Posted by: Heather | March 9, 2010

Renewing our Minds in Christ

You may find the first 3 parts of this teaching here if you haven’t been able to read them yet.  I apologize they’ve been so spread out.  I’ll try not to do that again in the future.  🙂

Part 1:  Resolution or Transformation?

Part 2: Conformed to this World?

Part 3:  Be ye Transformed!

Romans 12:2  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.

After studying this scripture in previous lessons, we realize that it’s not very fruitful for us to attempt to change ourselves on the outside first, and expect a permanent change.  This is a life-changing truth for any of us that have spent many years wrestling with habits or attitudes in our lives.  Permanent change only comes through the heart by transformation.  But, how do we begin the journey on the path to becoming transformed?

So far, this scripture has shown us what NOT to do (be conformed to this world), and what we SHOULD do (be transformed).  Next, we’re going to discuss HOW we’re going to be transformed.  The heart change we need to achieve if we’re going to see lasting change and peace in our bodies and spirits will only take place if our minds are being renewed daily by the Word of God.

The word ‘renewing’ means a renovation, or a complete change for the better.   The definition of ‘mind’ is ‘the mind and the intellect, made up of the faculties of perceiving, understanding, feelings, judging, and determining’.

In the Greek lexicon, it says this change in our minds is “effected by the Holy Spirit”.  So our minds, intellect, feelings, and perceptions need to be remodeled, so to speak.  When you remodel your home, you tear out that which you don’t want anymore, and replace it with something new.  When you remodel, you replace something that is not pleasing to you with something that is.  This is exactly what needs to happen in our minds to free us from destructive attitudes and habits.  Often, we spend much time trying things outside of God and His Word to make changes.  There is usually some truth involved in the world’s way.  But, the entire premise is wrong (the notion that we change ourselves from the outside in).  So, now that we know this, our job is to tear down all of those old ideas that have been sitting in our minds gathering cobwebs, if you will, and replace them with something that’s going to be a “complete change for the better”.

The best part is, the contractor is the Holy Spirit!  He helps us work, through the power of God and His Word to clear out all that is displeasing to Him, and replace it with good, solid, Biblical change!

We are in need of an “extreme makeover”, but this one won’t cost us thousands of dollars!  It will cost us something though.  It will cost giving up all of the old ideas we’ve held onto about ourselves.  This in itself can be an uncomfortable process.  But, change is often uncomfortable.

It costs us some time to gain a closer relationship with the Lord through study and prayer.  That caterpillar I spoke of in ‘Be Ye Transformed!’ spends much time locked away so something can take place in its body that mankind just can’t explain.  It costs him something:  his old life.  But, he also gains something that’s much more precious: wings!  We can be held in prison by old, ugly ideas about ourselves that keep us in the same old rut.  And, as long as we continue to think that way, chances are we’ll stay in exactly the same place:  on the ground, pushing dirt.  But, when we become willing to see change take place, and desire it so badly that we’re willing to exert some effort for it, our minds become renovated.  And, then, we have the power, through Jesus Christ, to develop wings, so we can rise above all of those things that have kept us down.  Then we’re not in the dirt any more, wishing we could see above ground level.  We’re flying above, seeing things a little closer to God’s perspective!

It’s also interesting to note, that when a caterpillar is in its cocoon, and it’s time to come out, nobody else can break open that cocoon without harming the butterfly inside.  If someone comes along and sees it trying to fight its way out, they may feel compassion, and try to help it get out.  But, that person doesn’t realize that they are doing irreversible harm, because the wings will be crippled.  Part of the process is that the butterfly has to exert the effort himself to be strong, and completely changed.  The same is true of us.  We have one another for accountability, support, and encouragement.  But, by the same token, each of us has to exert the effort individually to effect change in our own lives, so that we’ll be strong, and able to fly.  Nobody else can make us do it.  We’ve got to want it badly enough for ourselves.  But, we must always remember that we’re never alone, even when it seems we are.  The Lord is with us to give us His strength from within.

When we make the effort to begin the “mind remodel” in our lives, we will find that our hearts begin to follow, by being “changed for the better”.   Then, and only then, will we see the beginning of permanent change.

Artwork (at top of post) by John Bell copyright 1998-2007 (www.jrbell.com) – used with permission

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Responses

  1. Heather, your blogs are SO good! Please remember me when you’re traveling as a famous writer and speaker. I’ll be glad to open up your meetings with a few worship songs and be your administrative assistant. : ) Seriously, God is anointing your work. Thank you for taking the time to study, hear God’s voice, and share these truths.

    Love you,
    Joni

    • Thanks, Joni! You’re so sweet. 🙂 If the Lord saw fit for me to be well-known, don’t think I wouldn’t take you up on that. LOL If you have any other friends that you think would be interested, I’m trying to get the word out. I’m going out for a few hours tomorrow to do some more studying, and hope to get a few things written if the Lord allows. I love you girl!


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