The Carnal Mind Exposed- Fear of Rejection
Part 1- Lie: My worth is determined by others
If we are going to walk in the full freedom of being deeply loved, fully pleasing and without spot or blemish, we need to be able to identify in what areas we are not applying the mind of Christ which was given us at salvation. (1 Cor 2:16)
We are entering into the dawn of new ground being claimed in the body of Christ. The “new man” is being spoken of more than any other generation I believe. There are many rising up exhorting the bride to realize we have His mind, His nature and His power inside us. (Luke 17:21, 1 Cor 3:16) The full gospel is beginning to emerge in this Age that is intended to usher us into a place where the world will see a real difference in those who walk with Him in spirit and in truth… and those who do not. Seeing and experiencing the goodness of God is what leads His lost children to be reconciled back to Him. (Rom 2:4). That goodness is revealed in power through His children walking in kingdom fullness. We can only walk in His fullness (peace, rest, power, love, health, and abundance) to the degree we agree with what God has stated is truth on any subject.
We can say we possess the mind of Christ (and as believers, God’s word says we do have it) but we will only walk in it to the degree we apply His Word to our identity in each area of our thought life.
“For as a man thinks in his heart, so he is.” (Prov 23:7)
The Hebrew word for heart is “nephesh” comes from the root word “nephash” which means to breathe, breathed upon, refresh.
It is the same word used in Gen 2: “…man became a living soul.” This word describes ourselves in terms of thoughts, life, existence and cognitive being.
“Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.” (Prov 4:23)
The Hebrew word here for “heart” is “lebab” and it is translated, “most interior organ, bethink, breast, comfort, courage, tender(hearted), midst, mind, unawares, understanding”
It has 2 root words related to it:
“leb’- which translates “the heart, feelings, thoughts, will and intellect.” and “labab”– to be enclosed,
If we put these together, in context, we can begin to see that our thoughts, our beliefs, what we hold as our being, determine who we believe ourselves to be. And our thoughts and beliefs, determine the what kind of life springs out of us.
“His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence” (2 Pet 1:3)
“ Many people did believe in Him, however, including some of the Jewish leaders. But they wouldn’t admit it for fear that the Pharisees would expel them from the synagogue. For they loved human praise more than the praise of God.” (John 12:40-43)
If we are experiencing fear of man in any way, it means we are not walking in the truth that we are completely loved and fully pleasing to the Father.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ” (1 John 4:18)
Does this mean we don’t have God’s love in us if we are afraid? Absolutely not. Romans 5:5 states we have the love of God poured out all over our hearts. It simply means the reality of His love for us is not perfected or complete. We do not fear to the degree we have the revelation of His love for us. That love says we are complete. Complete means lacking nothing. Nothing can add to our inherent value. Our worth is forever secure in His eyes.
Think about it for a moment. Let it sink in. Jesus endured the torture of the cross, so that we can be called His redeemed children and walk in intimacy with our Creator and Father. The Holy Spirit came into us.
I hear Christians cite all the time that He died for our sins. He loved us soooo much the Father sent the Son to die. Let me ask a question. Did the Father think His Son was never coming back? Did Father God say, “Well, there goes my Son… nice knowing Him.”? So, since Father knew His Son would return to Him in heaven, what was so great a loss about Jesus dying? Where is the love that is supposed to be so deep in that? After all, Jesus was returning back to heaven when it was all done. Where is the real sacrifice?
The sacrifice of the Roman crucifixion was twofold. If we can let this become a personal reality it will forever change our thinking.
- The cross was torture. Torture beyond words. I already painted a watercolor image of the reality of this ordeal in an earlier study, so I won’t repeat it here. Pure and simple. Physical torture. Picture for a moment, you watching a loved one go through that. Frame that in your mind, knowing you could stop it at any time. But a greater love compelled you to allow it. Anyone out there going to do that? Are any of you willing to let a son, daughter, father, mother, best friend or spouse be tortured to the point of death so that a judge can then say “OK, the court now says you can legally adopt another child. That orphan is eligible to be taken into your home now.” ?
- Jesus was separated from the Father. Communication and communion was severed. Jesus became death, sin, sickness and spiritual separation. He entered the oblivion of spiritual death from the Father. The Creator of Life… entered spiritual death.
No big deal, right?
Now… is it beginning to dawn on your heart how much you are loved?
Jesus said “But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. (John 16:7)
Have you ever stopped to think on this? The Holy Spirit wasn’t obligated to come. The indwelling of the Spirit is a gift. Everything our God does for us emanates from love. A deep, burning passion to enjoy our company.
I don’t call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. But I’ve called you friends, because I’ve made known to you everything that I’ve heard from my Father. (John 15:15)
“But I don’t know everything” you might be thinking. No, the point is that we have His mind in us. He revealed the nature and love of the Father to His friends.
