Renewing of the Mind (Part 1)

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The ways of God are different from the ways of man. God spoke through the prophet Isaiah: 

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8-9) 

In the Kingdom of God, though we live a redeemed people with new hearts, we must also continually renew our minds. God wants us to think a new way! Without God’s perspective, we are building our new life in God on a weak foundation. With old thinking, when difficulties come, we respond incorrectly. 

In the past, only the Jews had the privilege to know God and His ways. The New Covenant invites everyone into a personal relationship with Him, allowing us to know His ways. Through Yeshua, we have access to God and His thinking! The Word of God reveals His thoughts on how He sees us, our families, and the world. We must seek to think the way He thinks, to see the way He sees, and to feel the way He feels. God’s redemptive grace has the power to transform the whole person and not just the heart. Real transformation takes place in our minds. If we want to see our nations transformed, it must begin with our minds. 

Our minds need constant renewing. The New Testament calls us to constantly renew our thoughts and have the mind of Messiah! Yeshua said that the greatest commandment is to, “love God with all our heart, soul and mind” (Matthew 22:37). Often, we speak about loving God with our whole hearts. However, I believe if we want to see God exalted in our lives we should know how to love Him with our whole mind as well. 

Paul

The Apostle Paul helps us understand the importance of being engaged in the constant process of modifying our thoughts. Paul had a rich religious heritage from his people, the Jews, but changed his thinking completely when He encountered God’s Son the Messiah. After he met Yeshua, Paul realized that God’s ways are different than what he had been taught. He had to discover a new way to live by laying aside his ideology, worldview, and expectations. 

Paul encourages believers throughout his writing to, “be renewed in the spirit of your mind” (Ephesians 4:23). The Apostle also inspires followers of Yeshua to seek God’s perspective (Colossians 3:2). 

Let’s have a look at Romans 12:1-2: 

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(Romans 12:1-2) 

In the Old Covenant, God required His people to bring animal sacrifices, but in the New Covenant, we present to Him our bodies. That includes our minds! If we want God to share His thoughts with us, we need to empty ourselves from our own ambitions, plans and dreams. 

In our zeal to advance the Kingdom of God, we have a natural tendency to use our own human reasoning and conclusions. We need to leave worldly thinking behind and strive to gain the mind of God. 

God calls us to give up our former way of living. While some elements of our culture carry good values and standards, they are often rooted in idolatry or the traditions of man. 

It is through the constant discipline of spending time in His Word that we renew our thinking. Without a consistent renewal of our mind, we cannot understand God’s plans, purposes, and intentions. On the other hand, when we embrace His thinking, it allows God to advance His purposes through us. Afterwards, we can pray with assurance for God to bless our nations. 

When God brought the Israelites to the Promised Land after years of desert wandering and conquest, they had to learn to become farmers. They had Land and had to learn to work it. In turn, they had to learn how to manage their land and their lives, how to conduct commerce, how to care for one another, how to raise their children to walk in these new ways, and how to establish leaders for managing their growing communities. They had to renew their thinking from nomadic warriors to living in the Land of Promise as a healthy interactive society. 

The question is: who and what influences our minds and the decisions we make? There are several factors that influence our thinking: the world, the devil, our fallen nature and God. 

We must understand that we are engaged in a constant, never-ending battle. As people of faith, we understand that there is an invisible, but real struggle. Our mind is the battlefield where the enemy can gain the most ground without much of a fight—if we let him. 

This article is an excerpt from my bookPERSPECTIVE”.