We have hit the time of year where spring cleaning is in full swing. While the process of purging is unpleasant, the reward of eliminating clutter and having a tidy home is worth it. Doing a spring cleaning once a year is a valuable practice to keep your home in order. If you avoid making this a habit, there will come a time where you will feel overwhelmed by the accumulation of junk. So, with that in mind, I have a question for you. Have you ever considered spring cleaning your thought patterns? Have you ever spent time evaluating the way that you think with the Lord? Cleaning our mindset with Holy Spirit is far more valuable than it is to physically clean out your house. And I want to show you how to walk through that process with God.
Cleaning up the way that we think is the process of sanctification, or the renewing of the mind. This renewal, however, cannot come from our own self-effort. It is the ministry of Holy Spirit who aids us in transforming the way that we think. I have seen many believers attempt to clean up their thinking without God. It is called positive thinking. Positive thinking is the counterfeit version of a renewed mind. It does not even come close to the fullness God has for us. Transformation of the mind shifts the way we do life. Our conversations, values, the way we view problems, the way we react to situations are all affected by a renewed mind.
An example of a thought process that need transformation is a poverty mindset. The disciples had this when it came to feeding the five thousand. Their attention and focus was on what they did not have, it was concentrated on their lack. But Jesus offered to them a new way of looking at the shortages of life. He posed the question, “what do you have?” That way, no matter how small their portion was, they would always remember the miracle of multiplication. This changed the way they did life. Remember when Peter was walking by the gate called Beautiful? He met a man in need of money. Peter did not have any money to give, but he did not spend time thinking about his lack. Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” That is the supernatural power of a renewed mind. It becomes a breeding ground for the miraculous.
THE CONNECTION BETWEEN THE MIND AND THE HEART
When the Lord knit us together in our mother’s womb, He designed each of us with a body, soul, and spirit. Let us explore the details of the soul and spirit, which will give us the bigger picture of why it is vital for us to renew our minds daily. Our soul consists of three parts: mind (including our conscience), will and emotions. There is a connection between the soul and the spirit, a gateway, which is the “heart.” God knows our heart and speaks to each of our hearts directly. The heart influences the mind, and the mind influences the heart. You cannot adjust one without adjusting the other. That is why it is vital that we operate with God in this process, because He is the only one who can adjust our hearts.
WHAT ARE WE CLEANING?
Motives: the reason for doing something. They operate from the heart but can affect the way that we think. Motives determine what we do, who we are, and who we will become. Philippians 2:5 warns us against allowing self-promotion to hide in our hearts. Self-promotion pollutes our heart, which then pollutes our mind. That is why it is important for us to let the Holy Spirit be our filter. We are commanded to let Jesus’ mindset become our motivation for all that we do and think.
Attitudes: a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something. This is reflected in a person’s behavior. Our attitude can either agree with God or be at war with God. We desperately need the Lord to adjust our attitudes toward others. Jesus showed us that His attitude toward people was always compassion. The Lord can change the way we approach people and situations by adjusting our attitudes.
Values: a person’s principles or standards of behavior; one’s judgment of what is important in life. Our values are reflected in our thought life. What you think about the most is an indication of what you value. The Bible says that there is a difference between the values of man and the values of God. It is our responsibility to find out what God values and ask Him to give you the same values. We must raise our standards to meet with God’s standards.
Next week, I am going to share a list of questions to ask God that will propel us closer to thinking like Christ. This week I would like to encourage you to take note of your thoughts. Write down what you are thinking throughout the day. This exercise is meant to help you evaluate your thought life with Holy Spirit. Words are constantly floating through our minds; some good and purposeful, and others destructive and harmful. This ongoing mental monologue, when left unchecked and unguarded, can develop a self-destructing chatter. Like the Marie Kondo method of cleaning, take everything out so you can see what is there and later determine what has value and what needs to go.
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