I am more convinced now than ever before, that the quality of our lives is the direct result of the character of our minds.
And I believe more than ever, that in order to see our lives transform and get on purpose with God’s intentions for us, we must allow for the growth and transformation of our mind.
I don’t think it’s any accident that the first thing the Holy Spirit targets when He starts to sanctify (change us to be like Jesus) us, according to the Scriptures, is our mind and our attitude.
What we hold in our mind – our focus, thoughts, beliefs, attitude, perspectives, opinions, truth, how we see the world, how we see God, how we see ourselves, etc. – determines our outer world.
Your mind determines who or what you love and hate, what you pursue and avoid, how you pray or not pray, whether you’re optimistic or bitterly pessimistic etc.
The Scriptures teach us,
“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 …”
“(W)hatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things …”
“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth …”
“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus …”
“Be sober-minded; be watchful …”
“And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind, having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude …”
“So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Thinking back to my childhood and all the Christian teachings I was exposed to, I have to honestly say that there was an extreme emphasis on actions – meaning, what we did as Christians and how we lived daily.
And so is a young Christian I focused a lot on making sure that my actions were in line with what I thought God wanted. Yet, I never considered that my actions are simply an outflow of my thoughts.
What I hold in my mind, what I focus on and think about MOST of the time, determine what I do ALL of the time.
The Scriptures are very clear on this – if you want to change your life, allow God to transform your thinking, and then make sure to keep growing your mind by focusing on things that elevate your thinking.
Many of us are stuck in our lives and try to get unstuck by doing something differently or exerting ourselves even more, but perhaps the issue is not our actions. Perhaps we’re stuck with an imprisoned mindset. And the only way to go into a new season with God is to allow His spirit to transform our inner world, i.e. our mind.
Think about it for a moment – what would an imprisoned mindset mean? What are the implications of such a thing?
From where I’m sitting, I realised that as long as my mind is imprisoned, my expectations, faith, beliefs, prayers, and also actions, will all be imprisoned and restricted. How could I pray for a breakthrough in my life when my thoughts and imagination cannot even conceive of such a thing?
Does it come as any surprise that God reminded the people of the Old Testament that His thoughts and His ways were not their thoughts and ways, and His thoughts and ways were far beyond anything they could conceive and imagine in their mind?
Perhaps God knows that we need to be reminded that even though our minds are often imprisoned, His mind is beyond the limitations we place on Him and ourselves. And perhaps that’s why He also needs to remind us that our mind is the first place and thing He wants us to surrender to Him – the spirit of our mind. Because that is where true life change starts.
I recently read a very cool story of how powerful this process of inner change could be, when we allow a new thought or idea to be planted in our minds. Listen to this story in the words of the author:
“Once I talked to an alcoholic who said, “Don’t say anything about this God-stuff to me. I don’t want God. I want a healing.” This man was deeply resentful toward a former wife who had remarried; moreover, he was full of grudges against several people. He needed the doves’ eyes, which means he needed to see the truth which would give him peace of mind. I asked him, “Will you pray with me now? All I ask is that you be sincere; if you are, you will experience an inner peace which passeth all human understanding.” He relaxed his body, and I said to him, “Imagine you are talking to the Invisible Presence within you— the Almighty Power which created the Cosmos. It can do all things. Say, ‘Thank you, thank you, for this inner peace.’ Say it over and over again.” After ten minutes in silent meditation, he was blinded by an interior, Inner Light. It seemed to come from the floor where he was. The whole room was flooded with Light! He exclaimed, “All I see is Light! What’s wrong?” Then he relaxed into sleep in my office, and his face did truly shine as the sun. He awakened in about fifteen minutes and was completely at peace saying, “God truly is! God is!”
(Author: Joseph Murphy)
The conditions, experiences, and events of your life are called children of your mind. We create what we experience.
However, we live in a time and society that resist this idea tooth and nail. We don’t want to believe that our reality is a child of our mind, our thoughts, our beliefs, our attitudes and consequently our actions.
Yet, if we are to tap into the creative almighty power of the Creator and allow Him to bring forth streams of living water through us, we must allow Him to transform the spirit of our minds first.
And perhaps that starts with us in giving Him our hearts – meaning, our allegiance, trust, a chance, and openness to receive …
Now more than ever I believe the world needs a makeover – but the inner kind not the outer. And it starts with you and me. Perhaps you have given God your heart many times over and a long time ago – yet – the one thing He still needs, and you too for that matter, is your mind.
Jesus once said, new wine cannot be poured into an old wineskin for it will burst that wineskin. I believe the wineskin He was talking about is the spirit of our mind. Unless that changes and keeps on expanding, the amount of new wine you can contain is limited.
So what am I saying?
Simply this … Give God your heart and mind … and He will give you a new life.
And I mean this literally … Ask Him (like that alcoholic in the story) and as if it’s already yours (for that’s the way Jesus taught us to pray) and then be open to receive …
May light and peace fill your life.