It has been a pleasantly revealing time of knowing God better, for us at Christ International Community Church (CICC), this year. I say it is pleasant because I have personally enjoyed every moment of it. There is also no doubt that it has been revealing as God continues to show us a little more about Himself through the revelation of His words. It has been a time of revival as many of us have woken up in the realization that the God we serve is much greater than we can fathom in our minds. I have seen many folks wake up to take responsibilities that I never thought they will. I am seeing the word of God in Daniel 11:32b – that “the people that do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” – being literarily confirmed by what the revelations about our God is leading His children to do among us. I see a revival in the making.
Many times, we talk about the need for revival in the Church of God. The very concept of revival speaks to something that is dead and has to come back to life. I see our relationship with God being revived as we continue to know Him better. Many think our relationship with God is dead because God is mad and has left us. So, their idea of a revival is then predicated on getting God to come back. This is similar to what happens to us now when we talk about the need for a revival. We definitely need revival, but the revival we need is not of God’s return, because He never left, but of a people who need to know their God better so that they can get right with Him and their relationship with Him can get stronger.
How do we get right with God? It is all about righteous living. It is about obedience. It is about having a heart of worship. It is about trusting God with all our being and all our might. However, being right with God requires a complete transformation of our minds just as Apostle Paul delivered in Romans 12:2 – “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.” Many of us Christians do not know what is good, and acceptable, and perfect, and we know not because we do not know the God we serve. I have seen many Christians who erroneously think that what is good and acceptable and perfect is to “bind and cast”. There are others who think that being a Christian is to be financially successful, so they align themselves with all kinds of prosperity gospel. But Apostle Paul says the key to not wasting our lives with the kind of success and prosperity that many of us pursue, is by being transformed, such that we know God’s perfect will for us.
In essence, in order to get the transformation that we need to know what is good, and acceptable, and the perfect will of God, our minds must first be renewed. Apostle Paul said we should be transformed by the renewal of our minds. Renewal of our minds gives us total transformation. Not conforming to the world is not just a matter of avoiding what the world does. That is transformation on the outside. I remember when I was first ordained as a Pastor, many people told me you cannot dance in public again. They told me I should not eat in public again. They made a very long list of things I could or could not do again. Then, I wondered if I do not do these things openly but do it in my mind or in my room, what will that make me? In any case, how many can I realistically avoid? These are rules, and as obedience to rules go, they do not indicate the state of the mind. However, when the mind is renewed, the transformation begins from the inside and then shines on the outside.
Renewal of the mind is not just by educating or reeducating the mind, but it is by what Apostle Paul again referred to in Ephesians 4:23 where he says, “Be renewed in the spirit of your minds.” Now, how can you be renewed in the spirit of your mind? Being renewed in the spirit of your mind presupposes that your mind has a “spirit”. Of course, it does! What we call our “mindset” is the “spirit” of our mind. We must renew our mindset. We must renew our viewpoint, our bearing, our attitude, our bent, our inclination. These constitute the spirit of our mind and we must renew them. “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” When we renew our minds, we will no longer live in ignorance and in the futility of our own worldly thinking like the Gentiles do (Ephesians 4:17-18). It is only after we have been transformed that we can then rededicate our lives to serving the almighty God, and in so doing we can attain the level of grace that the Lord has planned for us. We must be renewed to be transformed. When we are transformed, we will be ready for that revival that we all long for. – Pastor Simbo Odunaiya