When You Say I Am – My Presence In Christ

This is the third precept in the You Say I Am series. To start from the beginning, click here to go to Who You Say I Am – My Person in Christ.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without me you can do nothing. ~John 15:5 (NKJV)

“Wherever you are, BE THERE,” a friend once told me. What he meant was, wherever I was physically located, that’s where all of my heart, mind, and soul needed to be in order to fully experience my present environment and circumstances…and participate in them. When I am at work, my focus and energy should be directed to the assigned tasks and goals that promote the company’s prosperity and development. Likewise, when at home or with friends, my mind should be engaged with their cares and joys; I should listen to them, and converse with them in attentive fellowship. But first and foremost, my worship of the Lord Jesus Christ must stem from an ever-attentive heart and mind, and with all my soul…my entire being (Deuteronomy 6:5). Wherever, and whenever we may be worshiping Jesus in our body, let us also abide in Him with all of our being – all of our heart, mind, and soul.

In the gospel of Mark, Jesus encountered a number of sundry Jewish nobles, including Pharisees, scribes, and lawyers, who would seek to put Him to the test. In one such instance, an expert in the law asked Jesus, “Which commandment is first and most important of all?” To which Jesus replied by quoting Deuteronomy 6:5, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” (Mark 12:28-34).

By answering the question in this way, Jesus satisfied their legal interrogation and no more questions were asked of Him (Mark 12:34). When one is satisfied with a licit retort to a lawful query, there the line is drawn between religion and relationship. Between legalism and liberty. Religion is satiated by man’s interpretation of the law; relationship, however, yearns for more. The heart, mind, and soul, our person, our entire being, is what God seeks. When we love God with all our heart, mind, and soul, we are loving Him with all of our self – our entire person…our spirit man and our natural man.

Remember, by design, we are both mortal mankind and spirit beings made up of a three-part amalgamated person – in body, soul, and spirit. We are not three separate parts to one being, but one being. Just as God is triune in His nature (Father, Son, and Spirit), we who are created in His image are likewise triune in our being. To break it down, we are a physical body with a heart and brain (where the mind is located), we are a soul which, is the eternal, God-breathed, image-bearing center of our person, and we are spirit which is the internal dwelling of the Spirit of Jesus, Who designed and created us in the beginning.

So, what is God saying when He says to love Him with all of our being? The underlying question is, “How can we love someone before we know that person?” The truth is we can’t. We must choose with our mind to know the person before the desire to love could ever begin to manifest. For example, In a godly courtship between a man and woman, each partner starts off studying the other – listening to and examining words, decisions, and goals; watching their actions and responses to the challenges and victories of life; but even more importantly, analyzing beliefs and convictions surrounding the gospel of a changed life in Christ.

All this assessing must take place and prove satisfactory before love can evolve. In other words, to love someone with your whole being means we need to get to know that person more and more. Likewise, knowing and abiding in Jesus is essential to loving God with your heart, your mind, and your soul. But how do we even begin to understand the most unsearchable God or comprehend His ways? In this precept, we will discover that a truly changed life only comes through a truly changed heart, mind, and soul – from, by, and through Jesus.

We have a transplanted heart From Jesus. we have a transformed mind By Jesus, and we have a transferred soul Through Jesus

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and decisions and how unfathomable and untraceable are His ways!                                                                                                                  Romans 11:33

Jesus and Wisdom It all began with Wisdom. Jesus Christ is Wisdom. Wisdom is both the expression of Jesus and His name. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Corinthians 1:24), and from Him are all things (Romans 11:36). When God created the heavens and the earth, it was Jesus speaking the galaxies, heaven, and earth – indeed all things, into existence. He spoke everything into being including our completely perfect, God-breathed design. Our design was flawless in the beginning…however, as we learned in Where You Say I Am – My Position in Christ, Adam chose to sin when the devil, dressed as a serpent, tempted him and his wife to eat of the forbidden fruit, which resulted in their spiritual separation from God. The tsunami of unrelenting consequences is that we too are now born into sin, and subsequently into our spiritual death (Psalm 51:5, Ephesians 2:1).

