Our trajectory of thinking must be higher than the expectation of defeat because joy is a promise for the believer. To transform our thinking from defeat into joy, we must not be conformed to the patterns of this world, which celebrates the I. Like a caterpillar transforming into a butterfly we must go through the struggle of the metamorphosis to be transformed into what God desires us to be. When we go through a spiritual metamorphosis nothing can cause us to go back to the person we used to be. To become who God calls us to be we must transform by a renewal of our minds. We must be renovated by the works of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. The Holy Spirit will begin the renewal process but we must continually cooperate and allow God to transform us by illuminating and influencing our minds.
Kevin Wallace: I want to take you to Romans Chapter 12 today and 2 Corinthians Chapter 3. Romans 12 and 2 Corinthians 3. I want to continue the series Ancestry.God. Last week I preached part one of the sermon, It's the Thought that Counts. Today I want to finish that sermon and preach part two of, It Is the Thought that Counts. I talked about toxic thinking last week. Today I want to talk about transformational thinking.
Kevin Wallace: Last week, we talked about toxic thoughts, today we want to talk about transformational thoughts. How do we think transformationally? How do we have the kind of mind and thinking that produces transformation? Romans 12:1 and 2 Corinthians Chapter 3. Would you please, we're going to the Word. Would you please look at your neighbor and tell your neighbor, "Neighbor, I have no clue what it is about that outfit," but tell them, "You look 13 pounds lighter today than you did last Sunday." Come on and bless one another with those lying words, bless one another. You look wonderful. Pardon me, Revelation, Romans Chapter 12. I [inaudible 00:01:39] over there in Revelation. Verse one, when you got to say, amen ...
Kevin Wallace: Let's read this together, can we? I beseech you therefore brothers by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living ... Come on, open your mouth and read with me, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Be transformed by the ... No, no, no, go back for me please, I'm sorry. Transformed by, transformed by the renewing of ... You can't get transformed until you have a renewed mind.
Kevin Wallace: Now I want you to go to 2 Corinthians Chapter 3 please, look at verse 17. 2 Corinthians 3:17, now the Lord is the Spirit, read with me, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. Next verse, but we all with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror, the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from ...
Kevin Wallace: To ...
Kevin Wallace: Just as by the Spirit of the Lord. How many will agree with this statement, transformation is a big deal in the kingdom of God? Today I want to talk about living a life of transformation, living a transformed life, and I want to talk about how. I want us to zero in on Romans 12. It's a very familiar passage of scripture. I recognize that we've heard this scripture so many times in our church attendance, but how many know we cannot just approach famous scriptures with casual approaches? We got to come to the Word of God and say, God I've heard it before, but speak to me again. How many want the Word to speak to you today?
Kevin Wallace: Lord, open our hearts, open our eyes, open my ears, teach me to listen to your word today. Speak to us all Holy Spirit. We thank you for what you're going to do in this house, in Jesus name, and everybody said Amen.
Kevin Wallace: You may be seated in the presence of the Lord. The Book of Romans is Paul's masterpiece. The first 11 chapters of the book of Romans is an indictment on the depravity and the sinfulness of the world. If you look at Romans 1 through 11, Paul takes the time and the tedious effort of prosecuting the entire world, both Jew and Gentile alike, reminding us that we are all sinfully disconnected and depraved. Because we were born into sin, we needed the grace of God. We could not work our way into a posture of righteousness. We could not work our way into a posture of approving God.
Kevin Wallace: But because of Jesus Christ, where sin does abound, grace does much more about now, that the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set us free from the law of sin and death. There is a greater work happening in us who believe in Jesus, there was a greater work happening in us by the power of the Holy Spirit, than the work that is happening in those who do not believe Jesus. If you believe in Jesus, the spirit is at work in your life and mine, and those who are not trusting Jesus as Lord, Paul would say that they are walking according to their own wisdom. They are living according to their own knowledge. And this knowledge, this self-inflated opinion of ourselves leads us into a path of destruction, it leads us into a path of death. But because of Jesus, the spiral of death that all of us have at one time tasted has come to an end and in Christ, we are new creations and there is a new kind of living going on inside the heart of the child of God.
Kevin Wallace: In the first 11 chapters of Romans, Paul has successfully prosecuted humanity and shown them that they need the Lord. He has revealed to them that they need the mercy of God. It is grace that gives you and I what we don't deserve. It is mercy that kept us from receiving what we do deserve. I'll say it again. Grace gave me what I didn't deserve, mercy kept me from what I did deserve. I was on my way to hell, I was dying in my sin. Now, you all look at me like you feel sorry for me, but so were you and we were all going to hell together.
Kevin Wallace: Red, yellow, black and white, rich and poor, young and old, we were all hell bound until we came to an understanding, that a man named Jesus took our place on the cross, died so that I didn't have to, died so that my old man could die with him, died until sin was atoned for, died until the law was swallowed up by grace, died until hell and heaven rejoices and because he died and rose again, when now walk in the newness of life. Glory to God.
Kevin Wallace: But when we cross over into the 12th Chapter of the book of Romans, I've told you this before, the 12th Chapter of the book of Romans begins to lay out for us a description of what Christian living in the kingdom should look like. And because he has prosecuted the world and revealed to us the need for the mercy of God, Paul comes to the 12th Chapter of the book of Romans and in the first verse he says, "I beseech you brothers, therefore ..." Bishop [Kelly 00:08:26] used to teach us. He always said, "Whenever you see the word therefore, you got to find what therefore is therefore."
