so personally. We act like we get our feelings hurt so quickly. I mean, the world comes at us and they're angry at us and that we're like, they can't talk to us that way, and so then we respond. I'm like, Jesus, got to be looking at us going, seriously, didn't I tell you this would happen? Is that how I responded to them, maybe you could respond like me. Now it's easy for me to see it when I know what he's doing in the world, but the same thing he's doing in the world, guess what guys, he's doing in my life. So when the Holy Spirit convicts us, are we responding to it? When you have an area of your life that you go, man, I know the Spirit's telling me, I can't do this, I can't act like this, a key part is that response to him.

Tim Lundy: [00:22:54] And then when we do, you've got to ask yourself, recognize when we're actively resisting his influence. So it's one thing that I'm passively not doing, it's another thing when we get active, and we can do this as Christians. A couple of keyways that we actively resist him. One, we grieve him. We grieve him. Look what Ephesians says, "Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption." So he's making this promise, he's writing to Christians, by the way, because they're sealed. And so he says you're sealed by him, so even if you're struggling with sin, that doesn't go away, he has sealed you. But because he's a part of your life, and because you're not listening to him or because you're acting in ways, look what sin does, it grieves him. And if you read through this passage in Ephesians, it's interesting to me, because a lot of times we think the sins that grieve them most are like sexual sins because we're so ashamed of them. We get kind of the big list of sins, oh, those must be the things that grieve him. If you read through Ephesians 4, it's interesting, he puts this verse in the middle of verses where he's commanding us in the way that we treat each other, he says, don't lie to each other, don't slander each other, don't be angry with each other. See, I think the sense that gave him the most, are the ones when we treat each other poorly.

Tim Lundy: [00:24:23] But notice the response of God in this. When we have active sin in our lives and we're not dealing with it. here's the key, we're not dealing with it, it grieves him. Some of you think God is so mad at you. You think when you struggle with sin, God's first response toward you is anger. Hear me, Paul already talked about this in Romans 1, the wrath of God has been satisfied in Christ. That's what it means to have no condemnation, I don't live under the anger of the Father ever again. But the Holy Spirit does look at us, and it makes him sad, it literally grieves him personally because he knows what it's doing to you. and he knows what it's doing to me. And he knows, remember, the whole point of it was for life and peace, and so he sees this life in Christ, and he sees peace in Christ, and he sees all these things that God wants for you. And when I refuse it, because I don't want to deal with what he's convicted me of, it grieves him.

Tim Lundy: [00:25:36] In fact, it can go on from that, you can actually, you can quench Him. You can quench hi quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything holding fast to what is good." And as Paul's writing this church in Thessalonica, you've got to remember, they didn't have a New Testament at this point, it wasn't written out. The letters were being written, in fact, he's writing a letter that will become scripture, this book to the Thessalonians. And in that, so when you went to church, somebody didn't stand up necessarily and open up and go, hey, let's turn to Matthew, as they started to get the Scriptures, they did. But there was a category of people that served in the church, men, and women, who were prophets. Now, sometimes prophecy was about, oh, these things that are going to happen out there, we think of it that way, the main function of a prophet is they tell God's truth. And so part of what you would do if you were a Christian at that time is, that was how you heard God's word, the prophet would tell you, let me tell you the truth of what God's doing. And so when Paul says this, he says, "Do not despise prophecies." He says, don't despise what God's declaring, don't despise his word.

Tim Lundy: [00:26:51] The closest application for us today, who do have the New Testament and do have the Scripture, is every day when you read the Bible, you've got to make a decision, am I going to embrace what it's saying? And that word there is despising, notice when I talk about quenching the Spirit, I'm not talking about struggling with sin, I'm not talking where you have a struggle. I'm talking about where you've made a decision, that you've come to some part of God's word and you read it and you read what he says about money, and you've decided, well, I know Scripture says that, but it's my money. That's your first mistake right there, that statement, it's all God's. But you've decided, nope, its mine, and this is what I'm going to do with it, I'm just not going to do that part of God's word, I don't care about the prophetic utterance of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:27:49] Or maybe it's the Holy Spirit convicted somebody you're supposed to forgive, and you've just decided, I'm not going to do that, they don't deserve it. And they may not, and when I say that term forgiveness, because sometimes the wounding is so deep, I don't say that lightly, and I don't say it like you're supposed to just pretend like nothing happened, or you jump back into a relationship, you may need a real healthy boundary from them. But at a heart level, I can promise you this, the Holy Spirit is always going to bring you back to a place, it's time to forgive as you've been forgiven.