The bible is not a rule book. Its a diary written by the One who tells us how we can enjoy the greatest friendship possible. And beyond that, we are His bride. Read Song of Solomon sometime. It’s almost embarrassing. We are His beloved… to say the least.
“Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.’ ” (Acts 2:38)
“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. By this is love perfected with us,” (1 John 4:14)
So, why all this redundancy? What is the point, and what does this have to do with the carnal mind being exposed?
If we are fearing what man thinks of us; if we are looking for the acceptance of others in order to feel a transient (and it is always transient) sense of deeper worth, we are not walking in the truth that we are fully loved by Abba, our Creator, and the Gift that lives powerfully within us.
We cannot serve two masters. We are not walking in the mind of Christ, who said we have been justified, reconciled, purified, redeemed and are now fully pleasing (Eph 5:21, Col 1:19-22, 2 Cor 5:17, Rom 5:9)… while being afraid of rejection.
We fear rejection to the degree we are not experiencing the reality of this truth in our mind and innermost being.
Said another way:
The carnal mind is revealed by the thoughts and motives of our heart.
Actions though, can be deceiving. We as Christians have perfected the art of spiritual sleight of hand. We take the scripture “.. live by the Spirit, and you will never fulfill the desires of the flesh. “ (Gal 5:16) and we have inverted it. We have bought into the works and law based carnal minded system that if we do not fulfill the desires of the flesh, this means we are now walking by the Spirit.
Ahhh, no. What we are doing is walking in tremendous strength of our willpower. One of the lies of the carnal mind is the lie that we need the approval/acceptance of others to make us feel valued. On a “good day” we act as if we don’t care (denying the flesh/carnal mind), we suppress our carnal impulse, we ignore the pain, stuff it down with some comfort crutch in order to dull this searing discomfort, and we declare ourselves Spirit led and abiding in the mind of Christ. After all, we are the victorious church!
Jesus described that type of person as a “white washed tomb.” That is not who we are. We are “the redeemed.”
“But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Cor 6:11)
The Holy Spirit is in us to give us the Mind of Jesus, so that from the innermost man, now in union with Life itself, we are changed into His image by accepting His Word as truth and walking in it. He works from the inside out.
Some believers may be quick to recognize that they struggle with the fear of rejection. Others may boldly state that they could not care less what others think of them.
Yet how many bear witness to this: controlling anger when we are wronged? Genuine sarcasm when someone says something cutting toward us? A need to let others know just how much we “don’t care” what others think? The compulsion to be rude and say “I just tell it like it is”? Feelings of anger when we are disrespected…by complete strangers??
These are all signs we are walking in the carnal mind. Specifically, walking around believing one way or another, that our sense of worth is tied to how other accept or reject us. If we, in any way, are conscious of the possibility that others may reject us, to that degree, we are not walking in the mind of Christ. We are fearing rejection.
“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” (I John 4:18)
The punishment we fear, is the rejection we might face from others. This fear is the carnal mind exposed in us.
I am going to go one step further and take one of the most quoted sections of Corinthians and bring it home.
“… Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres…” (1 Cor 13)
This famous “love” chapter is often cited in regard to “works” or how we act or behave. This is one of the most propagated distortions of scripture. “Walk in love” means literally to have your motion, activity or anything else that is being done, be accomplished from a position where one is submerged, immersed and abiding IN the reality and power of His nature (Love). Nowhere…nowhere, does the Covenant of Jesus Christ discuss love as an act, except as an outpouring of the heart. That thinking is old covenant.
- The old covenant exposed the carnal mind by saying “don’t give in to your carnal desires.
- The New covenant says we are given a new mind. Walk in that new mind. That new mind is love.
“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love… My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” (John 15:9,12)
“God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.” (I john 4:16)
“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom “ (Col 3:16)
The phrase “In Him” means to be immersed in His nature. This is not a “act.” It is a state of being. A state of existence. We either are abiding in His mind/nature, or we are abiding in the carnal mind, which is no longer who we are. We have the mind of Christ now., and if we allow it, the Holy Spirit guides us in the wisdom and mind of Christ moment by moment. (1 Cor 2:16, John 16:13)
King Saul, the first king of Israel, was consecrated by the last judge of Israel, Samuel the Seer. Saul was called to lead the people as a nation who would draw all others to see the goodness and power of Yahweh in the midst of surrounding nations steeped in all kinds of vile witchcraft and demonic practices. He was given all the necessary spiritual equipment to carry out his mandate as king, and the word states that the spirit of God came upon him and made him a new man. Whom God calls, He also equips. Saul was given all the tools needed to lead as a mighty man of God. He was to shepard one nation, under God, to serve Him in holiness and truth.