Kevin Wallace: He says, "I've beseech you by these mercies. I told you, you were on your way to hell, I told you the whole world stands condemned. I told you, you needed mercy and now in light of the mercy I have told you you need, I want you to come to God and I want you to give your life and your body as a sacrifice, a living sacrifice." A living second, have you ever thought of this dichotomy? It's an oxymoron, it doesn't make sense. How can you have a living sacrifice? A sacrifice means something died, living means it is alive. How can you be alive yet dying?
Kevin Wallace: See, this is the problem that we have in church, we want everyone to experience life, but you can't have it until you first experience death. What is supposed to die? The old me died and the new me came to life. I cannot taste the new life in Christ until the old me is gone. Jesus didn't come just so that he could sit with me in my old man, he came to kill my old man. You preach this and people start saying crazy theological things like, "Oh, you're talking about sinless perfection."
Kevin Wallace: Now, no I'm not talking about sinless perfection. The theologians would tell us that sin may remain, but it does not reign. In other words, it's not that Christians don't have the ability to fall into sin, it's that they don't want to fall into sin and when we do fall into sin, we say, this is not what I'm created for and now I'm going to get up out of this cesspool of sin and walk in the grace of God. Grace is not just God forgiving me for what I've done, grace is empowering me not to be a victim or a slave to it any longer.
Kevin Wallace: Titus says that the grace of God has appeared to all men, teaching us how to deny ungodliness, and worldly lust, and to walk in the power of God. So, Romans Chapter 12 is the beginning of Paul teaching us practically how to live out who we are spiritually. In Romans 12:1-2, there are three things I need you to see. Paul tells us what not to do, he tells us what to do, and he tells us how to do it. I'm going to give you those three things and I'm going to be done. Today we're talking about thinking, everyone say thinking.
Kevin Wallace: Look at your neighbor and say, neighbor ...
Congregation: Neighbor ...
Kevin Wallace: It is the thought ...
Congregation: It is the thought ...
Kevin Wallace: That counts.
Congregation: That counts.
Kevin Wallace: Remember, I remind you what Proverbs said, Proverbs said as a man or woman thinks in their heart, so they are. Now, there are people who would say that it's not scriptural, that is out of context, read your Bible. You may not like it to be that clear, but it is very clear that a man behaves in a way that his heart dictates. If you follow a man's behavior and you want to know why he has that kind of behavior you do not start with the behavior, you go back to his thought life.
Kevin Wallace: Before you can ever walk into a Walmart and kill people in hate, you didn't just pick up a gun one morning and start shooting people, you are demon possessed and your mind was crazy before you ever did that kind of mess. Say amen church. You want to understand and discern a person's behavior, you have to understand their thought life. If you're miserable, down, depressed all the time, no joy all the time, defeated all the time, that is not, hear me please, the entitled inheritance of the children of God. I am not trying to suggest you will not have bad days.
Kevin Wallace: Can I find a witness, any born again people in here who've had some bad days recently? Okay, so we all know that Christians have bad days. We all know Christians go through some stuff. But what I'm trying to suggest to you is, if that is the earmark of your life, then I need to make sure your trajectory of thinking is higher than the anticipation and expectation of always being in defeat because you are not just going to taste joy when you get to heaven, there is joy for the believer in the nasty now. What's wrong with people who have joy? Why are you upset with people who have joy? Joy is a promise for the believer.
Kevin Wallace: One third of the kingdom is joy. The kingdom of God is not meet and drink, but righteousness, peace, joy in the Holy Ghost. "Well, praise God, that ain't my story." Find the Holy Ghost, he'll change your story. Get filled with the Spirit of God, you'll have some joy. Stop listening to all this other garbage and start listening to God. Stop following all these other crazy people and start following God. If you follow God, he'll lead you beside still waters. If you follow God, he'll lead in the green pastures. Joy is not just something you want, joy is something you have, it's a promise that belongs to the people of God. Say amen church.
Kevin Wallace: He says to us in Romans Chapter 12, "Present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is reasonable service." Here we go, three things, what not to do, do not be conformed. The first thing we have to do before we find out what to do and how to do it regarding I'm thinking, the first thing we have to do is find out what not to do. Briefly, I'm not going to stay here long but briefly, let me tell you this something. This is huge, this is a huge something, do not let the world conform you into its pattern.
Kevin Wallace: Now, I find it necessary to exegete and extrapolate this text and to present it to you in humility, because we do live in a day where it seems like the world has an intent of shaping us and culture has a way of molding us into the kind of believer that doesn't make a difference. There is nothing more dangerous to a lost world, than a Christian who is trying to be as much like the world as the world is, and refusing to swim in a direction different than the poacher is pulling us into. Help me teach today Jesus, because what we're ...
Kevin Wallace: I'm concerned sometimes. As I observe the body of Christ, I get concerned that we are more interested in fitting in, than we are in representing the kingdom from which we were born. The Kingdom of God is a very different Kingdom than the kingdom of this world. The kingdom of this world is led and driven by the god of this world that is rebellious, it is unbelieving, it is full of lust, it is full of pride, it is full of selfishness and if you and I are not careful, we will find ourselves being pushed into a mold and conformed into an image that is different than the God from which we were born.
Kevin Wallace: The world will tell you and I that we have to lie to become something great. We have to lust, we have to market ourself and prefer ourself and cheat. The word is really about the bottom line, and the bottom line of the world system is one letter, I. That's what the world is about. The world is all about I. How do I have a better life? How do I get happier? How can I have more? How can I do something successful? It's all about I. There is a disease in this world, and the disease is a selfish, narcissistic, egocentric disease that is all about, how do I ...
