Blake Allen, Dunbar Cave Campus Pastor, LHBC
1 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
I don’t know about you but I constantly am at war with my thoughts. With so many things to do and things we encounter in life, the mind can be a dangerous thing. Maybe you’re the type of person where you mind is constantly thinking about the next thing on your to do list and you can’t seem to slow down. Maybe your mind is consumed by negative thoughts about yourself or life. Maybe your mind drifts mid-conversation with someone and you have a hard time focusing on the person right in front of you. Maybe you mind is filled with sinful thoughts. Our mind is a battlefield. And if we don’t gain control we will lose the battle. So how do we become the master of our minds and take control?
- Do Not Be Conformed
We need to fill our minds with godly thoughts. We are not called to think like the world. We need to think different. Thinking different requires that we dwell on that which is good, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, morally excellent, and praiseworthy (Philippians 4:8-9). Wordly thinking focuses on the opposite. And if we are going to overcome the battle in our mind, we must press into the Lord who transforms our sinful nature and renews our mind. This is why having a daily devotional with God everyday is so important. When we meditate on the word of God, our mind shifts its focus towards a kingdom focus. We are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and MIND.
- Be Transformed
Positive thinking is not enough. We need radical transformation. The reality is our human nature is prone to sinful and negative thoughts. We need to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind. Daily renewal is key. It’s impossible to overcome spiritual issues with a “just think positive mentality.” Tell a husband who just lost his wife to just think positively. I guarantee you will have negative thoughts yourself once you receive his response.
Just thinking better in a world polluted with negativity while constantly being exposed to negative news, events, and people is unrealistic in many ways. The only way to overcome bad news is with the Good News, and that is the Gospel. The Gospel is a more realistic approach because it confirms the brokenness of the world we live in and offers us hope out of the brokenness we face. We need our minds transformed by the power of the Gospel.
- The Result
When our mind is renewed by spending time with God each day, we will be able to discern God’s will for our life. This is because God’s will is revealed in His word. He provides us guiding principles for faith and practice that helps us to make godly decisions. Whether you are considering a job, a relationship, a career, a college to attend, or what to do in a certain situation, God provides guidance in His word that will help you make the right decision. But you must know what His word says in order to discern it. Gaining control of your mind through daily renewal will help you to know the will of God.
For example: If you are struggling with negative thoughts about yourself, the word of God reminds you that you were created in the image of God (Genesis 1), that you were fashioned by God Himself in the womb (Psalm 139), that He knew you before you ever were and made you on purpose (Psalm 139), and that He created you with a specific purpose (Ephesians 2:10). Meditating on God’s word reminds us that the God of the universe had you in mind before you ever were. You are special and valuable to the king of the universe.
If you are struggling with checking out of conversations with people, the word of God reminds us to count others more important than ourselves (Philippians 2:3). This includes giving our undivided attention to the person instead of focusing on our todo list, our schedules, that sports update, other conversations we are trying to overhear, ways we can get out of the conversation, etc.
We need mind control, that is, to have control over our own mind and thoughts. It begins with the good news of the Gospel and a relationship with Christ who gives us a new nature. It continues with daily renewal.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Dear Heavenly Father, help us to overcome the battle in our mind. Whatever is true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, morally excellent, and praise worthy, help us to dwell on these things. In Jesus’ name, amen!
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Ephesians 2:10- .10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.