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PROVING THE WILL OF GOD WITH A RENEWED MIND

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EZRA: THE BELIEVER AS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY SPIRIT
Lesson #10
PROVING THE WILL OF GOD WITH A RENEWED MIND

  • Memory Verse: Rom 12:2
  • Our memory verse tells us that we are to prove the will of God in its three forms. How does the believer in Jesus Christ prove what is the good will of God? How does he prove what is the acceptable will of God? How does he prove what is the perfect will of God? This is the focus of this lesson.
    • In this study we have come to realize that the believer, in making his decisions, has an abundance of resources at his disposal to make the right decisions for his life.
    • God permits the believer to decide how he will live his life. Will he live it in the good will of God, in the acceptable will of God, or in the perfect will of God?
      • Read Rom 8:27-29
      • Definitions of the three wills of God:
        • The perfect will of God: (Walking in Mature Obedience)
          • The Holy Spirit knows what is the perfect will of God for that believer’s life. (Rom 8:27)
          • The work of the Holy Spirit is to reveal the perfect will of God to the believer. This is the perfect will of God that He has ordained that the believer walk in it. (Rom 8:29) However, the believer does not always walk in the perfect will of God. Instead he often walks far short of what God has ordained by making flesh decisions instead of faith decisions.
        • The good will of God: (Walking in Ignorance)
          • When a believer walks in the good will of God, he is walking like a baby Christian who does not know any better. He is in need of God’s help to clean up the mess he has made of his life. God needs to make all things work out so that good is produced in the believer’s life, even the mistakes and wrong choices that he makes. (Rom 8:28)
          • The believer walking in the good will of God is making flesh choices in his life that frequently lead him in the wrong way away from God. He may think he is walking the way God wants him to walk but soon finds he has created another mess in his life that God must clean up and make it good.
          • The believer that learns from his mistakes gradually advances out of the good will of God toward the perfect will of God.
        • The acceptable will of God: (Walking in Disobedience)
          • When the Holy Spirit reveals God’s perfect will to the believer, the believer has a choice to make. He can choose by faith the perfect will of God or he can choose God’s acceptable will (God’s permissive will).
          • God’s acceptable or permissive will is God’s second best. It has a certain degree of blessings and protection, but it is not God’s very best. The believer knows what is the perfect will of God, but he deliberately chooses not to walk in it. Instead he disobeys and rationalizes his decision.
          • There are dangers in God’s acceptable or permissive will.

It involves self-deception.

It involves a partnership with the devil.

          • God’s acceptable or permissive will brings leanness to the soul. (Psa 106:15)
  • Read Rom 12:1-2
    • The believer’s life is transformed by the renewing of the mind (or soul). (Rom 12:2)
    • The renewing of the mind occurs in a gradual process as you permit yourself to be renewed by the Holy Spirit. It is a continual four-step process:
      • =1= The believer must first be willing to present himself as a living sacrifice to God.
        • This means that the believer must give the Holy Spirit permission to expose anything in your life that is not of faith.
        • A living sacrifice means we climb upon the altar and choose to stay there while God does his work in us.
        • We can choose to climb off of the altar at any time, but if we climb off of the altar, then we risk walking in God’s good will or his acceptable will. This attitude is expressed in two Psalms.
          • Read Psa 139:23-24
          • Read Psa 19:12-13
      • =2= The believer must deny his own will and his own desires, setting aside his own feelings.
        • This is an active denial done on purpose. It does not automatically occur when we give ourselves to God.
        • When we say yes to God, we must also say no to the enemy. This is a two-sided coin. Both sides must be in unison and spent at the same time.
      • =3= The believer must do what God says.
        • Obedience is a requirement. God never gives the believer the whole plan at one time. He gives the believer one step at a time, and then He waits to see if the believer will obey before He gives him the next step.
        • Obedience is never based on feelings but always on faith.
      • =4= The believer must take every thought captive.
        • Read 2Cor 10:5-6
        • The believer must have dominion over his thought life to see the victory expressed by faith in his life.
        • The believer needs to learn how to discern from where thoughts come. Thoughts come either from God, from the flesh nature, or from the devil.
          • God’s thoughts bear witness with our spirit and bring immediate peace.
          • God’s thoughts are always in conformity with the written Word of God.
          • Our thoughts are selfish and glorify man and not God.
          • Satan sometimes uses the thoughts of the flesh nature to counter the thoughts of God.
          • Satan’s thoughts always negative and produce strife and destruction in the long run.
  • Application:
    • The believer is supposed to prove the will of God in his life according to Rom 12:2.
    • His life’s decisions prove daily whether he is walking in God’s good will, God’s acceptable or permissive will, or in God’s perfect will.
    • His Christian walk should be progressing through these various stages of God’s will to make him a mature believer walking in righteousness.
      • The believer’s decisions on Solomon’s porch determine in which of the various stages of God’s will he will walk.
      • The believer walking by faith choices is proving the perfect will of God in his life and is the example of Solomon’s beautiful temple of gold, silver, and precious stones.
  • The Inner Courtyard: The steps to renewing the mind:
    • Every time the believer quenches the Holy Spirit and does not allow the life of God to flow outward in his life, he must deal with the sin in the same way the priests dealt with sin in Solomon’s temple.
      • =1= The priests first went to one of the ten bronze lavers to wash their hands and feet in the water. As they bent over the laver, they could see their own reflection in the bronze.
      • =2= Then the priests went to the altar of burnt offering to offer a sacrifice for sin.
      • =3= Next the priests went to the bronze laver (the molten sea) to bathe totally the whole body.
      • =4= Then the priests could enter the Holy Place in the temple and offer incense on the golden altar of incense.
    • When the believer loses his peace, he feels hurt, angry, resentful, fearful, etc. because of some event that just occurred in life. He must then follow the same steps as the Old Testament priests:
      • =1= Recognize and acknowledge self-centered thoughts, feelings, and desires. This is a self-examination of the inner man. (the 10 bronze lavers)
        • To walk in the Spirit of God, you must not vent the negative feelings or thoughts.
        • To walk in the Spirit of God, you must not bury the negative feelings or thoughts in the secret chambers of the soul.
        • To walk in the Spirit of God, you must acknowledge that these negative thoughts and feelings are coming from the self-life of the old man and give them to the Lord.
          • Pray and ask God to reveal to you what are the root causes for these negative feelings and thoughts.

