Articles

SIGNIFICANCE OF RENEWING YOUR MIND

Dr. Brenda Myree • Personal Growth
Are you a carnal Christian or are you led by the Spirit. Are you "just" a child of God or are you a "mature son"? As Christians we are commanded to renew our minds, to study to show ourselves approved. We are to grow up in God. This article is written to assist in the renewing of your mind, to help you reach maturity in Christ. It is not enough to "just be saved" but we are to continue to grow spiritually.

SIGNIFICANCE OF RENEWING YOUR MIND

 

Romans 12:2 King James Version (KJV)

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Ephesians 4:23 (KJV)

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

          When first started meditating on the Significance of Renewing Your Mind, I had to determine what is meant by "renewing" I found a few words that best describe what it means to "renew" which led me to the importance of having your mind renewed.

Renew: In theology, to make new; to renovate; to transform; to change from natural enmity to the love of God and his law; to implant holy affections in the heart; to regenerate

renew. 2014. In Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/renew

Transformed: Changed in form or external appearance; metamorphosed; transmuted; renewed.

transformed. 2014. In Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/transformed

Metamorphose: To change into a different form metamorphose. 2014. In Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/ metamorphose

Transmute: To change from one nature or substance into another.  A holy conscience sublimates everything; it transmutes the common affairs of life into acts of solemn worship to God.

transmute. 2014. In Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language. Retrieved May 3, 2014, from http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/transmute

          We are given the command in Romans 12:2 to be transformed or changed in form, metamorphose, by the renewing of our mind.  When thinking of being metamorphosed one naturally thinks of butterflies.  The process of metamorphosis, the caterpillar changing into a different form that being to a butterfly.  The other word that came up was transmute, to change from one nature into another.  This is the word that intrigued me the most, changing from one nature into another.

2 Corinthians 5:17

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.

            If we are a new creature in Christ, we should have a new nature that identifies us with this new state of being changing from our old nature into our new nature.  This is achieved by the renewing of our mind and is a process.

            So what does it mean to renew your mind?  Simply put, it means to change your way of thinking.  This is much like reprogramming your computer.  Wiping out the old information and wiping the disk clean.  We then upload the new operating system with all of its new programming information.  We are to stop thinking like the world and think like God.  The only way we can change our way of thinking is through the Word of God's Word is full of treasures to be discovered.  As we study and understand the Word, our relationship with God will deepen.  We will come to know Him, His ways, His thoughts.  We will learn how to yield and surrender ourselves to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to work in us to conform us into the image of Jesus (the Word).

Proverbs 1:1-5 (KJV)

1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel;

2 To know wisdom and instruction; to perceive the words of understanding;

3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, justice, and judgment, and equity;

4 To give subtilty to the simple, to the young man knowledge and discretion.

5 A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:

Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding,

Proverbs 4:20-23 (KJV)

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.

23 Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.

Proverbs 2:1-11 (KJV)

1 My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;

2 So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;

3 Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;

4 If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;

5 Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.

6 For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.

7 He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly.

8 He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

9 Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every good path.

10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;

11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:

Proverbs 3:1-7 (KJV)

My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments:

2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.

3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart:

4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.

5 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

7 Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil.

            According to Romans 8:29 (KJV) we are to be conformed into the image of Jesus.

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

This can only be accomplished if we open ourselves up to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to do the necessary work in us to conform us into the image of Jesus.  What does it mean to be  conformed?  According to Webster's 1828 Dictionary, it means:  to reduce to a likeness or correspondence in manners, opinions or moral qualities

conform. 2014. In Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language.

Retrieved May 5, 2014, from http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/conform

So, you could say that we are to resemble Jesus in manner, thought, word and deed or action.

            When God created man, He created us in His image and likeness. (Genesis 1:28).  God is a triune being.  Father, Word and Holy Spirit.  He created us as triune beings.  Spirit, soul and body.  Once we have accepted Jesus as our Savior, our spirit man is reborn or created anew.  When we talk about renewing our mind, we are speaking of our soul which consists of our mind, will and emotions.  This is what must be renewed.  The Holy Spirit makes the Word come alive in our spirits.  The more we read, meditate and take action according to the Word, the more our minds are renewed.  If we choose not to read, study or meditate on the Word, we do not lose our salvation but, we will remain as carnal Christians.  Carnal means generally, not spiritual.  Being worldly-minded.  We would be more focused on the things of this world than on God.  Again, Webster's defines carnal as:

1. Pertaining to flesh; fleshly; sensual; opposed to spiritual; as carnal pleasure.

2. Being in the natural state; unregenerate, carnal. 2014. In Noah Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language.