Tim Lundy: [00:28:30] Maybe it has to do with Sabbath and your schedule. And God says, hey, you know what, you're supposed to carve out time every week for him. And you just go, I'm not going to do it, I'm too important, my job's too important, I've got to do it all the time, and we get addicted to productivity.

Tim Lundy: [00:28:50] Maybe you come to a part of Scripture about your sex life, and you just determined, I know the Bible says that but adults in the 21st century when they date, they have sex, it's what they do. So I'm glad the Bible says that I'm not going to do it. Here's the thing, guys. I can keep going with different categories, and before I'm finished, I'll cover all of us. Because if you read the Bible, if you consistently read through the Bible, you're going to read something that you go, whoa, man, that cuts across my life. I mean, that doesn't fit my agenda, so, Holy Spirit, would you just go back to being the little buddy helper and, you know, help me when I want you to help me? Because I want to do my agenda and I'd love to have a little Spiritual power every so often. And the Holy Spirit says, no, we're not going do it that way, you don't contain me, you don't deny me. Because when you do, and guys, if you do it long enough. You reach this point where he says you quench his power, you quench what he's doing in your life, and it's a miserable place. I've been there before, where you're trying to grind out Christianity, you're back in Romans 7, I'm trying to do it, but I just can't do it. And so you kind of go through the motions, and then you come to church every Sunday morning, and here's what you do, you walk in, and you go, Oh, man, yeah, I need some Spiritual power. I need the little buddy; I need the help to show up today. Man, I hope the worship team is bringing it today, I need some Spirit today. And you hope that, man, I get fired up enough in this morning, okay, good, good, good, good, and then you go back out and you're grinding it out.

Tim Lundy: [00:30:42] I remember when my kids were little, from time to time, the different ones, they'd get those little electric cars. Did you ever give your kids that? It'd be a little car and you charge it and then they get in it and then they get to drive it all over. I remember, I came home one day and there was one kid sitting in the car, it was an older brother, and the younger brother was behind the car, and he's just pushing him around everywhere. I'm like, did the car break? Like, no, we don't want to wait for the battery. So then they would push it up to the top of this one hill, and then ride it down, and then push it. And you look at the thing and you go, well, I guess that's one way of doing it, it's just not how it's designed. That's what life looks like when you've quenched the Spirit, you can get through it, even as a Christian, you're sealed in him, he's never going to leave you, never going to forsake you, but you're grinding it out, you're having to push it all the time. And so as you look at it, you go, I don't want to live this way. See, that's the no, remember I told you the no and the yes, the Holy Spirit, one of his key roles is he's helping you say no, and you actually embrace not just in part, but in all, remember, he gets control of all of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:32:08] The yes side of it is, that we renew our minds daily and you mentally focus on the things that he says bring life. So we've been looking at the negative side, but there's a whole positive side of it. And he says in the passage, that walking in the Spirit is a mind renewal. That's what he says in Romans 12, "Do not be conformed to this world, be transformed." How are you transformed? "Renewing your mind?". Guys, this is the battleground, this is level one right here of what is happening here, that I'm renewing my mind in the things that the Holy Spirit has said will bring life. It's not just saying no to these things he's convicting me about, it's how do I then turn and go, okay, I need to renew my mind every day, I need him to fill every part of my life every day, and so you start thinking about what are those positive things that I should be renewing?

Tim Lundy: [00:32:58] Now, just a simple list. One is God's word. God's word is living and active, and so every day, I need some time in it. And can I just say, I don't just need time in it to study it for more information about it, that I'm going to be a Bible scholar. I am a Bible scholar, I love being a Bible scholar, but that's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about placing myself under a living book that's unlike any other, that the Holy Spirit uses in my life, that God has promised, that he said, I'll help you discern it, I'll help you understand the parts you need to. He doesn't say he's going to help you understand every part of it, there are parts of Ezekiel I still don't understand, but he helps me understand what I should understand. And so part of that renewing of the mind is reading his word and as the Holy Spirit uses it and convicts me in it. I go, okay, I want my life to match what you're saying here.

