Renew your Mind in 2020
by Richard A. Cox, Jr. author of I, We, Us: A Journey of Personal Growth and Development
“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live; but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” (Galatians 2:20 - KJV)
In 2020, God desires to take you and your ministry to the next level of excellence. However, you must evaluate and tie up any loose ends from 2019. Then you can prepare to renew your mind, motives and mission for ministry.
Renew is a word which simply means to restore, or to renovate. Think of renew using the same computer hardware components such as the monitor, central processing unit, keyboard and mouse, but you are installing and upgrading only your computer software applications with new features that will improve your computer performance. Likewise, God utilizes our body. He only wants to renew our way of thinking to conform to His image.
God’s basic plan for us to have spiritual success is to be different in our thinking from the world’s ways and to let the Holy Ghost renew our minds each day. If God can renew our minds, it will transform our minds and hearts to conform to His ways, which was a part of His original design for us. We were designed for worship - not anxiety.
As Christians we naturally love God, which makes us a part of a different culture, with different values and goals from the world. Romans 12:2 (KJV) says, “and do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you many prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” In Ephesians 4:23(KJV), Paul describes the maturing and renewal of our faith as “to be made new in the spirit of your mind.”
Let us focus on renewing our:
- Mind - We need to work on renewing our spiritual mind. Ephesians 2:10(KJV) says, “we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works.” The renewed mind is the creation of God, not man. God renews the spirit of our mind by applying the truth of His Word. The transformed mind sees the goodness and beauty of God’s ways and wants to be holy as He is holy. We must keep our minds in check. Second Corinthians 10:5-6(KJV) exhorts us to “take every thought captive” and be ready to deal with any thought that is not of faith. No matter how long we have been Christians, we all will have negative and ungodly thoughts until we see Jesus. That why it is important to daily renew our minds through God’s Word.
- Motives - The motive for our endeavor to work in ministry is to experience the glory of God. Our greatest motive is a zeal for God’s glory to be revealed in our lives. God gave us the Bible to help us to understand how we are wired. It is through the Word of Truth that God convinces our minds; and then shapes our attitudes, directs our emotions, builds our character, motivates our life.
- Mission - You will find that worship is bound with our mission for true worship, rendering to God the glory, which is due to His Holy Name. Worship focuses on the Glory of God. The phrase ‘living worship’ is the mission God has for our lives - this is our transformation. God doesn’t want a little of our time and money. He wants us. He wants us to offer our bodies as living sacrifices, which is our spiritual worship. We must understand the process. It’s inside-out, not trying to modify your behavior or manipulate your behavior or manipulate your emotions, as though you can transform who you are by putting on a happy face or shaping up a few bad habits. God transforms us from the inside out, by renewing our minds with His Word - which is both truth and power.
It is important to realize that if there is no renewal in the mind, then there will never be any life change either. Without renewing our minds, our lives will remain the same as they always have been, no matter how often we go to church, no matter how often we pray. If we don’t renew our minds, our lives will still have the same problems, the same failures and the same defeats as always. Therefore, our efforts to change should not be focused on our wrong actions but on our wrong thinking.
We need to know how to renew our minds on a daily basis. In other words, how do we turn over our hurts and fears to God without taking them back in 5 minutes? It is not enough to simply say to God, “Lord, give me your thoughts” and expect Him to somehow automatically do it. We must first put off our old self-centered thinking by confessing it, repenting of it and then giving it to God. When we learn how to do this on a daily basis, then we will be able to live the truth and genuinely show forth God’s Life and His Love.
The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to get our heads straight and convinces us of what is true. There are so many half-truths and demonic lies assaulting our minds, from the media and the misguided. So many rationalizations are given for evil, so much wrong thinking, that our minds can get warped. The Holy Spirit realigns our thinking with God’s truth, re-orients our value system, and reconstructs our worldview. God gets inside our head with His Word so we can see things the way He does. You see, what you believe, in turn, shapes your values - what you hold dear, what you know to be right or wrong, important or insignificant. Those values determine your attitude—the way you approach life and see people. Finally, your attitude drives your actions, what you do and say. This process is from the inside out, the renewing of your mind. The means is by the Word of God.
In 2020, you may have felt your spiritual life was out of whack, and your faith was malfunctioning. God invites you to be transformed in 2020 by renewing your mind.
You can take the following actions in 2020:
- Get into a Bible class.
- Listen to music that has God’s message.
- Set aside quality time to develop your devotional time.
- Spend some heart-to-heart time with a Christian whose faith can be your model.
Transformation occurs in your life when you feed your new self on God’s Word, while staving off the old self. Like a computer, it’s garbage in, garbage out or truth – entered, processed, integrated and retrieved. What you enter into your mind will either renew you or undo you. Let God inside your head. You can know if God has transformed you when you are able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will in your life.
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”So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:18
The luster of a new car is lost after a while. The same holds true for a new house or any inanimate object. Why is that? They are just things. Yes, things that we work hard to attain and some things that we need to live; however, there is grave danger in believing those “things” make us who we are or add to our spiritual wellbeing.
I love to look at new cars, new houses, the latest technological gadget, but I keep in mind that they will never bring me the spiritual satisfaction that only God can. There is a feeling of accomplishment and pride that comes when I attain something new mixed with the reality that it will serve a purpose for a season and eventually succumb to moths or rust (Matthew 6:19).
So, are things bad? No, God provides us with things to enjoy and live this earthly life. He wants us to be blessed, but blessed with balance. Lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life are the three categories of sin that we are all susceptible to. If the proper perspective in regards to things is not applied we will fall prey to one of if not all those categories. I spend a lot of time in the gym working out staying in shape. Our body is a temple for the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19) after all so we are required to take care of it. Yet in the grand scheme of things our body is a thing also. A wonderfully designed and made thing, but it gets old, sick, and eventually dies.
Proper perspective is the remedy to keep our lives balanced, but proper perspective is not a trait that we all have. When the purpose for life is not realized proper perspective is nothing but a pipe dream. We are here for God’s glory (1 Corinthians 10:31) and our lives should reflect that. This includes putting into proper perspective the things we have or goals we have achieved within the grand scheme of God getting the glory.
No man or woman will ever take things with them when they die (Mark 8:36), but what was done for God with those things prior to death will last. I am often reminded of this because I often think about dying, but not in a morbid sense. Ecclesiastes 7:4 (NLT) reads, “A wise person thinks a lot about death, while a fool thinks only about have a good time.” I challenge you to ponder that for a moment. If all a person thinks about is “having a good time” the bible says they are a fool. I’m sure you are familiar with abbreviated expression YOLO which means “You Only Live Once”. It’s mainly utilized when people are going to do something they have never done before and it’s an “adventure” or it holds some kind of risk. The expression is very true from a worldly physical view; however, the actual truth of the matter is that we all live forever and we all have one opportunity in the life we currently live to receive eternal life with God or apart from Him. So, if we only live once on this physical earth with the bodies we now possess, let’s live for God and make the most of the time, gifts, talents, and things He has bestowed upon us for His glory.
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