To be clear, our spiritual death does not mean that our spirit left us, or we are no longer spirit-beings. Because we were designed in and by the Spirit of God, our deceased spirit man was sent to the grave awaiting the day for our resurrecting Savior to breath it back to life. The problem is, when our spirit died, it took our heart captive at the same time which directly affected our mind and our soul. Our entire being was separated from the Wisdom of God knowing only evil and wicked thoughts; the canopy of darkness enveloped our lives and sentenced us to the law of sin and death. What we desperately needed was a heart-transplanting, mind transforming, and soul-transferring Savior…my friend, there is good news, the gospel of Jesus Christ…

Our Heart is Transplanted by GodEzekiel 36:26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

With the passing of our spirit at our natural birth, the Bible says our hearts were born wicked and evil. As such, even today our heart is deceitful and sick from birth (Jeremiah 17:9, Psalm 51:5). As carriers of evil in our hardened hearts, we instigated of all kinds of evil thoughts and hypocrisy which defiled all of our ways (Matthew 15:18-19). We stored up treasure in our lust and sensual cravings of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life (1 John 2:16). The heart and soul of who we were as a person mourned our dead spirit while in the throes of transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:1), and the only way back to the grace of God is through God Himself – Jesus Christ.

Therefore, when we come to the cross of Christ with our broken, unfeeling, sinful, stone-like hearts, He transplants His new heart of flesh into us with His Spirit already pre-indwelling. The Holy Spirit begins to guide us into all truth about Who Jesus is, bearing witness and testifying about Him to us (John 15:26). The Spirit of God opens our eyes to the truth (Psalm 146:8), and he heals (that is resurrects) our dead spirit, filling us with His Spirit of life – His very breath! He literally testifies to our spirit that we are who God says we are – His children (Romans 8:16)! This is known as our “Born Again” experience – our deliverance. When God transplanted our heart and renewed our spirit, we received His life in us through the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah! Therefore, our transplanted heart is from Jesus.

Our Mind is Transformed by GodRomans 12:2 And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].

With our spirit lying dead in a tomb, our carnal mind can only process what we see and know around us in the world in order to function. We mistakenly learn that the only way to survive is by living according to the mind of our sinful flesh which, left unredeemed, only leads us to our permanent spiritual death (Romans 8:5-6). Meanwhile, we feebly stab at every offering of hope to see us through the days, weeks, and years here on earth while searching for our purpose and reason for living. The dark and uncaring, parasitical guiles of the world slowly begin to take their toll on our unsuspecting soul. Then, when we can’t bear it one more moment, and when we call out to God in despair, He hears our cry (Psalm 34:17) and sends us a new heart filled with His Spirit (Ezekiel 36:26). And if that weren’t enough…He gives us a piece of His mind!

In Matthew 16:21-23, we see an example of just how far we were from the truth in our pre-transformed mind. In this text, Jesus is beginning to warn His disciples gently about his forthcoming death and resurrection. Note how Peter (the high-spirited disciple) responds. In his ever-so-predictable yet erroneous zeal; he attempts to put Jesus into a time-out, telling Him, “This will never happen to You.” Jesus then counter-rebukes Peter, telling Him, “Your mind is on the things of man, and not on the things of God.” Here, Jesus is sternly setting Peter straight in the words of 1 John 2:15, essentially cautioning Peter to set his mind on godly things and not to fix his gaze on the world or the things of the world. For when we love the world, the love of God the Father no longer dwells with us!

1 Corinthians 2:14-16 teaches us that before our born-again experience, we were incapable of understanding the things of God. It was all foolishness to us. Our carnal, unbelieving heart and mind could only look around and see the things of the world…and lament at the utterly tragic path we were on. Our hearts and minds were so deceived by the world; we lived gratifying the cravings of our flesh – deserving nothing but the wrath of God. But then God, in the richness of His mercy and unfailing love, came to our rescue and saved us while we were in the throes of our transgressions and sins (Ephesians 2:3-5)! He gave us a new heart along with His Spirit; then He put His mind in our brains so that by the power of the Holy Spirit within us, we are now guided by His thoughts and His purposes.

