Creflo Dollar - The Process Of Change - Part 1
2 Corinthians chapter 5:17 and he says: "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature," or he's a new creation, "old things have passed away; behold, all things are become new". You're familiar with this Scripture. It really describes what happens when you get born again. "If any man be in Christ, then he's a new creation; the old things are passed away". That old man, that old sinful man, is passed away, and that new man, that new creation comes into being. Now that just happens just by being born again. When you make Jesus the Lord and personal Savior of your life, just by being in Christ Jesus the old man dies and the new creation begins to live on the inside of you.
Now what's that have to do with renewing the mind? So, notice, you know, your mind didn't get saved and your body didn't get saved, but it was your spirit that got saved, a new creation there. Now, I notice a little difference here in Romans chapter 6 and verse 4. Romans 6 and 4. So while this talks about being born again, you get a new creation, notice these next three Scriptures. Verse 4 says: "Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in the newness of life".
Now let me show you the distinction here. It's one thing to get born again and your spirit gets saved, but it's another thing to walk in the newness of life. That's renewing your mind. You won't walk in the newness of life without renewing your mind. There are lots of Christians who have gotten born again and they have a new creation on the inside and yet they don't walk in the newness of life because in order to walk in the newness of life, renewing the mind is necessary. Renewing the mind has to become a lifestyle in order for you to walk in the newness of life. Let's look at it again, Ephesians 4 and 24. Ephesians chapter 4 and 24. These next few Scriptures are really identifying how important it is to renew your mind. If you're gonna walk in the newness of life, you gotta renew your mind. You gotta exchange your thoughts, your ideas, for God's thoughts, his ideas.
Now look at this, Ephesians 4:24. He says, "And that you put on the new man". Notice that action. You're putting on the new man. That's renewing the mind. That's renewing the mind. If you're gonna put on the new man, it's gonna be required of you to renew your mind. "That you put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness". You do that by renewing your mind. And then look at Colossians chapter 3, verses 9 through 10. Colossians chapter 3, verses 9 through 10. Here he says, "Lie not one to another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his deeds; and have put on the new man, which is renewed in the knowledge after the image of him that created him". You see, I always used to think that that meant taking off that old man as far as your old spiritual man, that sinful man, and putting on the new creation. But right here, again, he's referring to taking off that old way of thinking and through renewing of the mind, putting on that new way of thinking.
So here again, that if you're going to fully see the expression of that new creation that you have when you got born again, it requires you to renew your mind. Now, God's involved in this. I believe that God has committed himself to do some things to really encourage us to renew our mind or really to encourage us to change. Look at this Scripture in Romans 2 and 4. Let's just take a little detour here for a moment. Romans chapter 2 and verse 4. God's doing something here that I think is important for us to recognize. He says, "Or despise thou the riches of his goodness and the forbearance and long-suffering; not knowing," check this out, "that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance"?
Now, real repentance does not mean I'm sorry. Real repentance is a change of the mind. It's changing the mind, changing the direction. It literally means to change the mind. And so notice what he says: that God is using goodness to motivate you to change your mind. That's pretty powerful. God's goodness to us is so we can change our mind. So it's not gonna always be, "Well, God's only good to me when I've been good," because God's ready to be good to you when you're not good so that he can use his goodness to get you to change your mind or to renew your mind. That's powerful. That's the mercy of God, it's the grace of God, that God says, "I'm gonna do you good and make you happy just to motivate you to change your thinking, to change your mind". The goodness of the Lord, notice, leadeth you to repentance. And so if God has ever done anything good for you, I want you to know ultimately what he's trying to do is to lead you down the path of a lifestyle of renewing your mind.
Now look at Psalms 55 and 19. Psalms 55 and 19. He says, "God shall hear, and afflict them, even he that abideth of old. Selah. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God". "Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God". You see, God's interested in you changing because, like I said at the beginning of this teaching tonight, that the renewing of the mind is more than just learning. It's changing. See, some people think, "Well, when I renew my mind, I'm renewing my mind because I'm learning new things and I renew my mind because I've got a better education on this subject and", no, no, no, no, no. Renewing the mind is not just learning. Of course, it is learning, but it is not just learning. The renewing the mind is ultimately changing. It's ultimately changing. And that was a big phrase to me years ago, the fact that renewing the mind is not just learning. Renewing the mind is ultimately changing.
