The Toggle Switch

(Being Transformed into His Image)

It came to me one day that we have a toggle switch in our mind that determines how we view and appraise the world around us, how we relate to others and most importantly – how we relate to God. If we toggle it down our working mindset will be natural (carnal – fleshly). If we toggle it up, it will be Spiritual. How this switch is set – whether up or down – has a decided effect on how we live out our Christianity. Unfortunately for all of us the initial default position is down (natural) and for too many of us that never changes! We experience moments when the switch is up (Spiritual) and we see clearly for a time but eventually the switch defaults back to the down position. I am speaking of believers here as the unbeliever’s toggle switch is locked in the down position.

Paul was pointing this out when he wrote of the unbeliever: 

“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;” (Eph 4:17-18 NASB)

Of the believer, Paul wrote:

“And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual men, but as to men of flesh, as to infants in Christ. I gave you milk to drink, not solid food; for you were not yet able to receive it. Indeed, even now you are not yet able, for you are still fleshly. For since there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not fleshly, and are you not walking like mere men?” (1Co 3:1-3 NASB)

He wrote too about the importance of keeping the switch up:

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:2 NASB)”

The natural mind can be traced back to the Garden of Eden when mankind asserted himself and took it upon himself to reason according to his own independent knowledge of good and evil. We often think that the choice for Adam and Eve was that of good or evil. If they obeyed God that would be good – if they disobeyed that would be evil! But that was not the real choice that confronted them. The choice was between living in relationship to God or living independent of Him. Living according to the knowledge of good and evil was the consequence of the choice to live “as god” in independence! Ironically, ever since then man has been frantically trying to deal with the fallout of that fateful choice – trying to fix a world founded on independent reasoning by reasoning independently!

Living according to “our” understanding of good and evil is the underlying basis of all that we think apart from God. It is foundational. Whatever we receive in thought or sensory impression is constantly being sifted through and fitted to our filter of understanding. This process starts from day one and our filter is constantly adjusted as we experience life. As we mature, this filter becomes more and more set until we are pretty much settled into our personal fixed view of the world, of others and of God.

It does not take much by the way of observation to realize that there is great variety in the filters among the people around us. Some people seem to be extremely well adjusted to living in this world while many others just do not fit in from the socially awkward all the way to the hardened criminals. Yet even within this diversity there is one common element that we are generally do not acknowledge. That common element is that we are all born enslaved to sin.

Being enslaved to sin has the effect of tainting the good we try to attain to as unbelievers with the impurity of self-interest. While much of the good that mankind accomplishes without God is welcomed, the fact remains that for the doer of the good there is no righteousness before God because of the self-interest of the doer. His “righteousness is as filthy rags” (cf. Isa 64:6).

“So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;” (Eph 4:17-18 NASB)

It might be said then that all our judgements and perceptions made with the toggle switch in the down position are made in the dark. That is, they are made in complete ignorance of the truth which cannot be seen. Unfortunately much that is taught and believed within Christianity originates in a “natural” understanding of the things of the Spirit.

The antidote to darkness is light and the more time we spend with the toggle switch up (Light), the more quickly we will recognize when the switch has slipped into the down position. As long as we walk in this world the rulers, the powers, the world forces of this darkness and the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places (cf. Eph 6:12) will continue to try to turn off the light in the children of Light (cf. Eph 5:8).

What is this light? Well it is not enlightenment in the sense of being able to think and reason according to Christian precepts. No, for us the light is a Person! It is seeing all things through the person of Jesus Christ.

“Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” (Joh 8:12 NASB)

Paul wrote to the Ephesians:

“…that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom
and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.” (Eph 1:17 NASB)

And:

“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.” (1Co 2:12-14 NASB)

So we can see that “being transformed by the renewing of the mind” is the same as beholding of the Person of Jesus Christ!

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2Co 3:18 NASB) 

 

About Fred Jeavons

God is my Father and I am His son!
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