In Romans 12:2, the Bible tells three things: “Do not be conformed to the world, be transformed, and be progressively changed.” We know now that Jesus has already transformed our mind when we were “born again.” For us to progressively change is to abstain from the world and the things of the world. Just as Jesus warned Peter to keep his focus on godly things – not worldly things. In this way, we will progressively grow in “…godly values and ethical attitudes,” which is the renewing of our mind. How do we come to know what God values and what His ethics are? Get to know God. Read His word, Pray. Seek His face. Sing to Him Psalms and praises, for He is your eternal life! If you want to know eternal life, Get to know God (John 17:3). After all, He gave you His heart, His Spirit, and His mind…wouldn’t you want to know Him? Focus on Him and He will transform your mind to His! Therefore, our transformed mind is By Jesus!”

Our Soul is Transferred by GodColossians 1:13-14 For He has rescued us and has drawn us to Himself from the dominion of darkness, and has transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption [because of His sacrifice, resulting in] the forgiveness of our sins [and the cancellation of sins’ penalty].

In this series, we have learned that God created man in his image. And because we are image-bearers of Jesus, we have His character and nature – thus, we have a soul because…well, God has a soul. In Matthew 12:15-18, we get a glimpse of God’s soul as Jesus fulfills the prophesy of Isaiah (Isaiah 42:1) who foretold of a Servant (Jesus) in Whom the soul of God delights. And again in Mark 14:32-34, Jesus, in the garden of Gethsemane, lamented with a deeply grieved and overwhelmed soul. In John 12:27 we see again that Jesus expressed a deeply distressed and troubled soul.

God has a soul, and in His Wisdom, He designed you and me through our forefather Adam to also have a soul (1 Corinthians 15:45). Therefore, we are image-bearing soul ambassadors to the Most High God, King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, Jesus Christ!

But again, at the death of our spirit, our soul was left abandoned to the law of sin and death. The very reason why Jesus was so distressed and troubled in the garden of Gethsemane was because His soul is connected to all the souls of the world – from its beginning to its end. Every soul who would choose Him, and those who never will. Yet even so, out of His rich mercy and great love for them, He chose to die in order to save them all.

Even when we were lost in our trespasses and sins, the love of God came down from Heaven to save us! And through His sacrifice on the cross, He made us alive! He restored our souls back to Him and now gives us His rest and peace (Ephesians 2:3-5, Psalm 23:3, Matthew 11:28). He transferred us from the dominion of darkness to His kingdom of light. To His very soul. But, just as when we received the mind of Christ, we still have a responsibility to steward our souls. We must abstain from loving the world and indeed, loving anything more than God, or participating in anything that tempts us to sin which enslaves our soul (1 Corinthians 10:14). James 1:21 teaches us that we must get rid of all the wickedness that remains in our carnal nature. The good news is that, in Jesus, we now have a new heart with the Spirit of God empowering us! Also, we have a new mind of Christ, which is being renewed by Christ, and a soul that Jesus transferred from darkness to His marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9). Therefore, our transferred soul is Through Jesus!

Dear reader, Jesus gave His life to provide a way for you to get to know Him and love Him with all your heart, mind, and soul. He won’t relent until He has it all. So, when you enter into His presence, choose to be one with Him in all of your presence – with all your being…with all of your person. This is His will for you because He loves you with all His heart, all His mind, and all His soul, too!

At the cross, Jesus cancelled every barrier that once blinded you to the truth of Who He is, and who you are in Him. He is the resurrecting Savior Who took out your cold, stone heart and put His heart of flesh in you that now beats for Him. He breathed life into your dead spirit by His own Spirit that leads you into all truth about Him. He set His mind into yours so now, as you choose to draw near to Him, He will draw near to you; sharing His thoughts, plans, and desires with you. And finally, He restored your soul back to Himself so that you can have eternal life in Him…and with Him!

My friend, make the decision today to turn away from the cares of the world that only lead back to the darkness from which Jesus died to set you free. Set your mind and heart on Jesus. He is faithful to give you the hope and peace your soul desperately seeks, and show you the amazing plans and purposes He has for you in this life! He has already transplanted you, transformed you, and transferred you to His kingdom of light!

Today, walk in His light and be fully present with Him in all of your being. Let His peace that surpasses all your understanding, outshine all your anxieties, all your fears, all your loneliness, all your cares…for He cares for you! So, when you enter into worship of Jesus today, come to Him with all you’ve got. Come to Him expecting healing, deliverance, restoration, miracles, and breakthrough. Today, when you enter into the presence of your Savior and friend, Jesus Christ…BE THERE!

Recommended Music: You Won’t Relent, Worthy of it All

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