If you love fires like me, than you love accelerants; “any substance used to accelerate a process (such as the spreading of a fire)” [Merriam-Webster 2018]. In fact, I love fanning a fire so much that it is the ongoing title of this weblog. I am seeking through my writing and our interaction to fan the flames of all the new that is inside you to live the supernatural Christian life. But let’s get back to accelerants.
Everything I have written lately about renewing our minds is standard theology that you may have heard before. What I think is surprising and revolutionary and not talked about enough is that this lifestyle of repentance is not something you have to slog through, buck up, try harder, and tough it out. The beauty of all the new of who we are in Christ is that you have the power to live this lifestyle of repentance inside you right now!
The New Testament makes clear that there are at least four accelerants inside you that rapidly speed up the process of renewing our minds. Lighter fluid, gasoline, a hair dryer, or the big lid of a camping box to fan the flames are all pictures of a spiritual reality happening inside you. Let’s list the top four accelerants at your disposal.
First, you have “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Col 1:27). You literally have Christ living His life through you (Gal 2:20) to heal and renew and change your mind to thinking and acting His way. This is accelerant number one.
A second and related accelerant is the Holy Spirit dwelling inside you. As you “walk in the Spirit, you will not satisfy the deeds of the flesh” (Gal 5:16). Instead, obedience will be your forward path and you will be redirected to begin to think and walk God’s way.
Third, the new self or new nature is now your motivating DNA. Acting in accordance with your new nature – laying aside the old man and putting on the new – will accelerate the growth process. As a believer, you have the power to choose every day. You have a choice to put on the new self every morning, just like putting on your favorite pair of jeans. I have a pair of worn jeans that really need to go to the trash. But they are so comfortable and fit so naturally that I continue to wear them to work in my home office when I know no one is going to be around.
Do you know that you can be just as comfortable in your new nature, in your new self? The instruction to “put on the new self” (Eph 4:24) or “clothe yourselves” (Col 3:12) with righteous qualities suggests to me that obedience can become just as natural to you as the most comfortable clothes in your closet.
Finally, the fourth accelerant is the Word of God implanted in you. This isn’t just the Word around you or near you or available to you. According to James’ letter, we can “receive the word implanted that is able to save [deliver in the present tense] your souls” (James 1:22). The Word planted deep inside us delivers us from the power of sin.
These are four I can think of off the top of my head. There may be more. But we will stop here with Christ in you the hope of glory, the Holy Spirit inside, the new self with its new nature, and the Word implanted in you; all ways the New Testament describes the incredible power inside you to live this life. Don’t ignore His gifts, fully given to you!