“For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19) My mind is not my own, if you have been born-again, then you understand not only that verse, but that short statement as well, our minds are not our own. We have been invaded by an alien influence, by something that is not us, something that is attempting to change us into what we are not.
Our thoughts are becoming foreign to us, those who have experienced bouts of insanity, those that have attempted suicide understand what it means to give into those thoughts, most others just pass them off as irrational, as not worthy of contemplation, and sadly this is how many who call Christ Lord interpret what we will call here in this short letter the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
God did not send a messenger called by this name, He is the Holy Spirit, and it is the Sovereign Lord of all creation that has invaded our temple. He is attempting to make it His own. There are only two options when He enters into our soul, submission or rebellion, and the latter is the normal operandi. This can be blamed on the old nature in us in part, but then we would be saying that we have no control over that part of us either, that in a sense we are doing what we do in sin because it is normal to sin, and thereby not our fault.
One does not get to negate free will in our choices, we should always be able to give a reason for why we do what we do. “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” (1 Cor. 9:27) What the Lord does when He enters into us is the beginning of Romans 12:2, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” This is the point where our minds stop being our own, this is where we will either rebel or submit to that alien force that was mentioned.
A person has to want to be Christlike to become Christlike, and the place that starts is in our minds. This is much more than just starting to love everyone all the time, this is the entirety of the character of Jesus Christ, love and hate, compassion and rebuking, reproving and forgiving, all of what it means to be as the Son of God is. This requires us to recognize who we are now and who we are to be. “Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God.” (Prov. 2:5)
We are given commandments to follow. “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15), but these can be done without even knowing Christ as Lord, they are actions that can be performed without the Holy Spirit, and many are not only deceived in this way, but they are deceiving themselves. “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.” (Matt. 15:8) “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” (Matt. 7:22)
The Lord looks on the heart of man, and if He does not see Himself there, then that person is not saved.
Those who have been invaded by this alien force, by the Holy Spirit of God, understand full well the battle, we rebel and submit at the same time, we want to keep our throne for ourselves, we want to submit and ask the Lord to take control, it is a continuous struggle. We are asked to submit of our own free will, we are challenged, but even the Almighty will not conquer us against our will, we have to want to be like the Lord Jesus. “For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Romans 14:11)
You have the choice to do that willingly today, so that on the day that all do so, you will bend your knee in joy and thanksgiving. The choice to submit or rebel will always be there, the wise man will contemplate and study the word Sovereign, and understand what the wise decision is, and in love and praise will willingly make that decision to submit freely, of his own free will.