Studies

Study Type
Series
Renewing the Mind
Part 5

Renewing the Mind

Bible Study
Renewing the Mind
Part 4

Renewing the Mind

Bible Study
Renewing the Mind
Part 3

Renewing the Mind

Bible Study
Renewing the Mind
Part 2

Renewing the Mind

Bible Study
Renewing the Mind
Part 1

Renewing the Mind

Bible Study
Habits
Part 7

Building for the Future

Series
Habits
Part 6

Listen Before You Speak

Series
Habits
Part 5

Win Win

Series
Habits
Part 4

Better Together

Series
Habits
Part 3

Priorities

Series
Habits
Part 2

What do you see

Series
Habits
Part 1

It’s all about choices

Series

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Renewing the Mind

In this lesson we will consider what it means to develop our mind as the control centre of our lives. The mind is an amazing and powerful creation of God. No animal has a mind like yours, know computer or machine does and in fact we haven’t even tapped into its full potential ourselves.

It is said that “the mind is a terrible thing to waste” and yet we are wasting our minds every single day. Even as Christians we allow our minds to wander and lead us into mediocrity and negativity. Instead we should be celebrating this amazing part of man that stores all of our experiences and learned materials. It reasons and creates information and chooses a myriad of options each day. It plans and sees the future with an imagination that is unlimited.

Romans 8 (5-6) says, “For those who live according to the flesh set their MINDS on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally MINDED is death and to be spiritually minded is life and peace”. God has established the mind as a meter of reasoning, deciding, believing and envisioning. This passage tells us that our mind determines whether we live in the flesh ( which is the sin nature, negative desires, and the lower unregenerate part of man ), or in the spirit ( the Godly, Holy recreated part of the Christian ). If we set our minds on negative desires, imaginations, or experiences, we will eventually follow those thoughts, and begin to practice some degree of negativity. Proverbs 23 (7) tells us, “ For as a man thinks in his heart, so is he”.

Psychologists tell us that people and in particular children are influenced heavily by what they watch on television. The same can be said for those that spend large amounts of time in front of gaming consuls. If we spend too much time watching, let’s say, violent content, then the likelihood of us becoming aggressive and violent is increased dramatically. 

This is because God designed our minds to be a great tool in learning His ways and walking with Him on earth. We have the ability to grasp information and assimilate it better than any other creature. Adam was to receive all of his knowledge from God his Father and not from evil, negative sources. The tree of knowledge ( or thoughts ) of good and evil was there to give Adam a choice to learn from God or from the world. As long as he chose to receive God’s word he prospered, and would have learned everything, and more than the tree of knowledge could ever give him. By taking the knowledge or thoughts of the world, Adam opened his mind and his spirit to things that were contrary to God. The first effect was spiritual death – separation from God. And then a way of living that eventually ended in physical death.

Through Jesus we come back to God in our spiritual relationship when we are born again. But our minds still need to be renewed to the knowledge of God, if we talk to Him on a daily basis. And although we will never be back in the garden, with a born again spirit and a renewed mind, we can walk with God again.

In Romans 8, Paul says, where you set your mind is the controlling factor between spiritual life and a carnal life. When Paul comments that the carnal mind brings death, he is not talking about spiritual death but rather rather a death that separates us from the blessing and provision that God has for us.

An example of this is found in the famous story of the prodigal son in Luke chapter 15. In this story we read about a son that leaves his fathers house because he has developed a carnal mind. He takes his inheritance and wastes it on worldly living. Eventually he runs out of resource, the blessing is gone and so he returns home where his father excepts him back into the household. The father says, “my son was dead, but now he is alive”. The son was never actually physically dead, and neither did he ever stop being his son. But by leaving the father and following his own carnal thoughts, he was separated or dead to the provision and the protection of the father. He never received another inheritance, but at least he renewed his mind to come home.

RENEWING THE MIND KEY #16

Where you set your mind is controlling where you go in life.

 Today many Christians have experienced that soul type of death, where they are born again and going to heaven and yet the promises of God are so far removed. The biggest frustration in this is that we can then live in a realm where we have the same struggles and challenges as unbelievers, and although knowing the truth, if the truth isn’t within us, we keep missing our blessing.

The reason for this experience is a lack of knowledge about renewing our minds. God is with them and they really are a son or daughter but their minds create a negative framework that leads to unbelief, fear and worry. Remember the carnal mind is death, but the spiritual mind is life and peace. Isaiah 26 (3) tells us,”You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts You”. Our mind being stayed on God doesn’t mean we walk around thinking about nothing but God all day, He understands that we have to go to work and run a family etc. But John 1 (1) tells us “ The Word was God”. When we think in line with God, when our attitude is controlled by the Word of God, when we face life with the Word of God, then our mind is stayed on Him. Thats when life and peace are ours.

RENEWING THE MIND KEY #17

As you refocus your mind, you take a new picture of your future.

When I first became a Christian I had an amazing experience and new that I was truly born again, my spirit had been renewed, I was born again. But I was equally aware that I now had to discipline my mind to break old habits. Those  habits are not the usual ones that people think of such as drinking, smoking, pornography and the like. It was learning not to worry, to cast my cares upon Him. It was learning not to react but rather pro-act, it was learning that depression was a waste of time and energy and only hurt me and my future. Instead I began to hold these frames of mind, thoughts and attitudes captive to the obedience of Christ. I did this by examining these weaknesses in light of what God said about Himself and me and then exchanging the un helpful habits with the exact opposite. This was revolutionary because I found that quickly my thoughts began to resemble Gods thoughts and now His promises began to take root and work in my life.

No matter how long we have been Christians, whether we are new to God or whether we are in our 80’s or 90’s and have been in church all our lives, or whether we are pastors kids or some variation of the above. We still need to practice setting our minds on the things of God and not on the things of the world. After 30 years as a minister speaking all around the world, I still need to meditate on His word so as to be all that I am purposed to be. 

All of us meditate every day, in fact we meditate most of the day. The problem is that we meditate on the wrong things, the negative, selfish, fearful, worldly things. But if we will meditate on the Word of God , think on the Word of God every day and night, Psalm 1 (3) says, we will be “like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither; and whatever he does will prosper”.

NEXT TIME: We will look at how to control your mind and control your destiny.