When you think of the word renew, what comes to mind? Some may think of it in a negative term such as having to renew a driver's license, fishing license or even a tag license. Although, the renewal that I'm talking about has nothing to do with earthly things, but has to do with the mind.
When I think of the word renew, I think of being refreshed or restored by taking off the old and putting on the new. The Bible has quite a bit to say about the word renew. Ephesians 4:23 states, And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Our minds are powerful things. They dictate how we respond to life in so many ways. We are controlled by our minds. What we allow into it can influence us greatly. Because of this truth, it is so important to be careful what we allow our minds to dwell on and how we direct our thought life.
The way we perceive life starts with a thought. We all live in the same world, and yet we all have a different perceptive on it. What we allow our minds to absorb and believe will give us our outlook on life. This can make us live lives full of freedom and peace or the opposite bondage and anxiety.
Because of this strong influence our mind plays in our lives, we must guard our minds and keep them pure. 1 Peter 1:13 Therefore gird up the loins of your mindWe are to guard and protect our minds. Satan is trying to get us to fall with so many things in this world and we must be alert and guard our minds from being influenced by them. If we desire to live pleasing lives for God, our minds must be transformed from thinking carnally. Romans 12:2 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. The scripture starts off by stating we must not be "conformed" to the world. Conformed is to be "molded" or "to form" to something. It can also be seen as becoming a replica of something. Growing up in our surroundings, we can't help but be molded by what we watch or listen to on the t.v., the radio or even what we watch our friends do. We want to blend in and be accepted. Yet God has called us Christians to be different and to not be influenced by these things. We must be different in our actions, in our thoughts, in the way we talk and even in our perception. We are to swim against the flow of what we see around us or what society accepts as normal.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Carnality thinking only brings death. There is no life or freedom in it. Carnality thinking brings no hope to the person, only despair. When our mind's focus is on temporal worldly matters we become anxious, fearful, angry and discontent, especially when we are faced with situations that are unbearable for us. If our focus is just on the temporal earthly matters, we will lose our vision for life. Life becomes all about us and our situations rather than about God and his purpose for our lives. That brings stagnation and death. The later part of that scripture refers to the life and peace that will be granted to us if our minds are focused on Him. I find personally in my own life that when I'm going through a difficult time, if my mind is set on God by trusting in Him, the Holy Spirit will comfort me with peace. On the other hand, when my focus is on the temporal problem, I become weighed down with fear and doubt.
Mind renewal is a daily process. We are changed from glory to glory. Our faith must be reformed from carnality to spiritual and this is only done through the Holy Spirit's guidance. Pray daily asking God to change the way you think and obey his word and you will see a change in your own life. Your mind will begin to be renewed through the Holy Spirit's help.