Do you remember the day, or the season, when you were first introduced to Jesus and you accepted Him as your Saviour? Do you remember when your burdens rolled away and you became a new creature in Christ? The miracle of the new birth was demonstrated in our lives as we could declare the truth: “Behold, He has made all things new!”
The Apostle Paul had introduced the Corinthian church to Jesus. As time moved on, this church had a reputation for being out of order and Paul often had to address certain issues that were detrimental to their walk with the Lord. He declared he had a godly jealousy over them for their well being. 2 Corinthians 11:2-3 “For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy, for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtlety, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ”.
Paul uses the picture language of a betrothal, (a contract for a future marriage), that we might be that chaste bride – pure, modest and undefiled. We are the bride of Christ. A chaste bride comes together with her husband for a perfect union. In many marriages that begin so well, fast forward a few years and sadly, divorce is considered. What happened? Where did it go wrong? The joy of the wedding day is forgotten over the years when the purity of the relationship became corrupted.
You and I are a type here of the Bride of Christ, that Paul talks about. Paul introduced the Corinthians to Jesus as a pure, modest and undefiled bride. As time lapsed, that initial joy and purity had become corrrupted and he was addressing the issues causing corruption. How do I get corrupted in this way? When situations change in my life and I judge them negatively, I can easily take on unbelief, lies, judgement of others and God resulting in my thinking becoming corrupt. When I allow these thoughts in, the serpent will corrupt my mind. I lose the consciousness of my birthright, living moment by moment in the presence of the Lord. Jesus promised never to leave me, but I turn my back on Him when I allow my thoughts and life to be corrupted by self pity, unforgiveness, jealousy, judgement of others and the endless list of all the works of the flesh.
It is of no use to apply yesterday’s thinking to today’s situations. The old mind set won’t work. It has to go. Our mind must be renewed. Only then will we see transformation displayed. Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind……”.
There is a place where the Spirit of God can rule and reign in our hearts and mind, but that responsibility is ours alone. Philippians 2:5 encourages us: “Let this mind be in you that was also in Christ Jesus”. LET – We have to be “let-ers”, we have to allow, to choose. Of course, negative thoughts will come, we are human, but we must choose to refuse them, “to resist the devil”, the serpent, who is waiting to be granted access to corrupt thoughts. Deny him access and Christ will strengthen us to stand firm in Him.
When Jesus declared from the Cross, “It is finished”, His sacrifice ended the devil’s occupancy of our minds. Now it is our responsibility to walk out “His finished work” in our lives. James 4:7 adjures us: “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you”. Flee……not slink, nor lurk!
Jesus gave us a formula for His peace: Colossians 3:15 “Let the peace of God rule in your hearts…….and be thankful”. He is the Prince of peace. He is our peace. We can come to a place in the ups and downs of every day life, in responsibility, to apply it to our hearts and minds. We can stay like that “chaste virgin”, undefiled. But when I let in that corruption, I lose the conscious sense of His presence. He does not leave me, but I am not walking in my birthright. All the time I stay thankful, (IN the negative situations, not FOR), I stay undefiled in Him.
As we walk in this undefiled cocoon, that Christ has offered us, our lives will speak to those we have prayed for, far louder than any words we have uttered.
Abiding in the Vine – our birthright.