Paul states in the word, 2 Corinthians 10:5, that our cherished concepts, high thoughts, and favorite pre-set angles of approaching scripture are to be submitted before God's throne.
"overthrowing reasonings and every high thing that lifts itself up against the knowledge of God, and leading captive every thought into the obedience of the Christ;"
This means very plainly that our own minds, every one of our thoughts, what we learned from the pulpit, from the seminary professor, from bible studies, from our parents, from close friends, on the web, in books, at conferences, in counseling sessions, from visions, dreams and the who she-bang -- all of it -- all of it -- yes, even that idea -- that one too -- even what granpa says -- ALL of it must be in submission to one thing. What is that? How is this done?
God's Spirit gives us understanding, leading us into ALL truth. The word even says, we need not have anyone, any man/woman teach us. As He will open up truth from scripture, by revelation via the Living Word of Christ in us, we can come into an obedience to Christ, to His Spirit and THEN the knowledge of God is given. As we read, the word and rightly approach it via the supernatural wisdom of God's Spirit, then prayerfully and humbly before Him, we find the letters, the words come alive somehow. We are washed in the word, freed up from legalistic bondage, delivered from the fear of what others think.
If we approach the word with a legalistic mind, we find a legalistic God giving us rules to live by. If we approach the word with something to prove, we can usually prove anything we want to prove. It is a form of lawlessness approaching the scriptures this way. The letter of the Word used without the Spirit brings death, literally seen in our world and unseen in our souls. The word used incorrectly can bring death to our lives. Abuse of the word can drive men and women into madness and sorrow upon sorrow.
The word rightly and humbly approached, taught to us personally by the Spirit will change us, bringing His life deeper into us, sanctifying us and teaching us of Christ and the coming kingdom. And yes, the word used by the Spirit points us to a righteous way of death, a way of suffering, a way of obedience that brings into power the very same resurrection life Jesus tapped into when He was here as a man. Jesus asks us to die to ourselves, to enter into a fellowship with Him, a walk that He walked.
We cannot do it by our own fleshly, soulish, and strong-willed intellect. Believe me, I tried and tried, decade after decade, for over thirty years. The Lord finally broke my worship and idolatry of my mind, my intellectual strengths. He laid me low for seven years until I finally understood what Paul said,
"But surely I count also all things to be loss on account of the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, on account of whom I have suffered the loss of all, and count them to be filth, that I may gain Christ;" Philipians 3:8
We must lay aside ALL we are, ALL we know, ALL we are proud of having attained to, every citadel of dogma, every thought we rest in, lay it ALL down before Christ and count it as filth, that we might gain Him.
Paul was an intellectual, a deeply religious man, devoted, full of pride, full of dedication to a cause, defender of ancient, hallowed religion. But remember this, with all that revered Hebrew religion & the powerfully successful government of Rome, the Law and the Prophets, all the Jewish statutes & of that world's best educated minds -- they reasoned out their best solution before their God and then decided a best course of duty.
AND THEY KILLED THE LORD JESUS!
Paul, the great champion of intellect and religion, had innocent and Spirit-filled believers in Christ murdered, all in the name of the word, the holy word, the holy letter of the law! Can you see why incorrect use of the word, worship of the mind always brings death? Paul understood completely and he was moved by the Spirit to call all of it filth, refuse and dung -- when compared to knowing Christ.
This "hitting the RESET button" is what ALL of Christianity needs. It is time we realize that what we have invested our lives in, year by year, may actually be but gilded "wood, hay, and stubble" when we stand before the Lord's Judgment Seat. He is not interested in the multi-faceted, polished, bronze-serpent offering of our wonderful harvest from our self-styled obedience. For such, is but the offering of Cain. The Lord looks for a life of sacrifice, the blood, sweat and tears of our lives, laid out day-by-day upon the altar before Him. Out of this death-to-self styled obedience, arises Christ-resurrection life and the fruit of this sacrifical life is a sweet fragrance and acceptable to Him. It is thus God working in us to bring fruits, works of righteousness. The tree of life in us then can bring forth good fruit.
May God bring His light about these things into your heart.