Only the Holy Spirit can reveal truth.

Only the Holy Spirit can cleanse and heal.

          • It is important to be honest with yourself to acknowledge doubts, fear, pride, insecurities, etc.
      • =2= Confess and repent of all selfish sins that the Holy Spirit shows you. (the altar of burnt offering)
        • If you have held on to self-centered thoughts and emotions and entertained them in your thoughts, they are sin that you have not confessed.
        • This also means that you must forgive any/all people that have wronged you.
        • Read 1Joh 1:9
        • Confession and repentance does not necessarily mean we change our feelings about a situation. We cannot change the memory of it or the feelings involved. We only put in charge the Person that can change everything.
          • It is the responsibility of the Holy Spirit to change our feelings after we align ourselves with the Word of God and make faith choices.
          • Making faith choices puts everything in motion for change.
      • =3= Read God’s Word (the molten sea)
        • God’s Word is truth. He is the only one that can replace the lies of the enemy with the truth.
        • God’s Word is what the Holy Spirit uses to cleanse and heal.
        • The believer must put the truth of God’s Word in the empty secret chamber that God has just cleansed and healed.
        • Read Luk 11:24-26
      • =4= Offer praise and worship to God in prayer (the altar of incense).
        • The believer can express thanksgiving and wholeness in worship to Christ because he has “put off” the old man and “put on” the new man.
        • The believer has exchanged his old life with Christ’s new life. This is the believer’s spiritual substitution that brings transformation. (Gal 2:20)
    • Some of the results of a renewed mind:
      • God gives the believer deep intimate knowledge of God that he actually and tangibly experiences in his life.
      • The believer’s life becomes an offering of righteousness to God. (Psa 29:2)
      • The believer experiences true worship of God with the confidence that God hears our prayers. (1Joh 5:14-15)
      • The believer expresses a deeper fullness of love for God and God’s love for him. (Eph 3:19)
      • The believer’s life becomes a sweet-smelling savor to God in an intimate relationship with God.

HOMEWORK
The Temple of the Book of Ezra

  • Application of Proving the Will of God and a Renewed Mind
    • What specific steps in this lesson have you neglected or failed to do with troublesome situations in your life?
    • What new points have you learned that will make your walk with the Lord more intimate?
    • What commitment can you now make to walk more intimately with the Lord?
  • Preparation for The Temple of the Book of Ezra
    • Read Ezra 3:1-13
      • What were the reactions of the people to the reconstruction of the altar and temple foundation?
      • How do you explain the difference in reactions?
  • Memory verse: Joh 4:24
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