Summary: renewing your mind
How easy it is for the devil to get our minds and thoughts off track, thinking about things we should not. This is why our minds need to be saturated and fortified by the Word of God. If what you are thinking about is what is right, you cannot be thinking about what is wrong. Our mind is similar to a cars’ transmission. We can press on going forward or we can put it in reverse and go backwards, both take the same effort. It’s our choice to focus on the positive or drown in the negative.
I heard a story about a positive farmer and a negative farmer. When rain fell on the land, the positive farmer would say, “Thank You, Lord, for watering our crops.”
The negative farmer said, “Yeah, but if this rain keeps up, it’s going to rot the roots away, and we’re never going to have a harvest.”
The sun came out and the positive farmer said “Thank You, Lord, for the sunshine. Our crops are getting the vitamins and minerals they need. We’re going to have a great harvest this year.”
The negative farmer said, “Yeah, but if it keeps this up, it’s going to scorch those plants. We’re never going to make a living.” One day the two farmers went goose hunting together, and the positive farmer brought along his new bird dog. He was so proud of that dog; he couldn’t wait to show him off. They went out in a small boat and waited. Before long, a big goose flew overhead. Boom! The positive farmer brought the bird down in the middle of the lake. He turned to his friend and said, “Now watch what this dog can do.” That dog jumped out of the boat and ran on top of the water, picked up the goose, ran back all the way on top of the water, and put the bird down perfectly in the boat. The positive farmer was beaming from ear to ear. He turned to his friend and said, “What did you think of that?”
He said. “That dog can’t even swim!”
Don’t you know people like that? They are always focused on the negative. As Christians we need to stay focused on the positive things in life. Paul said in
Ephesians 4:22-24 (NIV)
22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Paul is teaching us to put off your old self, your old nature describing a sinful person. To put off means to take off that dirty garment and exchange it for something clean, something new, something pure (Christ). We must change our hearts. We must put on Christ and throw away our old self, and our old lifestyle.
How do we renew the attitude of our minds? To be renewed describes a continuous activity, the self has been exchanged, but the process of renewal, of becoming like Christ is a continual daily process. Transformation begins in the mind and results in renewed behavior!
We must desire to pattern ourselves after God, not the world.
Romans 12:2 (NIV)
2 Do not conform 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.
We must study and apply God’s Word so that our behavior is changed for the better!
2 Timothy 3:16-17New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
We must be involved in activities that renew our minds. Philippians 4:8-9
8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Our thoughts should be tested…
1. Give ourselves the reliance test. Whatever is true- Society asks not if it’s true, but does it work, not worried if it’s true! The Christian way is not done with Lies, rumors or deceitfulness, rather it is all about sincerity, loyalty, faithfulness and being reliable and genuine.
2. The respect test- Whatever is Noble-Keep dishonorable thoughts out. These thoughts are worthy of respect and dignified and exalted in character and excellence. Learn to counter attack them.