He regularly attends church, making new friends-but he is still struggling with anger. I get really irritated at the way people treat me," he states. Harry, 67 years old, has been a Christian all his adult life. He grew up with a father who verbally abused him. You're good for nothing! The struggles may not be identical, but many Christians are caught up in major battles in their mind. The promise of 2 Corinthians sounds great, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!
The old way of thinking has not gone away. Many still struggle with temptations in their mind, bitterness, depression, fear, hopelessness, frustrations, problems, and putting it bluntly-evil thoughts. To be a successful Christian means to follow Jesus, to obey His teachings, to love others, to grow spiritually. But this battle still rages in the mind. God's solution to this battle is not simply to pray more.
Prayer is important-but we need to do more than pray. Romans goes to the heart of the problem and offers God's solution-"Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
God's Part vs.
Our Part Three significant scriptures talk about renewing your mind-Romans , Philippians , and Hebrews All three of these scriptures say YOU must renew your mind. None say, "pray that God will renew your mind. God's Part 1. God extends these gifts to His children-but are we taking them, and applying them in our lives? Self discipline in our thoughts is a critical element of renewing our minds. God has promised to help. When Jesus was preparing to leave earth and return to heaven, He specifically promised that the Holy Spirit would guide us into all truth.
John says, "But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth.
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He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. God promises to help-He will guide you into all truth-but you have to be willing to take His help. Jesus did not say the Holy Spirit would give you all the truth-He said He would guide you into all the truth. This clearly indicates you must be seeking the truth if you want Him to guide you. It's the same as the child who says, "Mom, help me with my homework," versus "Mom, do my homework for me.
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God promises to bring us from darkness into light. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life. After each of these programs, she would immediately return to her lifestyle of drug addiction. Her mother asked, "What are you learning in these programs? God's truth is light for us. One of the most important gifts that God has given us for renewing our mind is the Bible- His written word-a wealth of truth that clearly shows His way of thinking, and how He wants us to think.
King David said in Psalm , "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path. Now what are we going to do with this treasure? God promises to give wisdom to those who ask. Another incredible tool for us to use! Our Part When it comes to renewing your mind-God has already done His part. And it is clear that He will not do your part.
First, you must accept responsibility for renewing your mind. After all, it is your mind! So what does it mean to renew your mind? We need to learn to think like God thinks. We need to get rid of our sinful attitudes, our negative, critical ways of thinking, our selfish thoughts. Renewing your mind should not be confused with thoughts that come into your mind.
Many times we cannot stop certain thoughts from entering our mind. But what we do with that thought the instant we recognize that thought-that's where our response clearly shows whether or not we are renewing our mind. Much of what we think about is directly connected to what we are feeding into our mind. If you put pornography into your mind-that is what you will end up thinking about. And what goes into your mind affects your whole life. God tells us in His word "I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
This includes what we watch on TV, what we read, and the music we listen to. Romans tells us that we need to renew our minds and the benefits we will reap if we do so. But that scripture does not tell us how to renew our mind. T he Positive Approach The first major strategy for renewing your mind is found in Philippians It contains 8 specific steps we can take to renew our mind.
Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice.
The Battle for Your Mind - Turning Point with Dr. David Jeremiah
And the God of peace will be with you. With each of these 8 steps, I must constantly look for God's standard, not my standard. For example, the first step-think about whatever is true. I need to discover God's standard of truth, not my perception of truth. What does God say in His word about truth? If I am going to renew my mind, I must fill my mind with His truth. I need to read the Bible daily- I need to memorize scriptures. But it is not enough to have this information in my head-I must "put it into action!
A renewed mind should lead to changed behavior. The box on page 3 gives a more detailed description of how to apply the strategy of Philippians to renewing your mind. I challenge you to take each one of these 8 steps and work in a very systematic way of evaluating your thought life.
If a thought fails the test of being true, or noble, or right, or pure, then stop going down that path in your mind. Turn your thoughts toward God and His word. We need to put off our old way of thinking and develop a new way of thinking. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body.
