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Expanding the Boundaries of your Life
In April 1932, something that was previously thought impossible happened. In a Cambridge laboratory, two men, John Cockcroft and Ernest Walton, split the atom and paved the way for the creation of the nuclear bomb. It was then that the world discovered something that is just as true in the spiritual world as it is in nuclear physics; the greatest release of power does not come by making bigger bombs, but by making changes on the smallest level. In nuclear science it came from splitting one of the smallest things in the world, the atom. In life, the biggest changes come from renewing our minds.
Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” In the Hebrew (the original language the Old Testament was written in), the word “springs” is the Hebrew word totsaah and literally means limits, borders or boundaries. The Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament likens it to a slave being set free. What Solomon is telling us is that the limits and boundaries of our life are not a product of anything outside of our life; they are a product of our heart. And if we are to be set free, the change comes by expanding the boundaries in our heart.
We all have areas in our life we are trying to be free from. Whether it’s a fearful and anxious mind, a debilitating or chronic issue in our body, trauma from the past, an inability to form healthy relationships, crippling debt, financial issues, etc. The good news we find in scripture is that God has given us His promises that we may escape from the “corruption in the world” (2 Peter 1:4). Yet so often, we think that the boundary is out there. We think the circumstances and the mountains are the boundaries hindering us from finding freedom, but Proverbs teaches us that the boundaries are much closer (and much smaller); they are in our hearts.
We have the Technology
Oscar Goldman, in the popular 1974 TV show The Six Million Dollar Man, famously said, “we have the technology.” Likewise, in order to expand the boundaries in our heart and experience freedom in all life’s areas, God has given us the technology, by giving us a brand-new spirit. In last week’s message, Pastor Brad talked about a new identity that we were given when we were born again (check our last week’s weekend message HERE). 2 Corinthians 5:17 speaks of that new identity when Paul writes, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.”
It can be discouraging to discover that we have been made new in Christ, and that we have God’s Spirit in us, only to look at life’s circumstances and see no change. But discovering that we have a new identity is not the end point to overcoming life’s obstacles, it is the starting point. Romans 12:2 says, “be transformed by the renewal of your mind.” When we renew our mind with our new identity, that is when the boundaries of our hearts are expanded and we can begin to live free.
The word “transformed” literally means “metamorphosis”. This is not the kind of change where you are trying to become something you are not, but it is the process where what you already are changes you. When we talk about metamorphosis, we often speak of the caterpillar turning into a butterfly, but that is not what actually happens in metamorphosis. The caterpillar does not become a butterfly, the caterpillar is already the butterfly but in a different state, the larva. Eventually the caterpillar molts itself into a chrysalis, and inside its protective casing, it transforms into a butterfly. When we renew with what God’s Word says we already are (our new identity), the boundaries of our hearts are expanded, allowing us to experience freedom, and become who God has created us to be.
Renew your Mind = Transform your Life
So how do I renew my mind? Joshua 1:8, 9 tells us: “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.”
God had an amazing plan for Joshua, but Joshua’s heart boundaries were not expanded to the degree that God’s will would be realized in his life. God’s solution was not to force his will on Joshua but to give him His Word to meditate on day and night. As long as Joshua was dwelling on God’s Word, his heart boundaries were expanding, and he could accomplish the plans God had for him.
Jesus would later say in John 8:32, “and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” Notice that the key to freedom is knowing the truth of God’s Word. Yet equally as true, if the truth is what sets us free, then lies are what keep us bound. Satan’s strategy to harm you and God’s strategy to bless you come the same way; by renewing our minds. But while Satan is working on renewing our minds with lies, God is working on renewing our minds with the truth. Whichever you meditate on determines the boundaries of your life.