Tim Lundy: [00:33:57] Part of it is meditation and prayer, meditation, and prayer. And let me say, for Christians, meditation is not emptying your mind, that's Eastern meditation, for Christians, meditation is filling your mind. And so I take some time to go how my filling my mind with truth, how am I filling my mind? And so a lot of times it's just like, hey, what's one thought that I'm going to think about for a little while, and I talk to God about it, and I let it soak. See, we often treat, have you ever seen sprinkler systems? You can get some of those sprinklers in your yard, and it's that power one, I mean, it is shooting it out. And then there are others, I mean, if you look at them, they look like just the hose, and you would go, man, I don't see anything there. Do you know what's happening there? Just enough water, it's soaking, it goes deep in the roots. And so part of it is, yeah, man, I need to blast to God's word, but I also need to let it soak, I need time in it.

Tim Lundy: [00:34:59] The third place is worship. Where I'm actually worshiping him, where I'm coming to him and I'm going, God, you are worthy. That's what worship is, is just recognizing the worthiness of God, that's why it's so powerful when we do it here together. It's not just listening to worship music, by the way, it's actually worshiping, it's actually engaging in a way that I'm turning my thoughts toward God.

Tim Lundy: [00:35:24] Relationship with other Christians. In the Bible, this is called Fellowship or Koinonia, where you're rubbing shoulders with other Christians, they're in your life, and they're doing life together. That's why we call people to life groups here, that you need that experience in you.

Tim Lundy: [00:35:39] Focusing on goodness and beauty. Paul has a whole list of just things that are true, things that are beautiful, and things that are lovely. Just think about your life and your week, how often are you looking at something that's beautiful? How often are you just thinking about goodness? Man, we are bombarded with badness, unless we actively go, how do I think about this?

Tim Lundy: [00:36:07] Another category is just God's creation, just getting outside, looking at the stars, looking at the sunrise, the heavens actually declare God's glory, it actually calls us outside of ourselves. I mean, it's funny, all the articles, post-pandemic, how many people are saying psychologically how much you need time outdoors, how much you need time looking at creation, looking at the natural world. And I go, yeah, that's because God designed us that way.

Tim Lundy: [00:36:37] So as you look at this list. And again, this could be a longer list, but the point of this list is, what are your inputs? What is actually coming into your mind? Man, if you did an audit of your week and just ask yourself how much of my mind is spent, and I'm not just talking about bad things, I'm just going, things that are not going to change me. And so for me, I can look at it and go, man, how much of my time is spent on sports? I love sports, I love watching sports, I can get consumed with it. Again, I love doing that, so it's a part of my life, but at some point, I go, how much input of this do I need? Okay, now I'm watching sports, now I'm listening to people talk about sports, this is getting out of hand here. Maybe your input is, man, you are hammering Netflix. And again, it may be a great series, but if that's all you're doing is that you’re only input is entertainment. Or your only input is work, man, you're working all the time, you're thinking about work all the time.

Tim Lundy: [00:37:53] You can go down the line of all the different things in it, and guys. Satan will come after you in two ways, destruction, and distraction. The frontal assault, he will try to destroy your faith. And when that doesn't work, you know what he does? He tries to distract you from it. And so the core part that Paul is talking about here, walking in the Spirit, this renewal of the mind, is actually looking and going, how am I allowing the input of the Holy Spirit to influence my life, influence my thoughts, influence how I live?

Tim Lundy: [00:38:30] You know, Native Americans have an old story of a father who's talking to his son, and the father is describing a similar principle to what Paul said. He said, man, I feel like inside of me there are two wolves, there's a good wolf and a bad wolf. And the good wolf wants to do the right things, the good wolf treats people well, and the good wolf is disciplined. And then the bad wolf acts out, the bad wolf does the wrong things, the bad wolf treats people poorly and they're at war. And the son looks at him and says, well, which Wolf is going to win? And he says, the one that I feed will win.

Tim Lundy: [00:39:18] See, guys, what Paul is teaching us here, this is what mind renewal looks like. To walk in the Spirit and to walk in the flesh, you're either putting yourself in a context where you're feeding the life of the Spirit, where the inputs are in, you are giving him control, where you're allowing him to speak into your life. Or as Paul described so well in 7, where the flesh is right there, and sometimes this thing, we want to make it harder than it is. I would just challenge you, just look at your life and go, man, what are my inputs? And it might not be that it's bad things, it's just full of distraction, and there's a constant feed and there's a constant distraction and there's a constant thing to keep me from experiencing that life and peace that Jesus designed for all of us.

