Our Lord’s Prayer calls you to come to God with your problems, your praises and your supplication on a daily basis. Jesus Christ knows that your daily communion with God is the only way to go. For your continued growth and confidence in life, you need to talk to God every day and listen to what He says back to you. You need to listen to Him all the time so you can capture anything He tells you about your life.
Anytime you feel the presence of God, pay attention to Him. Talk to Him and listen intently for a reply. He likes having a conversation with you. Sometimes, you initiate it. At other times, out of the blue, you feel His presence and things begin to happen. Some of it may make you laugh, raise your arms to Him and praise Him, or simply smile and move on. And it makes your heart lighter and fills you with love and appreciation for Him; and wonderment that the God of the universe would seek you out just to show you that He cares about you. There is nothing better that the feeling you get from such interactions. If you are wondering how you may come to interact with Him this way, He is already touching you. It all starts with believing that everything He says about Himself in the Bible is true. The bible says: “Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to his words, or he will rebuke you and prove you a liar.” (Proverbs 30:5-6). Jesus Christ was crucified for the sins of the whole world and resurrected so you can walk in truth and holiness. He tells you in the Scripture that He lives so you can live. That is not an exaggeration or a figure of speech. It is the reality of your life. Jesus Christ is the essence of who you are. He is the reason you breathe. He is the reason you think.
He is the reason for your coming into existence. He gets you doing things He knows is good for you even before you realize that they are good for you. He created you to serve Him and when you choose to do so, He makes sure you get what you need for the things you need to do in life. Serving Him serves you better than being selfish and pursuing whatever comes into your mind.
That is why he tells you to acknowledge him in all things. Because when you do, he will lead the way for you. He is ever present and is always there to direct your will, if you let Him. Your mind is the loud one and controls what you do and when you do it. Because of the nature of the mind, it even overrides your spirit and frequently gets you into trouble. In any such instance, before you walk into trouble, your spirit, the quiet one, whispers to your mind that its decision is not wise, but because the mind has decided and not willing to change its course, it disregards the whisper of the spirit and trouble happens.
The key is to learn to listen to that quiet voice (the spirit) and force the mind to consider more carefully what the spirit says. That also means you should slow your body down long enough for a more favorable decision to be reached by the mind before the body acts. To minimize the over excitement of the mind, you may have to tune down the senses that feed the mind with bad information (the sight, the hearing, the feeling, the smell, the taste).
You can turn your eyes away from any images that are causing your mind to get unnecessarily excited. You can also shut your ears to voices or sounds that stimulate the mind the wrong way. A smell can overly excite the mind as well. Such needs to be eliminated. Sometimes the whole person of you has to move from a particular place to avoid the aroma, the sight or the sound that may lead you to trouble.
Whereas your senses of taste and feeling require that you come into closer proximity to be enticed by them, they still may cause you heartaches and headaches. If sitting next to a certain someone may arouse a sensuous feeling in you, it is not wise to place yourself in such close quarters with that person. Similarly, if tasting something that comes from a certain someone would lead your mind the wrong way, refuse whatever is offered to you.
When you allow your senses to receive stimuli that are detrimental to your life, you are feeding your mind with toxic signals that ultimately lead to erroneous decisions; and consequently to actions that are contrary to good morals. Our intake and output work the same way as in product manufacturing. You cannot inspect quality into a product. If you wait until the product is made to separate good products from the bad ones, you simply would not have a consistent quality product. Quality is built into a product. Every single raw material that will be used in the manufacture of your product must be selected on the basis of what you want your product to be after it is made. The processes by which you make the product also have to follow the same rule. If you adhere to this policy, every batch of product comes out with the desired quality all the time. Inspection at this point serves only as a confirmation that your product has met your quality goals.
Life is the same way. If you carefully screen what you allow into your body systems (the nervous system, the digestive system) you end up with consistently good output every single time. But if you allow garbage to go in, there is nothing inside you that has the power to turn the garbage into something good. The garbage will mess up everything else that you take in, thereby leading to bad outputs: For the mind and the nervous system, you end up with bad decisions that lead to bad actions; and for the digestive system, you end up with poor nutrition, bad health and poor mind and body coordination.
