Scripture tells us we need to be transformed by renewing our mind. But how do we do this?
Renewing our mind doesn’t happen by our determination to stop thinking the way we’ve always thought. It goes much deeper than that.
For many people, thought patterns are like deep ruts in the mud and it takes a lot of work to catapult their mind out of those ruts – or defaults – and into new thought patterns.
Have you ever stepped into a room and then asked, “What did I come in here for?”
Of course you have. All of us have experienced that.
Did you ever try going back where you came from in hope you would remember what it was you were going after? “Am I losing my mind?” We all laugh because we have all been there. “Am I getting ‘all-timers disease’ or just ‘sometimers’?”
I am sure many of us, maybe most of us, grieve over the devastating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. We secretly fear the horror of living in that prison; a life with a mind that has wasted away.
There is a spiritual form of that horrible disease that is being lived out way too often.
What do I mean?
It is a believer, one who claims the born again experience through faith in Jesus Christ, yet lives their life with the same strongholds that held them before they came to faith.
They have the same
- addictions to prescription drugs, marijuana, alcohol, and porn
- use abusive anger or whining to control people
- lustful imagination
Maybe they live with the more acceptable forms of the old life
- occasional cursing
- social drinking
- movies with nudity filled with “F” bombs and other inappropriate language
- improper dress that attracts attention
They are living out of their old mind.
The mind is the ideology, philosophy, reasoning, thought patterns, and world view by which one lives. It is the stuff that shapes behavior patterns; defense mechanisms; the systems by which adversity, trials and tragedy are handled.
These things are shaped in us by our family and friends from our earliest days.
They continue to be shaped in us through education, childhood experiences and dealing with the circumstances of life.
They are the “old man” or the “old woman” by which we lived before we came to Christ.
The Apostle Paul instructed the believers at Corinth, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled” (2Corinthians 10:4-6 NKJV).
Strongholds are attitudes and behaviors that continue in our life because we think, ”That is just who I am.” We live with things because we believe they are unchangeable.
A stronghold is deception (wrong philosophy, reasoning, or thought pattern) filled with hopelessness. It determines or establishes a behavior pattern and keeps one tied to an addiction.
Living out of the old mind will cause us to deal with life the way they would have before we came to Christ. It makes a person a prisoner of war held captive by the enemy, even though they have been born again.
It is imperative to follow the Scripture’s instructions.
2 Steps to Renewing Your Mind
1. Cast down those empty imaginations, reasoning, and philosophies.
2. Bring every thought pattern into obedience to Christ. That is, bring every thought pattern, reasoning, philosophy and ideology in conformity to the principles and precepts of God’s Word.
When you do that, your behavior will follow!
“That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24 NKJV).
The mind is a terrible thing to waste.
Renew your mind in the power of the Holy Spirit with the Living Word of God. Then you will live in the fullness of your new life in Christ.