AFReG Devotions 2021
16 November 2021
As we contemplate the God-centered values we espouse for Africa’s leadership as AFReG, we realize that change in all of us is imperative if these are to become a reality. In this series of devotions, we consider several topics under the general theme — “Changing Against the Tide” based on Romans 12:1-2. With transformation, everything changes. Through the transformative power of the Gospel, grace through faith and the Holy Spirit’s enablement, this change becomes a reality. Journey with us now as we acknowledge the reality of change and how this change can be used by the Lord in building us and His kingdom together!
THE POWER OF THE MIND IN CHANGE
If the human body is a computer, then the mind is where the central processing unit is located. Failure to recognize the power of the mind will render all efforts at transformation useless.
In the often quoted scripture 2 Corinthians 5:17, Paul tells that if any man is in Christ, he is a new creation, that old things are passed away and all things are become new. But what exactly is this new creation? Given that man is spirit, soul and body, what changes? While the effects of salvation can result in some physical transformation, it’s the spirit man who is quickened or made alive by the Holy Spirit. The mind, which together with the will and emotions form our souls, remains unaltered unless we intentionally engage in the process of renewing it. Jesus made it clear that out of the heart of man (heart sometimes used interchangeably with mind) proceed all the evil thoughts that defile a man. Coming to faith does not change this. While we are saved from the penalty and power of sin, we are yet to be saved from the presence of sin. Until then, the engine of sin resides in us and unless checked, we will carry the capacity to sin until Jesus comes. This is Paul’s cry in Romans 7 where despite knowing what is right, he finds himself doing what is evil. But! Here is the good news! As Paul admonishes us in Romans 12, our minds can be renewed. Of the two dogs in you, the one you feed is the one that wins the next fight! We are no longer slaves to our old way of thinking. He encourages us to put off the old man and to put on the new man (Ephesians 4). How is this possible? It’s all in the mind.
Let me illustrate this. In your imagination, draw the shape of an egg with a line in the middle. The top part is your conscious mind. The bottom part is your subconscious mind. The line in the middle is your will. At birth, little Johnny has nothing in his subconscious area. When his eyes see a fire, the conscious part is curious and sends a message to the subconscious part (memory) inquiring if there is any record about this object. A search is made and there are no results. Based on this information and to satisfy his curiosity, the will is activated and a decision is made to touch, taste or feel this strange object. When Johnny burns his fingers and withdraws his hand abruptly, there’s a record of this nasty experience stored in the subconscious. The next time Johnny sees a fire, the same process happens; a search is made in the library (subconscious) and this time there is a record: last time you touched this object you didn’t like the experience. Based on this information, the will says don’t go anywhere near that object!
What are we saying? That the devil has worked hard since we stepped into the world and even before we were born, to store negative emotions in our libraries on the basis of which we would make wrong decisions. This is where GIGO comes in: garbage in, garbage out! Renewal of the mind is reprogramming the subconscious with new information. The mind acts on what the subconscious feeds it. Decisions are based on information and changing the information on which they are based results in new decisions. New decisions result in new actions! I hope you now see the power of the mind and the role it plays in our decisions and actions. To change our actions, we must change our decisions and to change our decisions, we must change the information on which they are based. To change the information calls for the renewal of our minds. The Word of God is the agent that washes and cleanses our minds. For the old to pass away and the new to come, there has to be an intentional process of abandoning the old system and turning to the new. This is the power of the mind!
Many have confessed faith in Christ but have not understood the above. God cannot do this for you. You are responsible for this.
Africa needs this renewal. The Slave Trade and the Colonial Era messed our minds up with a “Can’t do victim mentality.” But now we must align ourselves to the truth of God’s Word; who He says we are and what He says we can do! We must read the Scriptures with new lenses to understand our identity and purpose because as a man thinks, so is he! From the little boy playing with wire cars, to the little girl clutching her doll, to the man in the President’s office, we all need renewal! Our schools and our churches play key roles in this process. This is the power of the mind in renewal. It’s this huge elephant held in place by a rope tied to a peg in the center of a circus room and made to perform to the audience. He thinks the rope is the chain he was tied to as a young elephant and that the peg is the tree the rope was tied to. It’s the birds in a cage starved and cruelly treated by this boy that even when a stranger buys the cage and leaves the door open, they refuse to come near the door because they think it’s another of this boy’s cruel tricks! That’s Africa for you! God’s promise? You will know the truth and the truth will set you free! Let’s go and proclaim that the door is open! We can fly to freedom!
- We arise and shine because our light has come and the glory of the Lord is risen upon us.
- We walk in the liberty of our salvation in Jesus Christ wherein we have been set free!
- We take captive every thought to God’s obedience and align ourselves to His counsel through knocking down the strongholds of human reasoning, destroying false arguments and destroying every proud obstacle that keeps us from knowing God.
- We can be anything God says we can be. We can do anything God says we can do. By the power of the Holy Spirit we rise to come into all that God has called us to.
Join us for one hour on Thursday, 25 November 2021 as AFReG unites in a time of focused prayer thanking the Lord for His mercy and blessings, and praying for countries in crisis. Please use the following link to gather with us:
AFReG Prayer Connection
Meeting ID: 914 9445 6746
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5:00 a.m. (PST) California
8:00 a.m. Kingston, Jamaica
8:00 a.m. (EST) New York & Toronto
1:00 p.m. (GMT) Accra, Ghana
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2:00 p.m. (WAT) Yaoundé, Cameroon
2:00 p.m. (WAT) Kinshasa, DRC
2:00 p.m. (WAT) Lagos, Nigeria
3:00 p.m. (CAT) Bujumbura, Burundi
4:00 p.m. (EAT) Nairobi, Kenya
4:00 p.m. (EAT) Addis Ababa, Ethiopia