You've gotta ask yourself that question. You know, if you claim to live the lifestyle of renewing your mind and that's what renewing the mind is, it's a lifestyle, it's a process, it's literally a process of change. Renewing the mind is literally going to be a process of change. And so check your life out. What's changed? And if it's not, we already know why it's not changed. Let's look at Romans chapter 12 and verse 2 and 3. Romans chapter 12. And the book of Romans begins to talk about mercy, he talks about grace, and he says, because of this, dedicate yourself. At least you can do is dedicate yourself to me. But look at verse 2. I'm gonna read it in this version and then the Amplified. He says, "And be not conformed to this world," don't be adapted or conformed to this world, its way of thinking, okay?
And that's basically what he's saying. Don't conform your thinking and line it in agreement with the world's way of thinking. "But be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind". So how's the transformation to take place? By renewing the mind, "that you can prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect, will of God". Now look at this in the Amplified: "Do not be conformed to this world (this age)," and that's what he's talking about world. "Don't be conformed to this age, don't be [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial]," he calls it its superficial customs, "but be transformed," in parentheses he said, "changed". "(Be changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideas, its new attitudes]," that of course come from the Word of God, "so that you may prove [for yourself] what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]".
This is so, so very important. So you cannot talk about the process and the lifestyle of renewing your mind if you're not ultimately gonna deal with the issue of change. You have to deal with the issue of change. So I wanna take tonight and probably next week and talk about that process of change because change isn't change until you've changed. And, you know, people wanna change, they talk about changing, but sometimes they just don't know the first step to changing. I mean, what do I need to do to change? And really, when you're renewing your mind, you're renewing your mind for the purpose of lining your life up with what you're learning. And if you're learning about some things then, you know, line your life up with what you're learning. So I call this, you know, you have 12 steps in a program, you have 12 steps in a Emotion Anonymous program. Here are the 12 steps to change, and I think this will really bless you. Let's go ahead and get started.
Number one, the first step, make a decision to change. Make a decision to change. People just don't understand how powerful a decision is. What is a decision? A decision is an open door into reality. In other words, until you make a decision, it can never become a reality. Until you make a decision, it can never become a reality. A lot of times, people are wondering, "Well, how come I hadn't changed," and my question is, "Can you recall at any time in your life where you have made a decision to change"? A decision is an open door into reality. It will never be real until you make a decision. In fact, look at Deuteronomy chapter 30 and verse 19.
So the first step in this process of change which comes from renewing the mind, the first step is make a decision to change. Now Deuteronomy 30:19 says: "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, I've set before you blessings and curses". Now, this is so strong. Please listen to this. He says, "I've put before you life, death, I've put before you blessings, cursing: therefore," he says, "choose". What an amazing thing we have as human beings. We have a choice. We can choose. Choose life or choose death, "that both thou and thy seed may live". Now, I know people want to try to do things to try to force you to choose. People wanna take away your choice. People wanna shame you out of your choice. But the most powerful thing that God has done for mankind is to give him this awesome unique right to make a choice, wow. Some people have a problem with it but I just read it. He placed before you, look at this, life and death.
Now if you choose to die, you make that choice. You have a right to. See, if you choose to go to hell, God Almighty will protect your right, he will walk you all the way to the gates of hell and protect your right to die and go to hell. Listen to that. God's not ever going to make somebody do something. You are a free moral agent, which means you can have a decision. People all round the world right now today, are choosing to live their life a certain way. Now, their choice may be leading them down a path that seems right but it will lead to destruction, but that was their choice. And there are some people who have chosen to make the right decision and go down a path of righteousness and it'll lead 'em to heaven, but that's their choice. But the free moral agency is so powerful that God protects that God-given right to choose and, you know, because he knows how powerful a decision is.
God doesn't want you to be a Christian because he makes you become a Christian. He wants you to want him because you made a decision to want him. He wants you to want him because you chose him. Every morning I wake up, I choose him. I choose him. I choose to greet him, to talk to him, to make my mind up that I will have a relationship with him today, I will live by his Word today. You have to make that choice. But you know what? Your choices sometimes, let me watch myself as I say this, are limited to what you know or what you don't know. Sometimes, people make bad choices because of the lack of knowledge. Sometimes, people make better choices because of what they know. This is why he wants us to renew our mind so we don't have to keep making choices to go down the road that seems right unto a man. We can choose the right road and end up in the right place, amen?
So decision is a very, very powerful first step to change. Let me share one more Scripture with you in line with this. Joshua chapter 24 and verse 15, I believe. 24 and 15, and look what he says here. He says, "And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord," he says if it seems evil to serve the Lord, he says, "choose you this day whom you will serve," okay? "Whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell," he says, "but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord". Did you see that? He says, "You choose who you're gonna serve".