Kevin Wallace: I was thinking of this. I actually wrote some things on this this past week. There is a reason why systemically and structurally even in the church in America, that we are seeing decline in so called mainline denominations. It's this reason, and I'm not here to pick on denominations, I'm here to tell you that one reason they're in decline is because the people leading them are more interested in preserving their self than they are advancing the kingdom. I, If I make choices that don't make me important, then I may jeopardize my future and I can't afford, I can't afford to allow other people to have a part because if they find out that others are anointed and that I am not the sum total of all, then I may not have a future when in reality, the only future you and I have is the future we have in Christ and every other pursuit leads us to a dead end.
Kevin Wallace: We need to be like Paul and say, I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. If you want to find a way to life, then you got to go by the way of the cross. That is not what the world teaches. We do all that we can to stay alive. We do all we can. We'll put ourselves on life support, prop up the flesh as long as we can. I've been in churches and preached, and Chris will tell you this, I walked in, it felt like a funeral. The only problem is, they wouldn't bury anything. They wouldn't bury ... If they bury it, God would actually raise it up and breathe on it fresh life, but they won't bury it. They keep trying to sustain what God has moved on from.
Kevin Wallace: This is why there's a movement going on in the earth and spiritual fathers. God's sick and tired and people who have a dream that can be accomplished in their lifetime, and doesn't need the next generation to accomplish it. If I'm dreaming something that I can do in my own strength, it didn't come from God. God would never give me a vision from heaven that I could finish in my lifetime. It must be released into the hands of faithful men and women so that when I'm gone from this ... Am I helping anybody in here? I hope you understand dad, that what God is trying to do in your family is bigger than just you. He actually wants to bless your house in such a way that when you are dead and gone, your children are still living and your grandchildren are still living in the grace, and the power and the blessing of the Lord.
Kevin Wallace: The world promotes I. There seems to be no shortage of people who are infatuated with themselves. The marketing director in me wants to celebrate you, the prophet in me wants to rebuke you. God cannot promote or open doors for people who stay up at night and wake up early trying to help I survive. The world wants to push me and you into a mold, and a form, and a pattern of selfishness. This is why men in this room today need to hear me. Working 90 hours a week. You may at first say, "Pastor, they should be applauded." For what? I'm thankful for working hard, that's not what I'm talking about. We went way beyond working hard. It became all about more and we lost what matters most.
Kevin Wallace: I was reading some things this week that disturbed me greatly. We in the church and in the world, God knows in the world, when tragedy happens like what happened last weekend and we have guns going off and killing innocent people, we immediately start to blame something. But it couldn't be that most of our children are raised in parents with no father, raised in homes with no father, and it couldn't be ... I'm going to make so many enemies this morning. I don't even really give a rip anymore.
Kevin Wallace: I applaud people who work hard. I'm not talking about people who have a strong work ethic. There is something gravely wrong when we are so driven for more, that the things that matter most often go undealt with and unaddressed in our life. In the need to live in a bigger house and drive a fancier car, we haven't prayed or read our Bibles, we haven't worshiped, we're stressed to the max because we have gone to credit card companies and given them 22% interest and complained when a pastor asked you to pay your tithes. Well, let's pack everything up pastor. If it's going to be that kind of Sunday, we're out of here.
Kevin Wallace: We won't cuss, but we run down to the movie show and pay somebody to cuss for us. I'm telling you there's something wrong when we are following a system that leads to death, takes us further away from God. We've got more stuff and less peace, because we are focused on something the world has told us was success. Success is not about what you drive and where you live. Success for me is that my sons and daughters are sitting on the front row of this church and love Jesus. Success is that I've been married to one woman for 20 years.
Kevin Wallace: Are you saying you've never thought about divorce? No, I've thought about murder but never divorce. Glory to God. I'm just kidding baby. We've got to stop listening to what this world says we ought to be. My marching orders do not come from New York City, they don't come from Beverly Hills. My identity is not on being famous according to this world that I may know him in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his Son. God, I feel like preaching. Don't be conformed to it.
Kevin Wallace: The whole commercial industry is about tempting you to get something. They know how to do it, show you one picture. That one picture is shown to you so that your mind starts thinking, "I've got to have that." Don't be conformed to it. I refuse to pastor in a way that follows, our church just follows a bunch of fads. I'm not talking about not changing. I believe that we have to make adjustments in our methodology. The method may always change but you hear me Jack, the message will never change.
Kevin Wallace: The problem that we're running into in today's world is that we don't get it when we want it and how we want it and the crowd doesn't necessarily like truth, so we won't tell the truth in order to occupy the building with a bigger crowd. Please hear me, Jesus never worried about how many people followed him. He opened up his mouth and said, "Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no part of me," and in John Chapter Six after he preached that sermon, many people left his church. Say amen.
Kevin Wallace: We're conforming, and we're not supposed to. I want you to know, I feel like I need to encourage some families. I want you to know, if you feel like a failure because your kids don't have the coolest shoes, and the coolest clothes, and the coolest toys and technologies, I want you to know right now, you are not a failure ma'am, you are not a failure sir, because your kids don't have it like everybody else's have it. Your kids are in the house of the Lord, your family loves God, you love Jesus. Because of that this world might never know you, but heaven cannot ignore you. You have touched the heart of God, don't you be conformed to this world. My god, I feel him in here.
