“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will…” Romans 12:2
If you’ve ever visited the doctor, you may likely have received medicine that says “take until finished”. For some, the tendency is to stop taking the medication when normalcy is presumed to have returned, and failing to follow the instructions often result in another onset of ailments. Our instructions, as Christians, are that we should be “transformed by the renewing of our minds.” Mind renewal is not something we do until we feel better, but it should be a constant process as we live out the Christian walk.
Mind renewal is important in helping us keep our temples clean. In St Mathew 12, Jesus speaks of the unclean spirit which was cast out of a person. It went wandering around, and when it found no place to rest, it decided to go back where it came from. “And when it comes, it finds the house empty, swept, and put in order. Then it goes and brings with it seven other spirits more evil than itself, and they enter and dwell there, and the last state of that person is worse than the first.” – St Matthew 12: 44-45. Mind renewal is not a one-off incident, but a mind that is constantly being renewed will not serve as a residence for things unclean.
Sometimes we pray for God’s guidance and direction but we move off long before the answer has been given. We use our own ideas and wills to chart our courses instead of waiting on Him to act. We may find ourselves trusting God for something He has not yet manifested in the flesh, but we have the assurance that if we trust Him, He will direct our paths. When God is not at the center of what we do, we leave ourselves open to pain, disappointment and failure. Proverbs 3:5-6 says Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. (KJV) A mind that is constantly being renewed will rely on God for guidance and direction.
Philipians 4:4-6 offers great encouragement. Rejoicing may not seem appropriate to our several circumstances, but twice in Philipians 4:4 we are told to rejoice! Not only should we rejoice, but we should “let our gentleness be evident to all”. We are also asked not be anxious, “but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving”, we should present our requests to God. A mind that is constantly being renewed will experience the “peace that passes all understanding”, even in the midst of situations that have the capacity to cripple us.
Keeping our lives clean, trusting Him for guidance and direction and experiencing His peace in mind-numbing situations doesn’t come because we are good. We are able to please Him with our lives when we choose to walk as He directs. Trying to make it on our own is a sure way to fail, but constant mind renewal will keep us connected to the Source that can never disappoint.
Inventory / Introspection: Are there crevices and corners in my mind that can serve as a hiding place for things that do not bring Him glory? Have I been trusting Him to lead me through my painful circumstances? Have I experienced the peace that comes through rejoicing, being gentle, and praying with thanksgiving?
Practical Application: With all that we have to do on a daily basis, how can the Christian live the principle of mind renewal?
Father, when I gave You my life, I gave You all of me, but there are those days that I have taken back what I placed in Your hands as I tried to live by my agenda. So far, I have not been successful. It is my heart’s desire to live a life that pleases You, but as long as I live in the flesh, I will always have the desire to sin. I pray that You will teach me the process of true, daily mind renewal so that whatever I do or say will come from a place that exalts You.
I realize You do not always act when I want You to, but I have come to discover that trusting You truly brings a peace I cannot explain. I am grateful for Your peace in the midst of trying circumstances.
Help me to live a life reflective of a mind that is constantly being transformed through renewal. I do not want to hold onto anything that holds no glory for You. Amen
Scripture taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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