Transformed – Part 2
(Romans 12:2 NLT) Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
The Bible is very clear in teaching us that the way that we change is by changing the way that we think.
So, if there are behaviors, habits, etc. that we have in our lives, then they can be changed or eliminated by changing the way that we think.
Why is this so important?
(Deuteronomy 30:19-20 NLT) (19) “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live! (20) You can make this choice by loving the LORD your God, obeying Him, and committing yourself firmly to Him. This is the key to your life. And if you love and obey the LORD, you will live long in the land the LORD swore to give your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.”
The quality of life that we have today is a result of the choices that we made yesterday.
Those choices, either good or bad have been shaped by the decisions that we have made.
The things that exercise the greatest amount of influence in our lives, are the things that help shape the decisions that we make on a regular basis.
(1 Thessalonians 5:23 NIV) (23) May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Your soul is comprised of your mind, will, and your emotions.
How is your soul intended to operate?
- Your Mind
The mind has the God given capacity to perceive and understand and come to a logical conclusion on something.
Measure and evaluate the information that God brings to you
Based on the information that is presented to you make a decision – hopefully the right one.
Two primary sources of input for your mind:
Your body – that lives in this natural temporal world perceiving information through your five physical senses.
Your spirit – which is alive unto God and provides information that cannot come to you through your physical senses but has to do with present and future intent from God.
- Your Will
Based on the information that you are presented you make decisions in your life which determine both the quality of your life and your destiny.
Those decisions can be right or wrong based on the information that we have at that moment and that is why it is sometimes prudent to not make a decision in haste or under pressure.
- Your Emotions
The information or perception that we have about something will invoke an emotional response.
OR Your emotions respond to whatever you spend time thinking about.
Emotions give you momentum towards the things that you have decided to do.
Your mind interacts with your emotions or how you feel to produce desire and desire is the foundation of your decision-making.
Your most consistent behavior will always reflect your strongest desire.
Your desires are based on what you think about that situation and how you feel about that situation.
I think, I feel and therefore I choose.
How Do I Renew My Mind?
So if I want to make better choices for my life that are in line with God’s plan for my life, then I must renew my mind or change my thinking. How do I do that?
Renewing does not mean learning. Paul was writing to people who were Born Again and had a basic knowledge of the Word of God.
(Psalms 131:1-3 NLT) A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem. A psalm of David. LORD, my heart is not proud; my eyes are not haughty. I don’t concern myself with matters too great or too awesome for me to grasp. (2) Instead, I have calmed and quieted myself, like a weaned child who no longer cries for its mother’s milk. Yes, like a weaned child is my soul within me. (3) O Israel, put your hope in the LORD–now and always.
“Hope” in Hebrew means “trust”.
Trust is probably the most important aspect of our relationship with God.
We do not get to a place of trust until we are weaned in our souls.
There are things that your mind says it is dependent on in order to be able to live, be happy, be content and be satisfied in this life.
Your mind will tell you that there are certain things that must be exactly so in order for you to be happy.
The weaning of the mind is a weaning from the dependencies that have to be there in order for you to be happy.
Six things that seem to be most prevalent in most people’s minds that we need to wean our minds from:
- We must wean our minds from trying to figure everything out.
(Proverbs 3:5-7 NIV) Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; (6) in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. (7) Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.
- We must wean ourselves from a losing mentality.
- We must wean ourselves from a selfish thinking.
- We must wean ourselves from pity parties.
(Philippians 4:4 NIV) Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
- We must wean ourselves from pride.
(John 15:5 NIV) “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.
- We must wean ourselves of critical thinking.
(Luke 6:37 MSG) “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults–unless, of course, you want the same treatment. Don’t condemn those who are down; that hardness can boomerang. Be easy on people; you’ll find life a lot easier.
Your mind is the deciding factor in which course you will follow.
(Romans 8:5-6 NIV) Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (6) The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
How do we get from being carnally minded to being spiritually minded? The process is called to renewing your mind. How do you renew your mind?
It is a process of taking out and putting in. (Housecleaning and refurnishing)
Don’t have a mental garage sale, just burn it.
You would not go out and buy new furniture and then squeeze it in next to the old furniture and make it fit, no you get rid of the old and replace it with the new.
(2 Corinthians 10:3-5 KJV) (3) For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (4) (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds) (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;
Three Levels of Mental Activity:
There is no place in the Bible that says that Satan is able to place thoughts in our minds. That premise implies that he is omniscient.
There is only One who knows the thoughts and intents of the human heart and that is the Lord.
(1 Samuel 16:7 NIV) But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
Our thoughts are a process of moving through the circumstances of our everyday life.
There is no such thing as a blank mind. Your mind is in operation all the time.
Thoughts are introduced to you by the circumstances of life.
- The first level of mental activity is the selection of thoughts.
(Matthew 6:31 KJV) Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?
You determine the thoughts that you take or reject.
You take a thought by attaching words to it and saying it out of your mouth.
(2 Corinthians 10:5b BBE) …causing every thought to come under the authority of Christ;
- The second level of mental activity is imagination.
Imagination – the process of mental imagery.
Mentally imaging your circumstance and the thoughts you have taken building an image of what your life can be as it relates to that thought pattern.
This is the level where behavior comes into play as you begin to visualize your life in one way or another.
(Genesis 11:6 KJV) And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.
The process of visual imagery is what leads to behavior.
Patterns of behavior that can be defined as habitual, start this way.
- The third level of mental activity is called a stronghold.
We are created by God with the ability to create habit patterns to make us more efficient so that eventually you can do things without having to consciously think about them.
Example – when we were young we had to remind ourselves or someone else remind us to go and brush our teeth in the morning.
Habit – an acquired behavior pattern regularly followed until it has become involuntary. It literally can become an enemy fortification if Satan becomes involved.
Realize that there is an anointing available to you to help you tear down those strongholds in our lives by casting down imaginations and go through the process of renewing your mind.