Kevin Wallace: Oh glory, don't be conformed. Don't spend your whole life chasing something they told you was the American dream but is a nightmare. You might get your hands on it but if you're not careful, it will get you. Do not be conformed, Don't let them push you into their mold. You know what? You're weird and God likes it. Next time somebody says, "You know, you're just a little different." "You know, you can't join our club, you're a little too spiritual." Thank you baby, I wasn't trying to be in your club anyway. I got my own, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. I got my own club, angel army surrounding me everywhere I go. You may not let me me in, but you sure can't keep me out. God is on my side. If God be for me, who can be against me? Don't be conformed.
Kevin Wallace: I struggle with what I'm getting ready to say because they will take this and put some little clip out and make this not in context of my whole sermon. But, we need to make sure the world isn't conforming us, and that we are not conforming to it in outward ways. Now, when I was growing up, some of you all don't know this, but I was raised in a very small holiness church, holiness. We went to the beach in blue jeans. Somebody said, "You were holy," No, I wasn't holy, I was hot and ugly. Had nothing to do with holiness. This is a true story. I was raised in a holiness church.
Kevin Wallace: I remember everything about my identity and holiness was all about outwardly. There were many people and some of them are in this room who got hurt in legalism. We will never be a legalistic church, and legalistic people last three weeks here. We got it all timed out, we know how long you stay. Legalistic people do not last here because you will come in on any given Sunday and see somebody who looks like they just left a bar. They'll sit right down beside you on Sunday and you and your little sanctified holiness himself cannot handle the fact that she was in a bar two nights ago, but sitting in church on Sunday morning.
Kevin Wallace: No, no, no, I don't need no help. I'm going to fix this real quick. I want you to understand that she is not yet or he is not yet what he's going to be, but we want this to be the kind of house where they can become. You got to be able to become. In fact, we need to have a place safe enough for people to change. Because the reality is, church has become an unsafe place for people looking for change because before the Holy Ghost ever gets down and gets that curse out of them, we already judged them when they walked through the door. You and sister Yaya and deacon Flipflop been talking about it for the last 45 minutes, "Oh, they look so worldly." They just got saved.
Kevin Wallace: Good preaching Wallace. Stand up. See this? He been with me 14 years. 12, something like that. The first Sunday he walked into church, he smelled like Marlboro. Some of you all are like, "Well, what's wrong with that?" What's wrong with that? He smelled like a bag of Marlboro, had on cutoff blue jeans shorts. Had a touchdown Jesus tattoo on his left leg. He walked up to me and goes, "Yo yo," I was like, "Yo." He goes, "Yo, my name is Chris." I was like, "Yo, my name is Pastor Kevin." I said, "You know what, come to my mentorship, about 15 young guys. Come to my mentorship, I'm going to spend some time and just pour into your life."
Kevin Wallace: [Tobin 00:32:24] had short hair back then. Stand up Tobin, stand up Tobin. He didn't look like Jesus back then. Shaved face, short hair, and then something happened, and we love whatever happened. Don't we love Tobin? I love Tobin. Cutoff blue jeans, tattooed up, smelled like Marlboro and I said, "Come be in my mentorship." 12 years later, he handles everything and talks to leaders all over the world. And you say, "Pastor, you know Pastor, did you just know that?" No, I didn't know this. I just knew one thing, he's worth the investment and if I am not willing to invest in who he could be, I'm not qualified to judge who he used to be. Come on in here.
Kevin Wallace: [inaudible 00:33:54] move on because this point one, Jesus, I got to go. Don't be conformed to this world, and we will not be a church that makes it hard for people to change because a lot of people need grace. I'll make you a promise and I'm telling you right now, I'll never skirt around it. I'll call sin, sin, we'll preach holiness. I preach all that but I'm going to tell you right now, if all you can do is condemn people and preach them into hell and never give them a way out through the grace of God, save your breath and save us some headache, sit down and let somebody full of the grace of God preach. Don't conform.
Kevin Wallace: Then the next thing he tells us is what to do. Say, don't conform.
Congregation: Don't conform.
Kevin Wallace: The next thing he tells us what to do. He said, "But being transformed." Now, don't be forced into the mold of this world but the next thing he tells is don't be, is to be rather, to be transformed. Everybody say transformed.
Kevin Wallace: Transformed in Greek is [Greek 00:35:09]. It's where we get our metamorphosis. How many of us studied science? How many ever heard of the caterpillar? You know, nobody wants to raise pet caterpillars. Come on, be real. You don't walk outside and see a caterpillar be like, "Oh, that's a beautiful caterpillar." That's the nastiest thing you've ever seen in your life. Crawling, nasty, slimy, furry, something. But hang out with the caterpillar a while. The caterpillar doesn't stay a crawling caterpillar, it has a destiny.
Kevin Wallace: You'd better be careful who you let into your caterpillar seasons of life because people who are with you in your caterpillar season, they see the lowest, weakest, least parts of your life. The caterpillar, see everybody in here has caterpillar seasons. Well, I pray in the Spirit. I do to, but I go through them. Everybody in here, no matter how saved and sanctified you are, you go through seasons of feeling like a slow ground bound. It takes so much time for caterpillar to get around. All 100 legs just trying to get somewhere, crawling on the ground. Don't step on me, just keep on crawling.