Tim Lundy: [00:40:20] As I talk about this, I mean, the reality of this, you can't go through a message like that and all of us don't feel some sense of conviction. And here's what Satan's going to want to do at the end of this message, I promise you this because there's a part of you that maybe you're feeling conviction right now that you go, yeah, I need to respond to the Spirit. For some of you, he's convicting you specifically about something in your life, that you know it grieves him. And maybe if you're honest, you're maybe at a place where he's more quenched than you like to admit. And as you come to that place, here's what Satan's going to want to do. One, as soon as you walk out of here, he wants to distract you, or he wants to discourage you. And what he's going to tell you is, well, you've heard messages like this before. Oh, you struggled with that sin your whole life, you're not going to see any difference here. And I'm just telling you, it's a lie, it's a lie. Now, I don't have a magic message that when you walk out of here, that sin that you struggle with, poof, it's gone away. That's up to God, he may choose to heal you in that way, for most of us, he actually likes the struggle because we engage him more. And so he's not discouraged about it, if anything, he wants us to step back into it more because it's in those struggles that we realize how desperate we need him and we learn to lean on him.

Tim Lundy: [00:41:56] I love the way he ends this passage in verse 11, look at this section of it. He says, "If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. Isn't that a great verse, the God who was able to raise Jesus from the dead, do you think if he's able to do that, he could actually do something with your body too? Do you think if he can overcome that, he's limited by you? And the same God, is the God who dwells in you.

Tim Lundy: [00:42:40] The final thing I just want to say is to never give up hope because we know he is patiently and powerfully changing us. We know he's doing it. And you may have stops and starts, you may have places where you look at the failure of it, you may look at it and you go, man, I feel like a disaster right now. That's okay, he hasn't given up and he's doing his good work.

Tim Lundy: [00:43:07] I'll close with a story, R. O. Blechman is a famous illustrator, and recently he published a book of letters to a young illustrator, a young man named James. And in it, he's just trying to encourage this young illustrator as he's beginning his career. In one of the chapters, he writes this about failure, he says, "Preliminary drawings and sketches often are discouraging things, pale shadows of one's bold intentions, seemingly nonsense. They're especially dispiriting for beginners, you look at it and you say, is that what I did, and I consider myself an artist. He says, speaking for myself, but also for other illustrators, I'm sure, my trash basket is full of false starts and failed drawings. There should be a museum of failed art, it would exhibit all the terrible art that would have ended up in trash bins and garbage cans lost it unknown to public life." I love how he's encouraging him, he says, man, you're going to look at it sometimes and go, am I an artist, an artist wouldn't have done this, there should be a museum of failed art.

Tim Lundy: [00:44:26] Guys, do you know what I love about reading the Bible and why I call people to read it, and read all of it all of the time? It's because all throughout this, God didn't write about these perfect people who got it together, it's literally a book that's a museum of failed discipleship. I mean, the heroes of the faith make some of the worst decisions. But you know, when you read their stories, you know who's consistent through all of it? God, and he doesn't give up on them, and he's actually changing them. So the disciples you read about in the Gospels who make every error, man, you keep reading and you go, man, these guys are different. What changed in them? The Holy Spirit. And it's not a perfect process, if anything, it's a patient process. But it's a process that begins with the God who's already looked at us and says, there is no condemnation over you, there's no judgment left for you. But boy, I have a life that I want you to experience, and I know you can't do it, just like you couldn't save yourself and you needed Jesus, you can't change yourself. So I'm going to send the Holy Spirit, and he's actually here to help you, but you've got to make a decision, do I want to contain the Holy Spirit in my life, or do I want the fizz? And if I'm going to experience the fizz, do you know what happens? He gets to be in control of all of it.

Tim Lundy: [00:46:27] Let's pray together. Father, I thank you, I thank you for the Spirit, I thank you for his conviction. Lord, I pray for those who even sitting here today, they're feeling convicted. Maybe in this message, you convicted them about something they haven't been dealing with, and they know that it grieves you. Lord, I pray that you'd give them the courage today to confess it, to trust you. Lord, maybe somebody here who at some point they decided they're just not going to do what you tell them to do in your word, Lord, I pray even today that they would embrace what you're speaking, not to condemn us, but to give us life. Lord, I pray for those today who even now, even hearing this, they just feel discouraged. Lord, I pray they could rest in the fact that the same God who rose Jesus from the dead is changing them and changing us. And so we come, and we pray in that power, we thank you for the sacrifice of Christ, and we thank you for the ongoing work of the Spirit. And we pray this in Christ's name. Amen.

Recorded in Los Gatos, California.
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Venture Christian Church
16845 Hicks Road
Los Gatos, California 95032