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We have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:16) 



We have the mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:16) 

Outrageous!  Blasphemous!  Arrogant!  Disgraceful! 

How dare anyone claim to have the mind of the Son of Almighty God! 

Strike it from the Bible? 

God forbid.  But by the way most Christians today live their lives, no one would ever know that this verse is even in Scripture. 

Yet it is Paul’s inspired declaration and one of our most precious hopes.  Not pie in the sky, by and by.  A real achievable-in-this-miserable-life-on-earth hope.  And it’s what the renewal part of our journey is all about. 

Cultivating the mind of Christ prepares us for our forthcoming spiritual marriage, a courtship, if you will.  During this leg of our Journey to Be Like Jesus, we will get to know Him much better.  And the better we know Him, the more we will think as He does, loving whom He loves, hating what He hates, and delighting in the things that delight Him.

Whereas the previous leg of our journey focused on our outward behavior, the renewal or Illuminative Way addresses our heart and motives.

“You are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.” (Matthew 23:27-28)

The Illuminative Way teaches us how to retain and maintain our new life by exposing and attacking the root causes of the undesirable behaviors.

But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed.  Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. (James 1:14-15)

Along the Illuminative Way, we take ownership of the principles and ways of God’s Kingdom.  We begin to process things according to the Kingdom standards rather than earthly perspectives.

We also start to understand the teachings of Jesus.




Why is it so damaging to judge others?  Because it usurps God’s place and role.

Why is it more blessed to give than to receive?  Because becoming more like our Father is infinitely better than accumulating stuff.


Why are words, blessings, and curses so powerful?

As we continue to explore the Kingdom, we encounter again the Seven Deadly Sins—as well as that crafty, old besetting sin.  The old doors seem to have reopened, boding fierce new battles.  But the battleground has shifted.  Warfare no longer will be waged on the field of behavior.  We are about to drop behind enemy lines and attack the strongholds of ungodly motives and attitudes, hoping for heavy air support by the Holy Spirit.

Throughout the ensuing raids and skirmishes, our love for God grows in the light of increasing revelation, and our thoughts and motives conform more and more to His.

 There’s room on the Cross for you!


Another dark night awaits us along the renewal leg of our Journey to Be Like Jesus, but this one is passive, not active.  We are not so much expected to do, to put off, to act.  Rather, we are expected to let, to allow, to be acted through and upon by the Spirit.

The active dark night was external; the passive dark night is internal.  The former conformed us to the principles of Jesus; the latter conforms us to His person.  The one taught us obedience; the other will teach us trust.

God purpose for us in the passive dark night of the soul is to release and display more of His grace—the power of Jesus Christ.  This is where we begin our disappearing act—decreasing so He may increase, stepping aside so He can be more clearly seen, setting aside our inadequacies so that He can get the job done.  The more we let Him be and do, the more fruit we bear.

Brain storms

Part of the challenge of the passive dark night is to realize that our mind can often be our worst enemy.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.’ (Isaiah 55:9)

This doesn’t mean we should stop thinking.  It means we should stop considering our natural thoughts to be particularly relevant in a supernatural Kingdom.  It means we must learn to trust His gentle leading rather than our own rational process.  And the more we do, the more we begin to find things reasonable in Christ that are outrageous when processed by our intellect.

The objective is to become prepared to spend eternity in oneness with God.  To do that, everything has to change—who we are, how we think, and how we act.

The renewal season also teaches us discernment.  We learn that good is the enemy of best.  That God wears many hats, and we must be able to discern when to stand humbly before Him to receive chastisement and when to crawl up on His lap and cuddle.  When is it appropriate to dance and shout, and when should we bawl our eyes out?  When should I give $5 to a homeless person, and when should I move on?  Should I witness to this person?  If so, when, what should I say and what shouldn’t I say?  What has God told me that is a secret between us, and what is to be shared with others?


© 2005, 2012 Bill Atwood