And bad actions have consequences, even in the secular world. When it pertains to the spirit, it becomes dire. Human societies calibrate their laws to what is predominantly acceptable. God, since creation, gave His commandments and expect them to be kept. He made human beings and understands their tendency to rationalize more than even they understand. And He knew, even then, that the only way humans could succeed was by making them adhere to what He commanded. He did this for our sake, not His own sake. For nothing that human beings do can affect God or change his plan for the universe.
So, by filtering what the senses feed to the mind, you remove a lot of the enticement that gets you entangled. The mind then becomes less excited and works in better synergy with your spirit, bending towards the spirit, instead of overriding it. Your life will then come into balance. Your stress level is reduced. Eruptions in your life are reduced to the bare minimum and you are in better control in your relationship with others.
For, it is not what others do to you that amounts to your disobedience to God. It is what you do to others that attracts God’s discipline to your life. In that sense, it is better for you to be a victim than for you to victimize someone else. (Proverbs 16:19). When you are a victim, God’s heart is bent towards you and He holds the person victimizing you fully accountable for the wrongs he does to you.
Nothing escapes God for the Bible says, “For the Lord is a God of retribution; he will repay in full.” (Jeremiah 51:56).
Therefore, we should be bothered by our own actions toward others, more than we are bothered by other peoples’ actions toward us. That is how to live the godly life.
God has given you the Holy Spirit to live inside of you and direct you, and protect you. Make Him work for you. The Bible says: “Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.” (Psalm 143:8).
It also says: “Teach me to do your will, for you are my God; may your good Spirit lead me on level ground.”(Psalms 143:10).
Talk to God in spirit and in truth and do as He commanded you to do, and He will honor these requests for you; and that is the only way you can make His power to work for you. It is His pleasure to do it for you.
Encourage yourself to seek the Will of God because in the Bible God says: “For the waywardness of the simple will kill him, and the complacency of fools will destroy them; but whoever listens to me will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm.” (Proverbs 1:33).
And king Solomon adds: “Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.” (Ecclesiastes 9:18).
It takes only one sin to become a sinner, and we all are, but any sin avoided is a gain towards righteousness.
When the senses are better controlled, your mind listens more to your spirit and succumbs more to your will. your will is your chief motivator. It is that part of your soul which God granted the freedom to choose. It is directly influenced by your spirit, and knows what the spirit wants. But it relies heavily on the mind to make its decisions. The mind draws from the memory and the senses to advise the will on a course of action.
The will then compares the message from the mind against the message from the spirit and issues a final decision which is then executed by the body. If the final decision favors the mind and negates the spirit, conscience kicks in, the body is pained and the mind seeks comfort for the soul. But if the decision favors the spirit, the will is in perfect alliance with the spirit and the mind is cautioned, and the soul is soothed.
In the book of Romans, apostle Paul wrote, “For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7-15).
In this comment, his will was in agreement with his spirit but was too weak to fight off pressures from his mind — “For what I want to do, I do not do”. He was going against his will because his mind, based on past sensuous experiences, and all the external signals it was receiving from the senses, strongly opposed his spirit and influenced his will into submission to his mind —“but what I hate I do”.
The will subsequently made the body act in accordance with the mind thereby going against its own conviction. That is why Paul added, “For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”(Romans7:18).
It is clear that the will is being held hostage by the mind, through the power of past experiences stored up in the memory in addition to fresh information that continues to come into the mind from the senses. He had ‘the desire to do what is good’ — which stems from the will recognizing the direction of the spirit as the right direction. “But I cannot carry it out.”— because something inside of him is opposing that desire to do what is good.
And because of the overpowering strength of that opposition to his desire to do what is good, apostle Paul concluded, “As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is the sin living in me.” (Romans 7:17).
