Grace Part 3
By Benjamin ‘Raven’ Pressley
So, what does living by Grace look like? Put simply it is being God conscious instead of sin conscious. Jesus conscious instead of devil conscious. Grace conscious instead of performance conscious. Many Christians are constantly walking around reminding themselves of their sins, condemning themselves, beating themselves up. Others are in this constant mode of whether they are good enough, wondering if they offended God today. There is only one cure for this and only one way to be truly free. WE MUST BECOME MORE GOD CONSCIOUS. It is in your spirit where your conscience dwells, it is in your spirit where your intuition dwells, it is in your spirit where you hear the voice of God and you discern what is of God and what is not. We have to have our doctrine straight or we remain in a constant state of confusion. 1 Timothy 4:1-3 says, “ 1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; 2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron; 3Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.” What is Apostle Paul teaching Timothy and us here? What does it mean to have your conscience seared as with a hot iron? Have you ever saw a cow branded? They heat up a hot iron with some identifying mark on it and sear that mark into the cow’s flesh claiming it for their own. That is what you do every time you condemn yourself. It is as if you take a hot iron and brand yourself with SIN. Everytime you say “Oh, I’m not good enough”, “Oh, I’m a failure”, “Oh, I have to try harder”—Feel it searing painfully into your soul, burning into your spirit, weaker and weaker you become. You have just been seduced by a doctrine of the devil. There are people that cut themselves and scar themselves with blades on purpose because they think they deserve it, they think they are not good enough or pretty enough or they are punishing themselves for something they imagine bad about themselves. If you are born again you are doing the same thing to yourself spiritually when you live, confess or think that which the Word of God does not say. “We are snared by the words of our mouth”(Proverbs 6:2). STOP IT! You are a blood bought child of God. You are redeemed from all your sins past, present and future. Sure you are going to fail from time to time but Jesus didn’t fail. He has you covered. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)” You aren’t walking around on your own. The power of God is working in you to accomplish His will on Earth as it is in heaven. “7And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
8Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 9Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you. (Phillipians 4:7-9)” “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. (Isaiah 26:3)”
1 Timothy 4:3 talks about, “forbidding to marry”, “commanding to abstain from meats “ these are commands from the law. When we think we can live it in our own power we are reverting back to the law. When we revert back to the law we fall from grace. Galatians 5:4 says, “ 4Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace.” That doesn’t mean you are rejected by God it means you are choosing to do it yourself and are reverting back to the law. You are reverting back to being performance based. You are basically saying “I can do this myself, I can live holy, I know more than the scriptures.” 2 Corinthians 3:7 calls the law the “ministration of death”. Now, remember what I said before, the law (Mosaic law, Ten commandments) is holy, just and good but it has no power to make us holy, just and good. All it can do is expose our sin. I’m not against the law I’m just saying teach it and understand its purpose according to the scripture. Then live by grace not performing in your own self efforts for it is only by living by grace that we live victorious lives.
So how do we develop this God consciousness? By reprogramming your mind and letting the Holy Spirit change your desires. Fall in love with God and His Holy Word. Deut. 30: 19 says “I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live.” It is up to us to choose! Everyday thousands of thoughts are presented to us. It is up to us to choose which thoughts to think. We are not at the mercy of our thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:4-6). The devil can’t force us to think anything. The devil can’t read your mind. He can interject thoughts but you are not at the mercy of any thought that comes into your head. You have the power to choose which thought you will think on and give place to. Very often it is long rehearsed ways of thinking that rule us, “Oh, I’ll never amount to anything, I’ll never get well, my marriage will always be bad”. STOP IT! Choose life-giving thoughts. We have to do the choosing. We have to choose right thoughts. Take a stand right now today that you WILL think right thoughts, you WILL not give up, you WILL outlast the devil. God is on my side. He loves me, He will help me.
So, how do we reprogram our mind? Romans 12: 1-5 tells us. Read it very carefully.
“1. I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
- And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
- For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
- For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
- So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Verse 2 says: “be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind”. That is telling us something WE have to do. When we are born again, we are a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17). We have a fresh start. All those things that held us bound before no longer have power over us (Romans 6). But God doesn’t erase our mind. He gives us power (John 1:12), not to erase our mind but to put it into perspective, to bring it under subjection with us controlling it, not it controlling us. He tells US to transform our mind, to reprogram it. How do we do that? He tells us step by step in this passage how:
- Don’t listen to what your flesh/body wants. Don’t surrender even when it looks hopeless (v. 1).
- Don’t be conformed to the world. In other words don’t go by what the non-Christian world says about how you should live. (v. 2)
- Renew your mind. Think right. Feed it the right things. How do you know what right things are? Do those thoughts prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.? (v.2) If they don’t, ignore them, throw them out.
- Let the right words come out of your mouth. (Proverbs 6:2). You need to walk different and talk different (Ephesians 4:21-32). Your mind needs to hear the right words coming out of your mouth. The devil needs to hear the right words coming out of your mouth. God needs to hear the right words coming out of your mouth. You need to hear the right words coming out of your mouth.
- Don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Humble yourself before the Lord. Let Him give you new desires. (v.3)
- Think soberly. Sober is the opposite of drunk. You can get drunk on thinking of your past, thinking the way the world thinks. Sober up, think right! (v.3)
So, do you want to be free? Then live by grace not self-effort. It is so much easier when you do.