The boldness of our culture
I would like you to consider the influence of truth on our thought or thinking patterns. What I find dangerous in our society is that this present culture takes full liberties with your mind and brain, and they make no apologies for it. They cross what we believe about Biblical truth and righteousness, and they have no second thought about what they do or say. But, when we say things that cross the world, one says, “Why do you think you have the right to say that?” They use any vehicle of entertainment and education to communicate to this world what they want this world to think or to be, and they never make apologies for it.
Relinquishing our choices
In Proverbs 23:7, it says, “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” You are not what you think you are. You are actually a composite of what you think, what is constantly in the mind and mindset of what you are. I find it strange that so many times people relinquish the freedom of choice over to habit or to character.
Character, whether good or bad, is defined by the human spirit. Pharaoh relinquished over to his habit, not realizing just how cruel or how evil he was to the people of God. He had relinquished the power of his own choosing over to the habit of what he was.
When people’s lives are messed up, they feel they are being punished in life. A man has to wake up to life and realize, “I want to be what I ought to be. I want to think how I ought to think.” Our thought world feeds and shapes the people that we are.
It’s not a brain issue at all
The Word of God never mentions the brain, but it refers to the mind 95 times. Our brain is not the issue. The issue is our mind. The brain has preconceived ideas, knowledge and understanding. Your brain says, “The sun rises, bringing light to our world, and the sun sets, bringing darkness to our world.” This is how the brain views and understands, but the brain itself is in error, because the sun does not rise or set. Your brain considers something to be fact, whether it is or not. It is from that concept that thoughts come, and the mind takes its shape.
Philippians 2:5 says, “Let this mind that was in Christ Jesus be in you.” He did not say, “Let this brain that was in Jesus be in you.” It’s not a brain issue; it’s a mind issue. Pictures referring to the mind are always pictures of a brain, because there are no pictures of the mind.
It’s not in a high IQ
The religion of materialism says this, “If you cannot weigh it, measure it, or see it in a microscope, it really doesn’t exist.” There is no way to weigh a mind or put it under a microscope. People think having the brain, the intelligence, or a high IQ is the answer to the problems of our world. I know people with a high IQ who are likely to die without God, yet after hearing truth will still die without God. I know others who have a moderate IQ and turn out to be some of the greatest workers in the Kingdom of God.
The function of the brain is to gather information
Your brain receives information from the nervous system and the constant flow of information around it. It says, “I’m not interested in what is reality, true or false, right or wrong.” The mind then has to take what it is given and begin to process it. The brain expands and grows in a unique process. It is powerful, yet limited. The brain reaches out and grabs everything that comes by, but it is the mind that pulls it together. Your brain crunches data and puts it within the reach of the mind, but the brain does not decide if the data is true.
Moses sees the burning bush, but the bush is not being consumed! It is still living. Moses says, “I will turn aside to see this great sight.” His brain is saying something that is contradicting what his mind is seeing or sensing. Moses then hears the voice of God speaking to his mind. There is a brain situation here. Moses’ brain is grasping something that is happening, and yet his mind is saying, “No, this is not understandable.”
The brain has no feeling at all, so it is the mind that processes our senses. The mind has no size or shape, and yet, we all have a mind. If you were to take a radio and smash it, you will have eliminated the connection to the voice on the radio, but you haven’t eliminated the waves. You’ve only lost the substance that grasps the sounds and categorizes them.
The Apostle Paul never told us we need the brain that was in Christ Jesus. The mind is the part of what life is all about.
The Spirit of God overrides a programmed brain
You don’t believe in one God, because it is in your brain. You believe in one God, because you have a mind that reaches out and lays hold of truth. Someone spoke the scripture to us, and that word flowed into your mind. You then began to experience God.
Mark 16:16 says, “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved.” To believe something, you have to have something there to believe. The religious world discounts the validity of truth or scripture, and the secular world is saying there is no God or any god is ok. They’re saying the Bible isn’t true, and the Bible is not God’s Word, so it’s not such an issue. The mind says, “So what am I to believe? What about any god? What about no god? What about any morals, what about no morals? What about any religion, what about no religion? The mind then takes its free will to go and to do what it wants to do. Apostolic preachers must tell this world about truth, because it influences the mind in a way that nothing else does.