He is simply saying that his will has lost out to another force inside him that is separate from his will, and stronger than his sheer will. He called this force “sin living in me”; and in other passages in the Bible, it is also called “the sinful nature” or simply “sin”. And this sin that is living in him is nothing other than his over-active mind, seized by past sensuous memories and fresh stimuli coming in from his senses. And when the mind becomes insurmountable, the outcome becomes as in the following passage: “For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do — this I keep on doing.” (Romans 7:19).
The phrase “I myself” as apostle Paul used it in the above passage, refers to his soul. The will serves the soul and when the will succumbs to the over-active mind, the soul is led into sin. And because of a plethora of external influences that had infiltrated his body systems and his mind, his will lost its power in getting his body to act as intended by God and directed by his spirit.
Although the will still recognizes the spirit as being sovereign over the soul, being of God and having a stabilizing power on the soul, it has lost its ability to control the mind, rather it now allows the mind to dominate it and lead the soul astray. And that is why apostle Paul said, “So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s Law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.” (Romans 7:21-23). Notice that apostle Paul talks about the law of sin (at work within members of his body) waging war against the ‘law of his mind’. I want to talk about this for a second. “The law of my mind” is “God’s law” which Paul delights in in his inner being. God’s law, or “the law of my mind” as apostle Paul called it, dictates that the will responds to the direction of the spirit; and that the will brings the mind into agreement with the spirit so that the body will act in accordance with the Will of God. But the law apostle Paul found at work had the mind disregarding the spirit and over-powering the will and forcing the body to carry out its directions, thereby leading the soul into sin.
It began with Adam and Eve at the Garden of Eden; and it has been happening to all mankind since then. It was Eve’s curiosity (the mind, the sight, and possibly the smell) that brought her to the edge of disaster, by stoking her imagination and raising a desire in her. Once the devil saw this, he moved in and provided just a slight push and she tumbled over the edge. And Adam precariously followed, unable to save her or himself from taking the plunge.
The soul and the spirit are supernatural; only God knows exactly what and where they are. The will, the mind, the memory, the intellect and the emotions are all related to the brain. As a matter of fact, they are all localized in different parts of the brain but their mechanics are not fully understood. The will is the one that issues the final order and is accountable for all actions.
We often say: “My mind is made up” when, in fact, it is the will that reached the decision. But in persons still living worldly, it is truly the mind that is made up, because the mind has taken the will hostage and imposed its decision over the will. And this is against God’s law — “the law of my mind”.
It is this inability of the will to surmount the imposition of the mind over it that led apostle Paul to resignedly say, “What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?”(Romans 7:24).
All of us have gone through, or will go through, this kind of struggle at one point or another in our lifetime. Not because God wants us to go through it to be able to appreciate what He did for us by sacrificing His son on our behalf.
We simply experience this type of struggle in our lives because throughout life, we have been taught that what we do not do for ourselves, nobody else will. As a result, we seek human solutions for all our problems. That is why our education, our careers and our lifestyles become more important in our lives than our spirituality. Most of us will only seek God when life becomes unbearable and the usual solutions are no longer effective in solving our life’s problems.
Many people do not study the Bible because they believe they already know everything there is to know to get them through life. That is until uncommon trouble arises in their lives. Then they become despondent, confused, and emasculated. All of the knowledge, the wealth, the fame, the power and the influence they have amassed in life now become inadequate in taking care of this one problem. This is the life we all live before we come to Christ.
That is why apostle Paul concluded with thankfulness, “Thanks be to God — through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Romans 7:25).
And one verse later, he stated, “Therefore there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.
“For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.” (Romans 8:1-4)
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death. But the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” (Romans 8:5-8).
According to the preceding passage, you must have your mind set on “what the Spirit desires” to be able to “live in accordance with the Spirit” of God. And the only way you can know “what the Spirit desires” is to be determined to subject your mind to the beckoning of your spirit so that your body will act in accordance with the Will of God.
Your determination to subject your mind to your spirit is your will; and “what the Spirit desires” is the Will of God which is passed on to you through your spirit. Your spirit receiving communication from the Spirit of God and interpreting the communication to your mind: that is spiritual discernment.