Samel told Saul, “As you approach the town, you will meet a procession of prophets coming down from the high place with lyres, timbrels, pipes and harps being played before them, and they will be prophesying. The Spirit of the Lord will come powerfully upon you, and you will prophesy with them; and you will be changed into a different person. Once these signs are fulfilled, do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” (1 Sam 10:6)
“…Do whatever your hand finds to do, for God is with you.” I love that. Would that we would understand the grace and favor we have when we submit to His will for our life.
This was Saul’s destiny, his purpose. His calling. But it was not long before the areas he needed to be brought to the alter of God in his heart and mind began to surface. In fear, he violated Samuel’s commandment to wait for him on the eve of battle (1 Sam 13) and and some time later, because he was afraid of the rejection and possible consequences he might face from the troops under his command, he again disobeyed the instructions of God.
“Then Saul said to Samuel, ‘I have sinned. I violated the Lord’s command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gave in to them.’” (1 Sam 15:24)
The cumulative effects of Saul not mastering his fear through mediating on who he was in his Creator’s eyes were catastrophic. First he lost the blessing of allowing his son to sit on the throne after him, and next, his commission was passed along to one who would put the Lord ahead of the fear of man.
An even more profound example, in my opinion, was Peter. A man who walked the earth alongside Jesus, Peter was a witness to all Messiah did. What is more, Peter was in the inner circle. He saw Moses and Elijah in their glory along with Jesus. He did a little something such as walk on top of a lake and was given one of the greatest recorded revelations about the redemption of man in a vision (Acts 10:15) and even received such revelation that the Holy Spirit penned a couple books of the bible through his hand.
Yet, even Peter, got sloppy. He failed to take captive the old mind which whispered in his ear the lie that there was something to be gained by being accepted by others.
“But when Cephas came to Antioch, I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. For prior to the coming of certain men from James, he used to eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he began to withdraw and hold himself aloof, fearing the party of the circumcision. The rest of the Jews joined him in hypocrisy, with the result that even Barnabas was carried away by their hypocrisy.” (Gal 2:11-13)
What makes Peter’s actions here, which were conducted out of fear of rejection, ( need for man’s acceptance) even more grievous, was that Peter’s vision he received dealt directly with this topic. God himself told Peter all are clean and accepted in His eyes. Had Peter been meditating on the reality that His Father saw him as unconditionally accepted, the pressure to conform would not have entered his thoughts. Peter was not walking in the mind of Christ in that arena. Paul had to straighten him out.
At any time, at any moment, we are either abiding in one of 2 places: The carnal mind or the mind of Christ. What the body of Christ needs to understand is that it is a thought by thought decision. Meaning, every thought we chose to mediate on, on any and all subjects, is a choice on whether we will exalt the word of God on that subject, or exalt the carnal mind. Abiding in the mind of Christ, the new man, is meant to completely envelop us. Why? Because God is interested in our performance? Is it a works based righteousness He is after? Not at all.
We can only enjoy fellowship with Him in the areas we are walking in His truth. And he is such a jealous Dad, He wants all of us. So does His Son, and so does the Holy Spirit. They love us that much. The second reason, as with all other topics related to His kingdom, stems from the first. Because of His love for His children, He rages at the thought of us being held captive to fear, pain, anxiety, torment, or any other emotion that is in violation to His rest.
Whenever we are looking to receive acceptance from man, which is another way of saying we are fearing rejection, we must examine the lie we are believing at that moment. That lie is in direct conflict with the truth that God said we are the righteousness of Christ, which means we are fully pleasing to Him and cannot be made more perfect.
“For he who had not known sin made himself to become sin in your place that we would become the righteousness of God in Him.” (1 Cor 5:21)
“He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?” (Rom 8:32)
“For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross. Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation..” (Col 1:19-22)
It is work in the beginning. To begin to recognize that our worth is independent of anything we can or cannot do, and is not attached in any way, to the acceptance, approval, dislike or outright rejection of others takes some time. We died to the carnal mind. It is time we enjoyed the blessings of the cost warranted to give you His mind. There was a bounty on our head. He paid the ransom so that we can forever be free from the task master of performance and sting of fear.
“For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.” (2 Tim 1:7)
Our worth is forever settled. The world says worth is the aggregate of your performance and conditional value in the eyes of those around you.
This is a lie.
Our worth has forever been determined by our Creator and has forever been severed from anything else. The land of rest lies in our midst. It is among us, around us. It is in us. It is His spirit and His mind released that enters us into His rest. His eternal Sabbath. The rest is yours to possess. The kingdom is already within you and released by agreeing with His Word. Take hold of that which is already yours.