Gary Carpenter Ministries
Recently a familiar verse that I have taught on many times has taken on a deeper dimension in my thinking. It is one of those verses that you know so well you assume you already understand everything there is to know about it. Here is the verse:
Rom 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.
I have known for years that we are not to think like the world thinks regarding sin, forgiveness, revenge, and many other familiar items. But one day I was reading again the passage about the first miracle Jesus did. There was a wedding feast in Cana and they ran out of wine. Jesus' mother turned to Him and simply said, "They have no wine." As you know, Jesus commanded that they fill up the pots with water and as they dipped out the water to be served, the water became wine. This time it dawned on me … "Gary, in order to supply the shortage of wine would your first thought have been … let's just turn the water into wine." No, most assuredly that would not have been my first thought. Just like everybody else in the world my first thought would have been "where can we purchase more wine?"
As I continued along this line of meditation I began to think of all the other times that my first thought would not have been the same as Jesus' first thought. When faced with feeding 5,000 men, plus women and children, my first thought would not have been "multiply these five loaves and two fishes to feed them all … and by the way, we will have more after they are fed than we had when we started." Like most preachers my first thought would be to take up a free will offering in order to purchase food for them to eat. On and on these examples flashed across my mind and then I focused on one of my favorite verses from the Old Testament:
Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. 9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
Even though we are "born again" with the very spirit of God as His children, we STILL tend to think with mindsets that are limited to the knowledge of this present world. That kind of thinking will NEVER permit the flow of power from our supernatural Father to manifest His will in the earth. This has everything to do with being KINGDOM minded instead of EARTHLY minded. When Jesus sent forth His disciples to preach the KINGDOM OF GOD He said,
Mat 10:7-8 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
What was the message they were to preach? "The Kingdom of heaven is at hand." If anything is "at hand" it is "within reach" meaning … "it is available to you NOW." That was their message but they were not just to "preach it," they were also to "demonstrate it" by healing the sick, cleansing the lepers, raising the dead, and casting out devils. Wow! Just think for a minute the kind of world-wide revival that would take place if those same demonstrations of power were being demonstrated by the followers of Christ today. The nets would truly be so full of souls they would be near breaking.
Our thinking tends to get stuck when we start truly trying to think with a "Kingdom" mindset. Our first thought is, "I can't do any of those things." And that is the first thought we should have because truly, on our own, we cannot. Jesus said,
John 15:4-5 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.
Without Him we can do nothing. But the Good News is … WE ARE NOT WITHOUT HIM! Jesus also said,
John 14:12-14 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. 13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.
These are promises spoken by our Savior. Heaven and earth will pass away but these words will never pass away. These words are truth … forever … and it is past time for the church to start taking them seriously. As for myself, I am determined to "seek first the kingdom" more diligently than I ever have in the past. I am going to work even harder to renew my mind to no longer be limited by the thinking of this present world, but to think with a "Kingdom" mindset which believes,
Luke 18:27 … The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.
Sue and I love you and appreciate you. We thank God for your generous and giving heart. God bless you!
Your friend and co-laborer,