This much Scripture is placed here to demonstrate the extent to which your mind, through your senses and your past sensuous experiences, control your will —- taking it captive. And that is your sinful nature. However, by developing a strong faith in Christ Jesus, you cause the Holy Spirit that comes to dwell in you to buffer and strengthen your spirit. And as your spirit is strengthened, it takes control of your will and makes your will obedient to God, thus allowing you to remain steadfast in your walk with Jesus Christ.
As your spirit becomes more dominant over your will, your mind learns to adjust to your new convictions and follows the spirit instead of overriding it. You become a balanced person with your spirit and your mind in equilibrium, as was intended by God — both working together, instead of against each other.
The mind still relies on the senses for its information, but it allows the will to slow the senses down when necessary, and even force them to refocus there scrutiny if that becomes necessary. Your preferences change. Whereas, before, your senses bring you information that gets the mind very excited and throws the will off-course; now, your will takes you only to places you can get those things that are in agreement with the Will of God for your life.
God’s Will becomes your will. And your obedience to God’s commandments and your faithfulness to Christ becomes your life’s main focus. That is why King Solomon told us to, “Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.” (Proverbs 12:13).
Your will is now in complete agreement with your spirit. Your mind is now tamed as your will causes your senses to minimize whatever garbage they are feeding to the mind.
As a result, those members of your body that act on the decisions of the will (the motor nerves and the associated body parts) now only receive authentic commands. Even the senses, and the sensory nerves, that supply information to your mind are made to react in ways that are in concordance with your spirit. Life becomes joyful and sorrow is minimized — except for the sufferings necessitated by the cross of Jesus Christ.
You are no longer wondering what life is all about. You know what it is all about because you are living it. You are filled with purpose and your actions bring you satisfaction that lasts. You are full of gratitude to God for allowing you to know Him and for having a relationship with you. You recognize the truth of God, even those you encounter for the first time in your life. You know them because you are connected to God and are well-supplied through your spirit, so you are constantly fed through your spirit and everything you are fed resonates throughout your life.
You know that things will work out well, even when they do not look that way, because you have come to trust God and all the promises He made to you through His Holy Scriptures. And also those promises He had spoken personally to you! You know things you do not know how you know, because the Spirit of God that is in you continues to receive divine information from God and passes it on to you. How the information comes in or when it comes in, you do not know and do not care, either. But you know that you know, because what you know is validated in signs and wonders to you in your daily life by the Holy Spirit.
Every so often, you want to take left, your spirit says to take right or not to move at all. You do as your spirit commanded and something bad happens on the left. Then you realized that it was God, who, through your spirit, stopped you from walking right into the trouble. Alternatively, by going right as your spirit commanded, you could walk into a great blessing, and you realized you were redirected by God, through your spirit, so you can come upon the blessing. Similar interactions may happen so many times you cannot keep count.
It is these small moments in our lives that leave us constantly gratifying God and confirming to ourselves that God is truly faithful, and that He will fulfill everything He has promised us. They strengthen our will to remain in our walk with Jesus Christ. When you believe in Jesus Christ and begin to experience things like these, you realize that you are living in His grace and it feels so good. And you do not want it to ever change. This is the abundant life!
Abundant life is not just having all the money and materials you need to get the things you need and want in life. Abundant life is living in the joy of your walk with Christ Jesus to the point it satisfies your yawning for love, direction in life, peace, comfort, security, and life’s many challenges. When you have abundant life, you begin to find purpose in everything that happens in your life, knowing that if it does not have any value to God, He would not have allowed it to come into your life.
You begin to trust God completely, and continue to move even when situations in your life dictates otherwise. You have come to believe the Bible that trials in your life are actually gateways to great blessings from God. You simply have to remain faithful to Him, and stay on course, knowing that at His time, He will not only change any situation for you;
He will also bring you good fortunes. You have concluded: God never fails. And you have now learned to triumph over adversities. So! Shore up your will by giving your spirit maximum control over it, and by bringing your mind into obedience to your spirit. If your will constantly tunes into your spirit, your mind will always yield to your spirit. That is what the Bible calls “yielding your will to the Will of God”. You have now arrived. Welcome to God’s eternal kingdom!