If you realize you have fallen short of one of these 8 standards, don't beat yourself down-instead focus your attention on renewing your mind right now. Get back on the right path. With each of these 8 steps, God's word can help you. Fill your mind with scriptures that relate to that step. If you have a real struggle with one area-then find scriptures that speak to that issue. Write them down, carry them with you, and read them throughout your day.
The more you fill your mind with His truth, the more it will help to cleanse your mind of the inappropriate thoughts. A key issue here is-what do you want to think about? Learning to think like Jesus means that you must continually make decisions in your mind. Your decisions!
The Battle for Your Mind
Your mind! God won't decide for you. You must want to change the way you think. Joseph in the Old Testament was sold as a slave by his brothers. He ended up in Egypt, and eventually in prison-with no hope for the future. But God rescued him. Nowhere do you read of Joseph being bitter because of the injustice he suffered. Many years later his brothers fear he still plans revenge for their evil actions. The response of Joseph shows a truly renewed mind in action- " 'You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.
So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children. Battling Evil Thoughts The 8 steps of Philippians provide a powerful place to start in renewing our mind-focus on the positive! But many of us face evil thoughts in our minds. They invade our mind without our permission. Perhaps you have been in church, singing songs of worship or listening to God's message from the pastor, when in your mind a movie of sinful thoughts begins to play. Or maybe you face this battle as you try to go to sleep at night.
- The Transformation of Your Mind.
- Renewing Your Mind.
- No Mind Change, No Life Change!!
You try to focus your mind on God's truth, but the evil movie continues to play in your mind. God offers another strategy we can use for these kinds of battles in the mind. These evil thoughts are not conquered by ignoring them, any more than a soldier ignores his enemy. The soldier faces his enemy, and fights him. We must do the same when we face evil thoughts.
We must use the strategies of a soldier-fight with passion! Satan is our enemy, committed to destroying us. This scripture points to the absolute need for us to know God's word. How do we know if an argument or pretension is setting itself up against the knowledge of God? We know that all the cells in our bodies are continually renewed as we expel the old cells and through healthy nourishment build new ones. The problem with the body, however, is that in spite of it being renewed all the time, it also grows old and is slowly dying. In the same way the mind is also renewed as the old thoughts and ideas are expelled and a constant stream of biblical ideas are fed into it.
Unlike the body, the mind does not need to become more limited over time, but can become more spiritual and closer to the Lord as we get older. In Philippians Paul says: "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.
There is yet another step in this process which Paul refers to it as "bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ". In a military battle not a single member of the enemy can be allowed into our camp, let alone hundreds and thousands of enemy soldiers infiltrating our side of the line. Yet in the spiritual battle we will tolerate thousands of enemy agents in the shape of thoughts and ideas working inside our minds and hearts! Every thought needs to be brought into captivity.
Have you ever wondered why God was so angry that Saul did not wipe out every single Amalekite? It is because of this exact principle. You may remember that it was the very thing that Saul had spared that came to finish him off and that killed him when he was at the lowest point of his life! Do not spare or show mercy to any of the Devil's agents in your mind. This means it needs to be captured and brought under control. When an enemy soldier is found on the wrong side of the line, he is immediately apprehended and restrained and eventually either imprisoned or deported.
The whole object is to render him incapable of inflicting any kind of hurt or damage on the friendly forces. In the same way these thoughts need to be apprehended and restrained and either expelled from our minds or brought under control. It is just here where most of us are defeated. Our minds are filled with thoughts and ideas that run about, unrestrained, gathering momentum and support and undermining us from within.
Why do we allow that to continue? I really don't know, but we do. Every thought needs to be controlled. Don't let your mind run away with you down the road of lust, bitterness, pride, anger, worry and unbelief. Bring those thoughts into submission to the obedience of Christ. Peter puts it this way: "Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober He is using an analogy of a soldier who would place a belt around his waist so that his loose clothing will not get in the way and trip him up when he is in battle.
That is what all these uncontrolled thoughts do.