Kevin Wallace: But he doesn't stay a caterpillar, he goes through a process. Jesus, oh I got to hurry, but he goes through a process called metamorphosis. What happens with this caterpillar is, he wraps himself and encloses himself in something that looks dark on the him sad. It looks like there's no hope for tomorrow, it looks like he's dead. He actually goes into a state of, it's dormancy. Nothing is moving, nothing is living, nothing is happening. It doesn't look like to the natural eye anything good is coming out of this caterpillar who is now wrapped in this cocoon, but something is happening. He is transforming.
Kevin Wallace: Underneath the surface in an unseen place, something is happening in the life of the caterpillar. It is a change. Touch somebody and tell them change, change. I want to make sure you understand today that the Christian life is not always, not always one of flying and soaring. There are seasons when we feel like we're less fruitful, we're less effective, we're less successful. It feels like we're moving gears, but they're rubbing without oil. It's like grinding, it's hard, it's difficult. No doors are opening, nothing is clicking, there's no efficiency. Everything just feels like confusion and chaos, and what in the world am I doing and where am I going, and it's anything happening?
Kevin Wallace: I feel dead on the inside, and the enemy is the one that comes to you while you're in the cocoon of metamorphosis and he whispers into the cocoon, "Where's your life now? What are you doing with your life now? What doors are opening now? I told you that God was through. I told you it was over. I told you you'll never be anything. I told you you'll never go anywhere." The whole time you're hearing that mess, you can't do nothing about it. You're just sitting in the cocoon, and you're just sitting there as a caterpillar. It's dark and you can't see light, you don't know where you're hanging from and you don't know what's happening.
Kevin Wallace: But all of a sudden, in this metamorphosis, something on the inside of you, something on the ... It isn't even really you, it's that seed of life down on the inside of you. It starts moving, and flexing, and expanding and all of a sudden the cocoon that was an incubator of the thing that is next in your life starts breaking like a glass ceiling and the person that thought it was over, and the person that thought it was done, and the person that thought you were empty, finds out uh-oh ... Where is the organ player at today?
Kevin Wallace: I feel like getting happy for a few minutes right here because somebody is getting ready to break out of something you've been stuck in. Somebody is feeling some flexing. Somebody is feeling an expansion. I'm moving my tent pegs. This cocoon can't handle me anymore. I've got to come out of this. Touch somebody and tell them, "Let me out. Let me out. Let me out. I've been in this cocoon long enough. I've been hemmed up long enough. I've been locked up long enough. I've felt dead on the inside long enough. I feel the Holy Ghost is getting ready to bring something out of me that the devil didn't even know was down in me." Slap three people and tel them, "Let me out. I'm transforming?"
Kevin Wallace: Have you ever seen Transformers? It looks like a truck, it runs like a truck, it sounds like a truck, but it isn't truck. It is a truck, but it's more than a truck. It was a caterpillar, but it's more than a caterpillar. It was a struggling Christian, but it's more than a struggling Christian. It was somebody who was struggling with drugs and struggling with alcohol and struggling but lust, but they're more than just what they struggled with. There is a change going on on the inside of their life.
Kevin Wallace: I came to preach to somebody who feels like you're in a struggle. The struggle is an indication that you will never voluntarily surrender to the evil trying to take over your life. The struggle is a reminder there's somebody on the inside of you that is fighting back against the conforming to this world. Slap your neighbor and tell them, "Neighbor, don't run from the struggle." You ever heard somebody say, "I'm struggling with sin." You know what I tell them when they tell me that? Struggle on. Well, they aren't really saved. I heard somebody tell me that this last week, "They aren't really saved if they struggle." No, you aren't saved when you stop struggling.
Kevin Wallace: Whenever you're just like, "You know what, I want to sin," you put that devil under your foot. You don't want to sin if you've got the seed of righteousness down on the inside of you. John said that he who has this seed will never habitually commit sin. When you really get born again, you don't want to say. Yes I do, but I struggle. This cocoon breaks open and what was a caterpillar, suddenly no longer has little feet. Now, the feet have turned the wings. Yes, yes. We put stuff down in our yard elder to keep the caterpillars out. One year I came out, my whole front yard got brown in two days. I said, "The devil is a liar." I done been out here working with cuticle scissors on this yard. I mean, trimmed it up, it looks good, it got me looking good, the grass look good. I came out two days later, brown.
Kevin Wallace: My lawn mower man came by and said, "You got army caterpillars in your grass." I said, "I got what?" He said, "These little worms. They get up under the grass and they destroy the root." I said, "Oh, you better tell them. You better tell them, call their mama, call all of them, that get ready to die." Yes, I said, "How can I kill them? Do I burn the grass?" "No, no burn the grass." You know me, I'm always about burning something. "Don't burn the grass. Get some of this stuff called Sevin, sprinkle it on the yard and in a day they'll be dead." I tell you, I sprinkled this mess on my grass, in one day them jokers were crawling out of the grass dying on the sidewalk and I said, "Look what the Lord has done." My grass turned green immediately.
Kevin Wallace: Why? What are you saying? We keep caterpillars out, but I also found out that gardeners put things in gardens to attract butterflies in. Why? Because there's something beautiful about a butterfly. There's something magical about a butterfly. There's something great about seeing this beautiful ... Not one is this ... There aren't two that are the same. They all have different colors. They all look different and they all have their own way but when they come out of that cocoon, nothing can ever make them a caterpillar again. Because when you change and you go through that metamorphosis, I'm telling you God wants to do something in you so deep that you don't ever go back to who you used to be. Shout if you believe it.