Retrieved May 5, 2014, from http://1828.mshaffer.com/d/word/carnal

Romans 8:6-8 describes this further.  We are not to walk according to our flesh or earthly nature but we are to walk according to the Spirit if we are to understand spiritual things.  If we are to become mature sons of God, we must be in a position to be led by the Spirit of God.

Romans 8:6-8 (KJV)

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:14 (KJV)

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

            If we are to become mature sons of God, we must renew our minds to His Word.  There are so many things that can distract us from who we are to be in Him, our purpose and destiny and the enemy will try anything to keep you from fulfilling God's plan for your life.

Matthew 13:19-23

19 When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side.

20 But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;

21 Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended.

22 He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful.

23 But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

            To me, the Word is like food to feed my spirit. As I feed my spirit, the Word gets more and more into my heart (mind) and begins to bring about change.  I am not the same person I was 5, 10 or even 20 years ago. The more I read, study, meditate and devour the Word, the more time I spend in communion with the Holy Spirit, the more I am being changed.  You are what you eat.

            To reiterate, we are to be conformed into the image of Jesus or the Word.  To do this we look at His ministry while He was here on earth.  He only did what He saw the Father do and only spoke what He heard the Father say.  He did this through constant communion with the Father through prayer and the Holy Spirit.   We are to be like Him in thought, word and deed.  We are to have the mind of Christ.  Think as He thinks, act as He acts.  The only way to know how He thinks is to know Him personally through His Word.  As we study the Word, the Holy Spirit will open it up to us and reveal the inner most feelings of God's heart.  We will get to know Him more intimately.  We are one with Him.

2 Timothy 1:7 (KJV)

7 For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

James 1:5-8 (KJV)

5 If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

6 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

7 For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

8 A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

            Studying the Word helps us to reprogram our minds.  I like to listen to my audio Bible so that I actually hear the Word.  Faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of God.  Romans 10:17.  The Word teaches us how to think like Jesus (the Word) thinks.  We will have the mind of Christ.  We are to seek His wisdom, not the wisdom of the world.  We are not to be doubled-minded because a double-minded man is unstable in everything, we used to call it wishy washy.  We wonder why we are not seeing the manifestation of what we are believing for, whether healing, finances, etc., because we are operating in fear part of the time and faith the other part of the time.  We are being double-minded and we can't expect to receive anything from God.

            The Word strengthens our mind as well as our spirit so when we come up against test, trials and temptations, it is the Word that comes to us as our sword and shield.  Just as Jesus replied to Satan during His 40 days in the wilderness, He answered, "it is written".  He spoke the Word.  God's Word is the final authority.  How can we expect to walk in any kind of authority if we do not know the Word?   If we have the Word as a firm foundation in our hearts, situations and circumstances will not bother us.  People will not even be able to tell you are dealing with anything because you are standing strong in faith according to the promises found in the Word, but you must know and believe these promises.

            Receiving Christ as our savior renews our spirit.  Studying the Word, hearing the Word and prayer renews or reprograms our mind.  Eventually, what is in our spirit and what and how we think will begin to overflow into our physical body.  Jesus died for the whole man, spirit, soul and body.  I like to say it this way.  Salvation is on the front of the cross and the Kingdom is on the other side of the cross.  The cross is the doorway into the Kingdom of God.  All provision, all healing, everything the King and His Kingdom represent is available to us but, our minds must be renewed to these things.  By His stripes we were and are healed.  (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24).  My God supplies all my needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus!  (Philippians 4:19).

            When thoughts enter our mind that are contrary to the Word of God, we must immediately replace those thoughts with the Word.  We must bring these thoughts and imaginations into obedience of Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:5

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Instead of being consumed with what is happening around us, in the news, around the world, set your thoughts, your affections on things above.  (Col. 3:2).  I like the way Paul said it to the Philippian church where he said:

Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

            I read some years ago something that really stuck with me.  I am not sure who the author of this quote is but it impacted me greatly.

Watch your thoughts, they become your words

Watch your words, they become your actions

Watch your actions, they become your character

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

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