We have touched on the area of the mind and thoughts to some depth now, and came to the understanding that you cannot change your life without changing your thinking. Your mind is the control centre of your being where all decisions are made; your thoughts steer your life. Changing the mind is, of course, not a simple matter, but it can be done. The Holy Spirit is a Helper.
Our minds are naturally shaped to fit into the environment where we live. Our families, friends and teachers mainly contribute religious, traditional, political and self-esteem perceptions. Most of these are usually carnal and in conflict with the Word.
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8
The carnal mind is enmity against God. The first – and lasting – step after the new birth experience is the renewing of the mind. Your spirit is born again, but your mind is still carnal and must be renewed in its thinking to fit into the culture of God’s Kingdom.
Notice in the passage above that you can set your mind; you choose how to think and what to think about. The default mindset of every human being is carnal, and to change that you have to make an intended effort to renew it. The carnal mind always works against the will of God as it is designed to think thoughts of comfort to the flesh.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2
Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you. Romans 12:2 – The Message
A mature Christian has his thoughts based on the solid foundation of the Word.
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3
“Set your mind on things above, not on the earth…”Seek those things that are above…”
Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things. Philippians 4:8
The changes that come through a Word-renewed mind are vast, and so are the benefits. James, in his epistle, explains this process in an interesting way. Notice how he says the Word becomes work – which means you do what you read.
Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:21-25
The blessing is in the doing!
- Change your mind about the Word
- Change your mind about God
- Change your mind about yourself
- Change your mind about others
- See what the Bible says about things, and change your thinking accordingly
If the Word doesn’t change your thinking, nothing will change. Your faith will be weak and your victories few. So many believers still look at themselves as sinners, but this is not how God sees them. We must see ourselves they way God sees us to be an effective instrument in His hands. Go through all the in Him, by Him, through Him statements in Paul’s epistles and begin to discover your new identity in Christ.
- You are a new creation in Him (2 Corinthians 5:17)
- You are the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21)
- You are blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3)
- God chose you in Christ (Ephesians 1:4)
- God adopted you as His child in Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5)
- He made you acceptable in the Beloved (Ephesians 1:6)
- In Him you have the redemption in His blood (Ephesians 1:7)
- In Him you have obtained an inheritance (Ephesians 1:11)
- You are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:10)
- You are triumphant in Christ Jesus (2 Corinthians 2:14)
As you study the Scriptures, you will grow in knowledge of your position in Christ. Wonderful truths that will set you free to step into the fullness of the new life in Christ await you. This is another good reason to “abide” in the Word. Remember, you cannot rise above your level of faith, and true faith is anchored to the Word.