Kevin Wallace: Last thought, say transform. Be not conformed, but be transformed, how? How do we go through transformation and become what God has called us to be? How do I do that? By renewing the mind. The word renew is only located in one other place in the entire scripture, in the Greek, Titus 3:5. Chad, can you put that verse up on the screen? Titus 3:5. Go back to four, you got it right, there's context, but when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, look at verse five, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, watch, through the washing of regeneration, renewing of the Holy Ghost.
Kevin Wallace: The word renewing there is the same word found in Romans 12:2, when the Bible said renew your mind and here Paul says in the book of Titus, that we were saved by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost. In Titus Three and in Romans 12, the word renewing is about renovation. In Titus Three, it is about the work of the Holy Spirit in your heart. In Romans 12, it's used in a way where we are complimentarily working with God, so that he can bring us into a place of transformation.
Kevin Wallace: The point is this, that the Holy Spirit will start the renewal process but in order for you and I to become who God calls us to be, we have to continually cooperate with the Holy Spirit and allow the transformation into the person we are called to be to happen by renewing our minds. I submit to you that renewing your mind is something that you and the Holy Spirit have got to be invested in. The Holy Spirit will work to renew and renovate this mind of ours, but how many know we got to give him something to work with?
Kevin Wallace: The mind can be influenced and shaped by what you feed it and in order for us to experience transformation, our thought life has got to be compatible with the work of the Spirit. This isn't just self help, go think better thoughts and we'll all be happier. This is a double edged sword of revelation. First of all please hear me the, Spirit of God is working right now for you and I have a mind that is renewed and renovated, and completely opened to the Holy Spirit's work in our hearts. And secondly, we must be the kind of people that as the Spirit is working on our mind, we allow him to have liberty and keep ourself in a place of freedom so as not to impede the work of the Spirit. The Spirit's trying to renew, the Spirit's trying to renovate, the Spirit's trying to spruce that mind up, get it better, make it more efficient, make it think better and here we are filling it with garbage.
Kevin Wallace: It's hard to keep a mind renewed when you feed on garbage. This isn't about, please hear me, this isn't about reading the Bible, just reading the Bible. This isn't about reading more books. [inaudible 00:49:24], I'm shifting. Do you know there are ... Don't leave. When I say that, that is not an invitation to leave please. I'm not going to say that from now on. Next time, I'm going to crash landed, be like, "Wow! Stand, please stand, everyone's there." I shouldn't do this.
Kevin Wallace: You and I have got time to stand something, knowledge alone doesn't produce transformation. In fact, there is a scripture that said knowledge puffs up. I know people that read a lot and are actually in worse shape than people who don't because people who believe they're simply reading and gaining truth and knowledge, they put more faith in that than they do the Spirit of God that actually brings about the transformation. You can know the Bible but not allow it to change you. Knowledge puffs up, don't get proud. Don't get into a place where simply knowing something is all you need. You need to do more than know it, you need to let the Holy Spirit bring illumination and revelation to it.
Kevin Wallace: Renewing of the mind is a spiritual thing. It can only happen by the Holy Spirit. When Paul prays in Ephesians Chapter Three, "I pray that the eyes of their understanding be enlightened, that they may know what is the hope of their calling in Christ Jesus." What he is saying is, I can teach you truth, I can show you truth, I can give you my truth, but it is the Holy Spirit that makes this dead heart and this alienated mind come to life. Some people in this room are scared to death of God the Holy Spirit like he's some spooky being. He's your best friend.
Kevin Wallace: Do I need the Holy Ghost to go to heaven? I need the Holy Ghost to go to the gas station. Renewing of the mind. You are made for more than being a product of a crazy world that tries to conform you to the image of it. That struggling in you, that push back in you, that struggle that fight, say, I can't stay in this cocoon. I can stay as a caterpillar. I'm not called just to crawl, I'm called to soar. I'm not called just to wake up at seven every morning and dress the kids and run off and work for somebody else. Do it Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, have a day off Saturday and then get myself together and try to go to church on Sunday, do that for 40 years and call it the kingdom life.
Kevin Wallace: What's wrong with us? I'll tell you what's wrong with us, it's the world. It's pushing us into its system. We start thinking like slaves, we start thinking like we'll never really walk in freedom. I want to blow your mind. I think God wants every one of us to live with wisdom, be debt free. Some of you all can't even receive that. So far over your head, but I dare you to start praying it. God, make me and my family debt free. God, make me and my family own things, own property. God, open up doors for us to ... Come on somebody, this system I'm telling you, it's got us bringing up the rear when we're supposed to be out leading the kingdom and advancing it in the earth.
Kevin Wallace: I'm going to tell you story and I'm done. I heard a story recently of a young girl, four years old. This is actually a true story, and I'm telling you it's true because as I tell it, you will think it's unbelievable. She was four years old playing in her yard with pea pods in Colombia. While she's standing in Colombia in her yard playing with pea pods, suddenly a truck with young kids trapped in the back of it pulls up into her front yard and they abduct the four year old girl. They put a bag over her head, they throw her in the back of a truck. She's abducted at four years old from her front yard.
Kevin Wallace: The next thing she remembers, she is in a deep jungle in Colombia alone. She's turning around looking in this jungle, she's terrified and she wants her mother. The sun begins to set on her on that first night in a jungle. She doesn't know where to go and what to do. She finds a tree and lays under the tree, falls to sleep, wakes up the next morning and is surrounded by monkeys. The monkeys walk up to her, they poke her cheeks, show her their teeth. She's terrified, surrounded by monkeys she's terrified.
