Where there is no vision, the people perish: but he that keeps the law, happy is he.
The first part of this verse of Scripture is quoted all the time, but I want you to notice something. If you read the whole verse, vision and happiness are both linked directly to the Word of God. Those who keep the law are happy. They are happy because they abide in God’s Word, which enlightens their minds and gives them vision for their lives. Then they can see where they are to go. You cannot go where you cannot see!
Your destiny and the quality of your life are determined by your soul. That is why the Bible stresses that you must be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You must get your mind transformed by the Word of God, which means it comes under complete submission to the Holy Spirit in your spirit. Then you will begin to think, speak, and act like Jesus instead of that old selfish, sinful person you were before you got saved. You will act from your communication with God instead of your physical senses and carnal thinking. You will cease living the low life and live the high life! Your soul is where the battle lies. Whoever and whatever controls your soul—whoever and whatever possesses your thinking, your emotions, and your regard for your free will that He will let you choose hell over Him in your lifetime. The enemy also knows this, and he will try to influence your decisions by capturing your soul.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego meditated in God’s Word Day and night. That’s why they had a steadfast faith that He would deliver them from Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace. And God did deliver them. However, if they had sat in front of their television sets all day and all night, we might be reading a different story in the Bible today! “Television” is something “telling” you its “vision.” You are receiving a vision for your life, and in most cases, it is probably not something from God. If you want to be able to live through the fiery furnaces of life, you better make sure that what you are seeing is God’s vision for your life. Joseph had a vision from God that came through dreams. A dream is another way in which God can impart vision to our lives. Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more.
And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words. And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.
Genesis 37:5-9 Through this dream God painted a vivid picture on Joseph’s mind that one day his family and nations would bow down to him. When he shared these dreams with his family, Joseph began a journey of ups and downs, defeat, and victory, until finally the Word of the Lord was fulfilled in his life.
Even though Joseph went through a whole series of terrible trials and unjust circumstances—he remembered where he was going and never stopped believing. He chose to believe that what God had imprinted in his mind as a boy would surely come to pass. He chose that vision, that dream, again and again until it finally came to pass. Joseph understood he would go to the place he could see.
If we are going to follow Jesus, we are going to move out of our comfort zone again and again. The Bible guarantees it. So, let’s first look at what our comfort zone is. How do we get into a comfort zone in the first place?
We have seen that the enemy is after our soul. The soul is the mind, emotions, and will; and he tries to influence our decisions by introducing thoughts and pressuring us with circumstances. Then we saw that what we can see from God’s Word we can have. If we can imagine it and believe it, we can have it. We can do what God says we can do if we can see ourselves doing it. That’s why the devil tries to capture our minds. Whatever occupies our mind—what we see and believe in our soul—is going to determine our destiny. If we want to experience God’s perfect will and fulfil His purpose in our lives, we must make right choices, and our choices are made from the strongest images and thoughts in our minds. The enemy will always try to create a comfort zone based upon images and thoughts that are contrary to what the Word of God says about us. He gets us to continue making bad decisions because we are stuck in that comfort zone. One of the reasons we do not make the right decisions is because of our past experiences. We may be born again, but our past is still affecting our choices. That’s where renewing our minds becomes vital. When we renew our minds with God’s Word, we are literally renovating our belief system, our patterns of thought, our imagination, and our emotions to come out of an ungodly comfort zone into a godly comfort zone. We are turning from the low life, living disconnected from God to the high life—living as a child of God.
If we didn’t get saved as young children, or we were saved but were not taught to keep our minds renewed in God’s Word, we probably have been programmed by the enemy. Therefore, to live the
high life in Jesus Christ we need to enter the process of reprogramming and retraining the way we think, imagine, speak, and act. We begin by recognizing that many of the things we have seen and heard and learned in the past came from the world systems and the enemies of God. For example, the world tells you that as you get older you will have serious health problems like arthritis and loss of memory. You will run out of energy and creativity and retire at age sixty-five.
But that’s not what the Bible says. People who love and serve God do not grow old like that. Moses didn’t lead the children of Israel out of Egypt until he was over eighty years old, and when he died his “eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated” (Deuteronomy 34:7). Moses was on the job until he died, and he didn’t die because of sickness. He just went to heaven when God said, “It’s time.” Consider Abraham and Sarah. Genesis 17:17 tells us that Sarah was ten years younger than
Abraham. When they went down to Egypt and Pharaoh wanted to take Sarah into his harem, Abraham was seventy-five years old. That means Sarah was sixty-five, but Abraham said, “Tell the Egyptians you’re my sister because, Baby, you’re too good looking’, and that Pharaoh will want to kill me if he knows you’re my wife.” Now we know Pharaoh wasn’t taking any women into his harem that didn’t look fine! The girl had something going at sixty-five!
Abraham did all right too. After Sarah died, Genesis 25 tells us that Abraham took another wife and had more children. He was over 120 years old! This is not just an Old Testament phenomenon. There is no mention that any of the first apostles died sick. Church history tells us that they were all executed except John, and John was a vital participant in the church until he went to Heaven.
Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, cursed is every one that hangs on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.
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.
This is written to the brethren, the brothers, and sisters, which means you and me. And apparently our bodies have a purpose. We are to use them in the service of God, and what God is asking is totally reasonable. It is reasonable because Jesus died for us and redeemed us from eternal death and hell, so we have no problem serving Him with our whole being. Then, as we serve Him, we are never to forget Him as our example. We are not to be conformed to the world around us, to be squeezed into that mould or continue in ungodly behaviour. Instead, we are to be transformed in a process like metamorphosis by renewing our minds with God’s Word. The Word of God will renovate our thinking and thus transform our behaviour to be as much like Jesus on the outside as the inside.
This is talking about our spirits. Although our soul (mind, emotions, will) is affected by this miracle transformation, it has not been transformed. So, the Great Decorator begins to tear out old habits of thinking and behaving that are contrary to the truth of God’s Word. The result is that we change. We begin to prove the good, acceptable, and perfect will of God to ourselves and everyone around us. What I have just described is leaving the mundane life (living for ourselves, according to our senses and natural thinking) for a better life (living for Jesus, according to the Word and the Spirit). After the new birth we operate on an entirely different level, a spiritual level. We still remember our past and have the same thoughts. The ungodly patterns are still there. But now we have no desire.
to continue in them. A revolution has taken place inside us. Our spirits have rejected Satan’s rule and surrendered completely to the Lord Jesus Christ. Now our soul and body must line up with this revolutionary spiritual change—and the process of renovation begins.
Another scripture to consider is;
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore, glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are Gods.
The destiny and the quality of your life are determined by your soul. That is why the Bible stresses that you must be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You must get your mind transformed by the Word of God, which means it comes under complete submission to the Holy Spirit in your spirit. Then you will begin to think, speak, and act like Jesus instead of that old selfish, sinful person.
We know from God’s Word that God will always give us the final decision.
I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you, life and death, blessing, and cursing: therefore, choose life, that both you and thy seed may live.