Your DNA doesn’t dictate what you are
One cell of your DNA can be a microscopic size and yet contain the entire makeup of what you are. Our culture today says, “This is what you are, and you can’t help it, because your DNA has dictated what you are.” DNA only gives you tendencies, but men believe because that tendency is in the brain, they must be this sexual orientation or behavior. Your DNA does not dictate what you are. Television and Hollywood program your brain to think you can’t be any different than what you are. The mind then says, “I am what I am, leave me be.”
Those who walk into churches have been programmed to believe what their brain has said. “I can’t help but be an alcoholic … I can’t help but be immoral.” And we are able to say, “That’s in your brain, but you can have a different mind.” Romans 12:1 says, “I beseech ye, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service, and be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing (or renovation) of your mind.” Your brain is just your brain, but you can have a mindset like the mindset of Jesus Christ.
The transformation of the mind by the Spirit
When the Spirit of God begins to move on a person for the first time, they are unaccustomed to it, and their brain is uneasy. Their thought process doesn’t understand, but at the same time, the Spirit of God’s truth influences their mind to believe. It brings a clash in what their brain is saying and yet their mind has been touched by the Spirit of God. They feel something they’ve never felt and hear something they’ve never heard.
The call of Abraham
The call of Abraham verifies what I am saying. “Now the Lord God said unto Abram, Get out of your country, get away from your kindred, get away from your father’s house . . . I want you to go somewhere I will show you, because I want to tell you who I am and what I can do for you. I can make you a great nation. I want you to understand that I can bless you, and through your seed, the nations will be blessed.” God did not say He was going to change Ur of the Chaldeans. God had no intention of changing the Chaldean world. He was going to change the mind of a man named Abram. God is not going to change America, but he’s going to change people, and they are going to affect America.
The concept of the swamp gods
The concept of the Babylonian world was that there was no creation like Genesis says. They believed in earth and sky gods and in a divine swamp, from which swamp gods emerged. They believed Marduk, the earth god, did battle with the female swamp god, Tiamat. Marduk killed her in a huge net, cut her carcass into two pieces and suspended her between the earth and the heavens. Her blood dripped into the swamp, and from the mud of the swamp came forth human beings to populate the earth. This was the concept of Abram’s world around him, but God called him out of that world and revealed himself to Abram.
Changing the pre-set mind of man
The salvation process is not the changing of the world, but the changing of the mind. Culture has determined the course we are on. When you send kids to secular colleges, within a year they almost doubt there is a God. The world around us has made a war against the power of truth. There are two things the mind wants for itself: 1) The human mind wants to enjoy life each day, fulfill its demands, meet its challenges and yet have some joy and pleasure each day. 2) There is an essence of the mind that says, “I want to transcend this. I keep getting these vibes there is something better out there.”
This world is communication friendly
This world was created for communication with the unseen, the unknown. They say we send a signal. What is a signal? How big? What is its shape? The Creator has created this world to be communication friendly, but their brain says it is for the cell phone or the computer. This world was not created for that but for us to pray, think of, worship, love and magnify God. II Corinthians 10:4-5 says, “For the weapons of our warfare (our conflict or warring) are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down (utterly demolishing) of strong holds; Casting down imaginations (not casting out devils), and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge (what I know) of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ…” This is not a war that people have with demons and devils and forces from the regions of the damned. This is the war that goes on in the mind of every man, woman and child in the world every day of their lives. There is always a conflict of imaginations and thoughts. We must go to war with spiritual weapons to pull down every thought that is against God. We should never apologize for preaching truth. The world never apologizes up front for the garbage they are bringing to you in a movie. They want to get in your head and into your mind.
We have something to preach to this generation that will change their preset brains and move them from the swamp gods to the one true God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Almighty! It is a fact that what we say to them allows the Spirit of God to change their entire thought processes, even though their brain has been programmed entirely differently. The tasting of the Spirit and hearing of truth changes everything in the mind.
Bio: Bishop Davis and his wife, Greta, have three children and six grandchildren. He is founder, bishop and overseer of The World of Faith church in Macon, GA where his son, Trey Davis, pastors. He has served 22 years as Presbyter on the Board of the District of Georgia, ministers in conferences and camp meetings, and has written 10 books. This sermon was preached at the 2007 Steadfast Conference and is also available through the church website http://www.theworldoffaith.org/
Note: A portion of the research for this sermon was taken from the book by Gerald Schroeder, titled The Science of God.