Kevin Wallace: The story of her memoir goes like this. She begins to smile and try to talk to the monkeys and although they can't talk to one another, she begins to live with this colony of monkeys. She recalls having to as they found food, eat it quickly because if you don't eat the food quickly with the monkeys, they will steal it from you. In fact, one chapter of the book is dedicated to the time she finds these little what she thought were pieces of fruit in this jungle. They were covered in a jelly like substance and she filled herself up only to get very sick.
Kevin Wallace: She remembered being very sick and one of the older monkeys in the colony came to her and gave her, I know this sounds crazy. Read the memoir, in just a moment I'll tell you what it's called. He gives her a drink to drink, she drinks it, goes to sleep, wakes up and feels much better. The scientists who studied her life determined that she lived with a colony of monkeys for five years in a deep, dark jungle as a four year old child. She actually learned to run like the monkeys. She learned to get food like the monkeys. She learned how to sneak things and take things and live in the trees with the monkeys.
Kevin Wallace: One day, living in a deep jungle, she's walking through the jungle and sees a shiny thing on the ground. She walks over and finds a piece of a broken mirror that someone walking through the jungle had apparently lost at some point in their journey. She bends over and picks up the mirror. She looks in the mirror and discovers, "I don't look like them. I'm not a monkey." For the first time in her life she recognized, "I am not one of them." The mirror revealed who she really was and when she saw herself in a mirror, she determined, "I don't belong here with these monkeys."
Kevin Wallace: It was just a little bit later that she found her way out of that jungle. Her name is Marina Chapman. She wrote a best selling novel called The Girl with No Name. It is the memoir of a four year old girl raised in a jungle with monkeys, and it wasn't until she saw herself in a mirror that she said, "I don't belong here." Today, that's what the Word of God is for me and you. It's the mirror that reminds us, we don't belong running around with a bunch of crazy, that's not our tribe.
Kevin Wallace: We don't run around saying the world's going to hell in a hand basket and giving our virginity away, giving our life away. We don't run around looking for love in all the wrong places. We don't run around wasting our life. We don't run around in a colony that we weren't born into, and today the mirror of God's Word reminds us, we belong to a different track. We just need to see who we are again. Some of us have lost the image. We run around with this world so much we start thinking we belong to it, but we are more than what we're surrounded by. Something is going down. Deep down on the inside on us, something is happening.
Kevin Wallace: Today, I want you to understand that transformation in your life is coming through a renewed mind. It will not happen in a stale, alienated dark mind. If the only time you crack your Bible is on Sunday, if the only time you worship Jesus is on Sunday, you're living a life with a mind that is unrenewed and it's impossible to know the will of God with an unrenewed mind. Stand with me.
Kevin Wallace: God wants to change our lives and he wants to do it through changing our minds. I believe with all of my heart you can fill your mind with things that according to Philippians are pure, noble, just, lovely, truthful, of a good report. If you'll think on these things, Holy Ghost, if you'll stop the record player of negative, unproductive, unfruitful, oftentimes unholy thoughts and say, "That is not the kind of mind the Spirit of God is wanting me to have." whatsoever things are pure, whatever things are noble, whatever things are of a good report, whatever things are truthful, think on these things.
Kevin Wallace: I want you to close your eyes before we leave and take an inventory of your thought life. Are your thoughts more toxic than they are transformational? Are we more negative than we are optimistic? I'm not just talking about positive thinking, but what's wrong with some positive thinking? Are we endorsing negative thinking as if that is a badge of spiritual depth? I'm deep so I'm going to be negative in my diagnostic of the world. If your knowledge produces a cycle of mental defeat, what good is the knowledge you have?
Kevin Wallace: The Bible actually says we've been given the mind of Christ. When is the last time we felt like we were thinking like Jesus would have us think? That's the greatest gift he could give a person like me and you, is the ability to have the mind of Christ. Paul says in Colossians, "Put it on, put on Jesus, set your affections on things above and not on things of earth." Did you hear what he said? Eyes are closed. Set your affection, you get to choose what you're passionate about. You get to choose what you set your heart on.
Kevin Wallace: Today, somebody is going to make a change. Your mind is going to begin to think, and operate, and function differently, and you're going to come to life. I break every assignment off of you and me to cloud and confuse our minds with thoughts that are harmful to our future. Transformation happens as the mind is renewed, be transformed by the renewing of your mind. You are becoming who God already declared you to be and the more your mind is renewed, the sooner you come into that place of transformation.
Kevin Wallace: I declare over some of you right now who are living in a state of confusion, you are only confused because your mind is double. Bible says in the book of James, a double minded man or woman is unstable in all their ways. God came today to take away some double mindedness and to bring some of you some stability, the removal of confusion. You will prove and know what is the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. Lift your hands if you need it right now. Change our minds god.
Kevin Wallace: I'm going to pray a prayer over everybody who lifted their hands for renewed mind. I want to tell you this right now, positive, positive renewed ... Sometimes a renewed mind isn't just positive thoughts, sometimes it's heavy, sometimes it's convicting, sometimes it's aligning. It isn't always easy. Sometimes having the mind of Christ is painful. It's adjustments that have to be made, but I can't keep thinking in this deep, dark, alienated place thoughts that are not in keeping with the will of God for my life.
