My Bible time started in Psalm 91:9. I recently read all of Psalm 91, but this morning I opened up the Bible app on my phone, and the first thing that hit me was Psalm 91 vs 9. (it's highlighted in pink. lol)
Psalm 91:9 (NIV), "If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,..."
There is a blessing that comes after that in verse 10, but I got stuck on number 9. I started meditating on "If YOU SAY..."The Lord is my refuge"...and YOU MAKE the Most High your dwelling...."
The Lord IS my refuge. I am tatoo'ed to the palm of His hand. He never drops me. He never leaves me nor forsakes me, but it is more than that. This verse is not just about the Lord being my refuge, which can be sort of abstract. This verse is about an action that is required of me....making the Most High my dwelling.
So I asked...How do I make the Most High my dwelling?
I felt the Spirit inside me say, "By meditating on the Word, and by renewing your mind." Which led me right to Romans 12:2
Romans 12:2 (NIV), "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
Ok, Lord. I see more than just renewing my mind. I see another condition here; "Do not conform to the pattern of this world".
What is the pattern of this world? ANYTHING that is the antithesis of God. Selfishness, unkindness, unhappiness, greed, lust, watching what we want, doing what we want, saying what we want...with no thought to others or God...taking what we want, expecting something that isn't ours and doesn't belong to us, and on and on the list goes. Literally, if it doesn't hold up against the Word of God...it is of the world. If we cannot stack it up against the fruit of the Spirit in Galations 5:22-23 (But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.)...then it's not of God.
So, I had to repent with a broken heart, because I know, that I know, that I conformed to the pattern of this world. With repentance comes forgiveness. God throws our sin as far as the East is from the West. He puts it in the sea of forgetfulness, and posts a "no fishing" sign. Now that I have repented, not only does satan not have the right to remind me of my sin (Romans 8:1 and Psalm 34:22), but I don't have the right to beat myself up over it. Time to move on. Shake the dust off your feet, and head toward righteousness.
Ok, back to making the Most High my dwelling by renewing my mind. When you make a cake, you put ingredients together and bake it, right? When you make an afghan, you take yarn and a crochet hook, or knitting needles, and work a series of knots until a blanket manifests. When you make peace, you bring opposing sides together to talk about a solution. Wouldn't it stand to reason then that "making" the Most High my dwelling by renewing my mind would require me to bring some things together (and possibly remove some things?) in the act of "making"?
What does it fully mean to renew your mind? For me, it means a removal of things that aren't edifying to me spiritually, and replacing them with things that ARE edifying to me spiritually. Bringing together a combination of the Word of God in several formats. Listening to Praise and Worship music and Christian radio over secular, wordly music. Sacrificing some of my morning "comfort" to get up early to read the Word, and have a cup of coffee before I get my day going. Watching broadcasts of preachers who preach the uncompromised Word of God instead of filling up on Family Feud, or some mind-numbing sitcom filled with inappropriate and ungodly behavior. Listening to teaching tapes by favorite preachers.
Some are going to look at that list and lament the sacrifice. They may possibly get belligerent and say "No one is telling me what to do...not even God!" Others will look at that list, like me, and see the opportunity to rid myself of filth that is holding me back. Is it extreme? Yes. That is what immersion is...extreme. I have to ask myself, are you really serious about God? Do you really want the things of God? If so, then get serious about it. Don't pussy-foot around and dilly dally. To repent means to do a 180 away from sin, and go in the other direction. If I'm skirting around necessary changes, and making excuses, and justifying WHY its ok for me to still do what I shouldn't do...then I am not serious about wanting to change, and I am not serious when I say to God.."I submit my will to yours".
Oh, ouch!! That will bang you in the knees with a shovel!! But, dust yourself off, don't be condemned...be convicted!! Let that conviction drive you right into the loving arms of Jesus. Repent! Turn away from sin! Shift your focus! Surrender, and let God show you what you need to do to return to #faithfulness!