Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies [dedicating all of yourselves, set apart] as a living sacrifice, holy and well-pleasing to God, which is your rational (logical, intelligent) act of worship. And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].Romans 12:1-2 (AMP)
Our minds are the steering mechanisms of our bodies, like the rudder of a ship. They determine the course we take in life, going God’s way or our own way. You see, every action we take is rooted in the thought that produced it. No wonder the Lord wants our minds renewed. If they are left to their own devices, our minds will take us on a journey of destruction. And that is the devil’s number one goal, to sneak thoughts into your mind and bait your thinking. If you agree with a thought that originated from him, he has you right where he wants you. When we believe a lie, we empower the liar. That is why we need a guard at the gateway of our mind. Our guard is Holy Spirit, who can properly discern where thoughts originate from, and how to arrest and capture thoughts that come from hell. If we do not apprehend those thoughts, they will eventually imprison us. So, it becomes critical for us to cooperate with God in our thinking. In the verses above, the Apostle Paul charges believers to present their entire bodies to God as an offering of worship. Take a look at what Jesus said about the greatest commandment, “You are to love the Lord Yahweh, your God, with a passionate heart, from the depths of your soul, with your every thought, and with all your strength.” Loving God with every thought is a form of worship, because we worship what we love. Jesus calls us to worship the Lord with all of our mind. God wants all of you and He desires to reconstruct the way you think about everything in life. The Lord created our minds to be constantly refreshed with the truth, with living water. A renewed mind challenges us to adopt Heaven’s way of thinking, rather than the way of thinking that we grew up with. Our internal dialogue must align with the dialogue of Heaven which are God’s righteous principles. Below are four simple steps to take in letting God renew your mind.
1. Protect your Eye and Ear Gates.
Faith comes by hearing but fear also comes by hearing my friends. When we are going through a season of difficulty, it is crucial for us to guard carefully what and whom we are listening to. There are also seasons where it becomes wise for us to restrict our focus by getting rid of things that are completely legal and healthy in a different season. Both our eyes and ears are gateways to the mind and can thus affect our soul and body. We can become compromised in certain surroundings in seasons of difficulty if we forget to diligently guard those gateways. So, what are the steps to controlling the atmosphere around us in those tough seasons?
- Evaluate activities, commitments, and relationships. (Ask yourself, what is adding to my life? What is subtracting from my life?)
- Keep watch over entertainment. (What is acceptable in my current season? Lord, what is the standard you are giving me in this season for the things I let entertain me?)
- Carefully select your inner circle of friendships. Iron sharpens iron. (Who are my iron sharpening friends?)
- Sacrifice. Giving in the Kingdom is a healing activity. (Lord, I am willing to sow into the kingdom in my time and money. How would you have me do this in this current season?)
2. Ask the Lord to Direct your Thoughts:
Too often, we simply do not bother to ask for the Lord’s protection, direction, and oversight of our minds. Start today with a simple prayer: “Jesus, by your Holy Spirit, keep my mind firmly set where you want it to be focused today.” In addition to the invitation of surrender, you must also make it a priority to fill your mind on heavenly realities in the word of God. Some of you may be thinking, but I am not hungry for the Word like I used to be, or I have never been able to read the Bible consistently. I have been there myself, lacking hunger and concentration for the Word. Remember when I said the Kingdom is backwards? Think about this: in the natural realm, you get hungry by not eating; in the spiritual realm, you get hungry by eating. What I mean by eating, spiritually speaking, is reading the Word of God. Remember when Jesus said He was the bread of life? Following the breadcrumbs, Jesus confronted Satan with this word: “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” Start eating the Word, and it will make you hungry for more.
3. Trace your Thoughts Back to the Source:
We must recognize the enemy in our thought life and fight him with God’s power and with Scriptural truth. If you are having trouble deciding who spoke what, ask the Holy Spirit to guide you. Hold each thought up and ask Him, “Who said this?” He will guide you into all truth, but you must ask. Look in the Bible for the truth, and the source of every lie will be exposed. Below is an example of how you can write down the thoughts and where they originate.
Who said it? ________________________
4. Ask God for a Higher Thought:
Once you have exposed the lie, rebuke it, and replace it with the truth. One of the ways that I have done this is when I am afraid, I say “I rebuke the spirit of fear that is lying to me about my security, and now I’m running into God’s tower, where I am safe.” There is always a higher thought that comes from the written Word, or a spoken Word. If you have not found one, then keep digging until you do. The truth will set you free from a mind set on fear, doubt, and pride.
The process of renewal goes as quickly as we allow it to. God desires for us to have His mindset. 1 Corinthians 2:16 declares that we have the mindset of Christ when we make Him Lord of our mind. Let us surrender our minds to Christ and allow Him to show us how to carefully tend our beautiful gardens of the mind. My prayer is that you would allow the Lord to show you what weeds are in your garden, and that you would be filled with the courage from God to pull and root out all deception in Jesus name! May the Lord bring a profound adjustment to your way of thinking that shifts everything towards the way that Heaven thinks. As you persevere with the Lord as your gardener, may He soak His abundant blessing upon you with the living water that never runs out.