Kevin Wallace: I have prayed that the Spirit of God would fall all over this church and a spirit of wisdom and revelation would come so that Christians who are on their way to heaven would stop suffering like they're living in hell. You are not hopeless, helpless, defeated. You are not a going to be, a want to be, a should've been or a has been, you're a child of the living God. Thank you Holy Ghosts. Break chains off right now in our thinking God, renew our mind. I'm telling you right now, the Spirit of the Lord wants to start something that I believe will last for the rest of your life, a revolution in your thought life. A revolution in your thought life.
Kevin Wallace: If you need that, just lift your hands and ask him for it right now. I'm not going to pray for you now, I want you to ask for, come on. Don't just think about it, open your mouth and ask him for it. I want my mind to be renewed today. I want it to be renewed according to the Word, according to the will of God. I need to have the mind of Christ Lord Jesus, your mind, your way thinking, your way of thinking. Take over my thoughts God. Come on, ask him to do that, take over our thoughts. Righteousness, peace and joy, not misery, depression and defeat, righteousness, peace and joy.
Kevin Wallace: See, this is the conflict, the conflict is about what we will believe. Will we believe the Word? Will we believe God's will? Will we think according to that, or will we allow the enemy to whisper things that are not in keeping with our purpose? Will we allow those thoughts to become strongholds by which the enemy takes us and holds us in bondage? I declare over you right now, the Spirit of the Lord is going to begin to walk through the hallways of your heart and mind, and he's going to just begin to set places free right now inside of you. Set places free, set every one of us free in deep places. Strongholds that have bound us, today we're coming out of it now. Thank you, thank you Holy Spirit. Thank you Holy Spirit.
Kevin Wallace: Can we just lift our hands before we go and thank him for what he's doing in our lives? Transformation is coming. Transformation is coming because the mind is going to begin to be renewed by His Spirit. The Spirit of the Lord is working in your mind, in my mind, in our hearts right now. Thank you Father. As we behold the glory of the Lord according to 2 Corinthians Three, we are being transformed from glory to glory. This is the slowest, most inefficient version of me that will ever exist.
Kevin Wallace: I thank you that in my future, you are updating my mind. You are updating my mental software. Jesus thank you. I thank you right now that you are updating some people in this room, Lord God. Father, there are viruses in their life, but you're updating it and removing the virus. We're running slower than we used to run because we needed an update and our minds are tapping into the download of the Spirit God right now, hallelujah. I bless this house right now in Jesus name to corporately begin to see and hear the voice of God speaking in clear ways.
Kevin Wallace: Businessmen and women in this house, I declare that God is going to download wisdom and revelation to you because he cares about what he has given you and he wants it to its excel, he wants it to increase. The kingdom of God is an increasing kingdom and when you tap into the mind of Christ, it's not that you have to work harder, it's that he gives you wisdom beyond yourself, and one revelation from the spirit can catapult you into a new place. I declare it over you now. Don't make another decision without asking God what his will is.
Kevin Wallace: Parents, don't make another decision without asking God what his will is for your kids. Children, don't make another decision, don't choose a college without getting into a place of having a renewed mind and waiting on the Spirit of God to give you direction. Jesus, I worship and I thank you God today. Not only are you ridding us of toxic thoughts, but you're giving us transformational thinking and we're going to begin to see transformation in our lives by your spirit. If you believe the Holy Spirit is real and he's able to do this, lift up a praise all over this room. Not just a clap, not just a clap, but I'm talking about a real praise, a real praise.
Kevin Wallace: Come on, we thank you God. We thank you God for hearing us. We thank you for leading us, we thank you for guiding us. We thank you for changing how we're thinking God. We can't change ourselves. Holy Spirit, come and help us today. Somebody ask him to help you before we go, ask him to help you. I need a new mind, I need a renewed mind today, renovate my mind. God, gives me joy again, give me peace again. Holy Spirit, I than you right now God, in Jesus name, in Jesus name.
Kevin Wallace: If you're in this room and you need Jesus to save you, I'm counting to three and I'm going to ask you to come stand in the altar with me today if you want your life to be changed in Christ, that you want to become a new creation and you want your sins to be forgiven. I feel like God is saying in my heart, just pulled on my heart right then. I was about to close, but somebody I believe is in this room who needs an opportunity to say yes to Jesus. Heads are bowed, eyes are closed.
Kevin Wallace: If you're in this room and you know you need Jesus to save you and you know you need him to rescue you, you want him to come into your heart, I'm counting to three and when I say three, if you want your life to be given to the Lord and you want him to take it, just shoot your hand up and say, "Pastor Kevin, pray for me." People are already coming 1, 2, 3, lift your hand right now. Anybody at all? I just need prayer, I just need prayer. Look at the person on your left and right. I want you to ask them this one question, "Do you need someone to go to the altar with you?" If you lifted your hand or you know in your heart you should have, I want you to take them by the hand come stand with me. I'm waiting on your right here.
Kevin Wallace: Ask your neighbor right now, "Do you need someone to go pray with you?" I don't care if you've known them your whole life or you've never met them before, "Do you need someone to go pray with you?" And if you need to get it right with God, come stand right here before we go. Anybody at all? I'm giving you a chance to come to Jesus this morning, anybody who wants to come. I'm not going to pull on anybody, I just want to make sure everybody's had an opportunity to meet the Lord, amen.
Kevin Wallace: Thank you for praying for this brother right now. Father, I thank you for this congregation. I thank you for what you're going to do in their life this week. I thank you for what you're going to do in their minds as you renew them according to your word and the transformation is happening by the power of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus name. I love you church, go in the peace of God. I'm going to keep praying in the altar, we'll see you Wednesday night at 7:00 pm. God bless you.