What Does the "Renewing of the Mind" Look Like for Christians?
What does the "Renewing of the Mind" look like for Christians? That’s the question most Christians struggle with and have had very little teaching on during their life as believers. Consequently, they are left feeling unfulfilled, frustrated, and confused when it comes to actually living the abundant life Jesus promised in John 10:10 NLT where he said “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.” That rich and satisfying life manifests in the life of believers through one simple, life-changing strategy: the renewing of the mind.
What Does 'Renewing of the Mind' Mean in the Bible?
Simply stated, renewing your mind according to Romans 12:2 means interpreting life through the lens of God’s Word and the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, rather than through the lens of your experience, woundedness, trauma, preferences, or the opinions of others. It’s a fundamental shift toward seeing the world, yourself, others, God, and especially what’s possible from a Kingdom perspective. It’s making a daily, moment by moment choice to choose the Mind of Christ which lives inside of us as new creations rather than operating from our soulish mind the way we did before we were saved.
Why Does the Bible Emphasize the 'Renewing of the Mind'?
Unless a Christian learns to renew their mind, they will continue to walk in defeat, struggle, and confusion, as they desire to experience a Spirit-led life yet, have no understanding of how or tools with which to see that life manifest. This is the predicament of most believers who live lives of religious obedience and obligation yet void of any real Spirit-led power. Without renewing your mind, the only two options are to wait, hope, and beg God to change you or to work, sweat, and strive on your own to achieve the results you so long to experience. Neither is God’s best.
Renewing your mind aligns your mind with the truth of God’s Word by learning to recognize the lies of the enemy, replace them with the truth of God’s Word and then reinforce that truth every time the enemy comes at them with those same lies. In 2 Corinthians 10:5 ESV, God’s Word teaches us that “We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ…” Taking a thought captive literally means to capture or conquer that thought as you identify it and compare it to God’s Word. Does this thought agree with God’s promises over my life or not? If not then I cast it away—rejecting its influence in my life – and I plant in its place one of God’s promises from His Word.
In 2 Peter 1:3-4, the Bible says “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.” Did you get that? It’s through God’s precious promises that we participate in the divine nature.
Renewed thoughts resulting in new beliefs help you engage with God’s plan for your life because thoughts fuel your beliefs. Godly Kingdom-Focused thoughts are great fuel for your godly beliefs, while ungodly, fear-driven lies and half-truths fuel ungodly beliefs.
Renewing your mind is not just a spiritual process, but a physiological one as well. When you intentionally change the way you think to align with God’s Word, it literally creates new connections and pathways in your brain to make that process easier and more preferred over time. Through the process of neuroplasticity, your brain can literally be reconfigured to align with the truth of God’s Word and thus create the solutions, strategies, and opportunities that best align with God’s plan for your life. Remember, in Proverbs 23:7 KJV “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Your thoughts (which ultimately create your beliefs resulting in your actions) literally create the boundaries of your life. If you want to experience a different life—the abundant life Jesus promised—you must learn to intentionally renew your mind.
Renewing of the Mind: Ways to Renew Your Mind Today
Recognize: Intentionally “capture” each thought that comes into your mind and compare it to God’s Word and His promises for your life. Ask yourself “Does this thought that I’m having right now reflect what God’s Word says about this situation or does it reflect a lie that I know doesn’t represent God’s heart for me?”
Replace: If the thoughts you’re having don’t agree with God’s Word, then replace them with promises from God’s Word. It can literally be as simple as asking the Holy Spirit to bring to your remembrance a scripture that is opposite of the lie you may be faced with currently. You can also just do a quick internet search for scripture verses based on the lie you’re trying to replace. Remember, thoughts are like seeds and whatever you allow to be planted in the garden of your heart will bring forth a harvest in your life. Choose your seeds wisely.
Reinforce: Every time you are flooded with those same types of thoughts that don’t agree with God’s best for your life, simply reject and replace them with God’s Word. One way you can accelerate this process is to write down your newly created Biblical affirmations on note cards, laminate them and carry them with you for easy access. You can also post them in places that you see often like your office wall, your desk, your car, or even your bathroom mirror. This can feel tedious at first, but as you do so in the context of gratitude, faith, and expectancy God’s presence will infuse this process, making it become more and more natural.
Visualize: God created you with an incredible imagination to see, sense, feel and create new realities in your mind before they ever come into the physical realm. It’s one of the primary ways we co-labor with the Holy Spirit to release His Kingdom in and through our lives. As you are replacing and reinforcing new thoughts based on God’s Word, imagine in your mind’s eye what it would look like, feel like to experience life within this new reality. This further stimulates your brain and accelerates your own ability to come into agreement with God’s best for your life.
Affirm: Create affirmation statements based on God’s Word that, along with your visualization exercises, continue to reinforce the truth of God’s Word inside your heart. Over time, your subconscious mind will become convinced of the new truth you’re aligning your heart with, rather than the old way you’ve been living.
You can absolutely live the abundant life Jesus promised if you master the process of renewing your mind including recognizing the lies of the enemy, intentionally replacing them with the truth of God’s Word, and reinforcing that truth through visualization and affirmations. As you do, you’ll be amazed at the double doors of favor that seems to instantaneously appear in your life simply because you came into agreement with God’s design for your life, rather than trying to make it happen all on your own.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/tadamichi
Matt Tommey is an artist, author and mentor to thousands of Christian artists around the world. His passion is to help artists thrive spiritually, artistically and in the marketplace. You can find out more about Matt, his books and the mentoring work he does at www.MattTommeyMentoring.com
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