That's so powerful, being a free moral agent, and making the decision. And if you're going to change, if you're going to experience this transformation that comes through renewing the mind, if you're not just gonna sit there and, you know, for show you're renewing your mind but you're renewing your mind for change, then you're gonna have to, first of all, make a decision: "I make a decision that in renewing my mind, I am gonna change". That's a decision. So that's the first step. So you've begun your process. The process has started when making that decision. Now, sometimes people just won't, you know, they, "Well, I don't wanna make a decision". Well, you kinda have. See, if you don't make a decision to go God's way, you kind of made a decision to go the opposite way. And a decision is required on your part.
Number two, here's the second step in this process of change: turn over your will to God totally and completely. Turn over your will to God totally and completely. Oh my goodness, somebody says, "I don't know if I can do that". Well, I want God's will for my life. I don't wanna sit and try to create a plan for my life. I want the plan that's already been created for me. And are you willing to turn your will and the plan for your life completely and totally over to God? Jesus said something. He said, "Lord, not my will, but let thy will be done". In fact, let's look at these Scriptures in Matthew chapter 26 and 39. Let's start there. Matthew 26:39, and then James 4 and 15 and Isaiah 1:19. I wanna share a lot of Scriptures with you because I wanna convince you to turn your will over to God.
Look at Matthew 26:39. It says: "And he went a little further," and this is in the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus began to sweat blood because he's bearing the sins, he preparing to bear the sins of the whole world on his body, and the Bible says even though that great stress was there, he began to sweat blood out of his pores. "And he went a little further, and he fell on his face," in the middle of all this, "and he prayed, saying, 'O my God, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.'" I wanna back up a little bit. I wanna show you some stuff here. Go to verse 35 and let's go to the NLT. Matthew 26:35 in the NLT. He says, "'No!' Peter insisted. 'Even if I have to die with you,'" Peter was saying, "'I will never deny you!' And all the other disciples vowed the same".
You heard that story, right? You know the end of that. You've seen that movie, right? And then "Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, 'Sit here while I go over there to pray.' And he took Peter and Zebedee's two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed". The next verse: "He told them, 'My soul is crushed with grief,'" think of that, "'to the point of death.'" This is Jesus talking. And Jesus said to them, "Stay here and keep watch with me". So you can see the emotional attack that he's under. "And he went on a little farther," under that emotional attack, under that great distress, under that sweating of blood which other translations show you, he went forward a little and he said, "Father, if it be possible," if it were, he said, "take this cup of suffering from me". How many of you in your life have ever wanted to pray that kind of prayer? "Lord, I don't wanna do this". You didn't pray, you just told God, "I don't wanna do this".
See, this is what I'm talking about, being willing to turn your will totally and completely over to God and not allow what you wanna do to become stronger and more powerful than what God wants you to do. And he says, "Yet, I want your will to be done, and not mine". That's a strong thing to recognize. God, I want your will to be done and not mine. I can remember in my life a lot of things that I had planned to do and things that I wanted to do, and being a pastor was not one of 'em, it was not in any of those lists. But I tell you right now, I am so glad that whatever happened that moved me to turn my will totally over to God, to get his will for my life. God knows you better than you do. You understand that? He knows you better than you do. And so, don't go trying to create your own plan. God's already made one for you, all right?
Let's look at some more Scriptures here. Look at James 4 and 15. James 4 and 15. Now, in James he says: "For that you ought to say", He says, this is what you ought to say, "If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or do that". Now, I picked this little verse of Scripture out because we do understand that the will of God is the Word of God. That's already established. But then there are certain things that go on in our life, you know, that we're like, "Well, you know, if it's God's will, then I'll do this or if it's God's will, I'll do that". My grandmother used to say to me all the time, you know, "Grandma, see you in the morning". She says, "Well, if it's God's will for", you know, and I'm thinking, "Well, of course, it's God's will". She thought, "Well, no, it just depends, you know," and I'm like, "Well, there are certain things that we should be saying if it's God's will". And here he says, "For that you ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, or do this, or do that," okay?
Sometimes we kind of bother those two things up. I know the will of God is the Word of God for my life but I also wanna be a barefooted priest so that I am walking in the will of God in every situation in my life. I can be doing something good but I'm wondering if that's God's will for me to do that. Or I can be going somewhere. There's nothing wrong with it but I'm, like, "I really want God's will, I want God to begin to lead". That's what it means to totally turn your will over to God. Now look at Isaiah. Isaiah chapter 1 and verse 19. Isaiah 1 and 19. This comes from the old covenant but I can pull some stuff out of here. He says, "If you be willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land". I just believe that your willingness is gonna put you in a position or an advantage in your life. Your willingness to turn your will over to God and let God be the pilot over your life, I believe it's gonna open up some amazing things for you.