“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8 NKJV).
The unrenewed mind is the major reason why little or no changes are noticeable in the lives of many believers after several years of being born again.
The degree of transformation to the likeness of Christ that you will experience in your emotions, actions, conduct, character or lifestyle is proportional to the degree or extent to which your mind has been renewed or sanctified by the truths of God’s Word.
The Scripture clearly reveals that it is only by renewing your mind that you can escape being conformed to the fashion or customs of this present evil world. And that it is only by renewing your mind according to the truths of God’s words that you can easily discern God’s will in every situation.
Many believers today are confused about God’s will for their lives simply because they pay no attention to the renewing of their minds according to the truths of God’s Word.
The Scripture admonishes: “And do not follow the customs of the present age, but be transformed by the entire renewal of your minds, so that you may learn by experience what God’s will is–that will which is good and beautiful and perfect.” (Rom. 12:2 WNT).
In the first part of this series we began to consider some practical steps or actions that are necessary to be taken by the believers who are serious about renewing their minds – putting off the mindsets and patterns of life of the old man and putting on the mindsets and patterns of life of the new man, created after the likeness of Christ (Eph. 4:22-24).
First, Analyse and Understand Your Mindsets:
After experiencing the new birth, the process of renewing your mind starts with you understanding what your physical mind has been set or fixed upon. You need to contrast your desires, passions, beliefs, principles, values and philosophies with that of Christ revealed in the pages of the New Testament (Rom. 8:5-6, Phil. 2:1-11, 2 Cor. 10:3-6).
Second, Break the Fallow Ground of Your Mind:
Before you became born again, your mind was left to be cultivated and seeded by the corrupt old man who once lived in you before he was crucified with Christ on the cross (Rom. 6:6). Consequently, your mind is now overgrown with diverse weeds, tares and thorns. No matter the good seed you sow in this kind of mind, it will be choked and rendered unfruitful.
Consider what the Lord Jesus said about the good seeds which fell among the thorns in the Parable of the Sower.
“Now he who received seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful.” (Matt. 13:22 NKJV).
Therefore, before you can expect God’s Word to bear fruit in your life, you need to first of all break the fallow ground of your mind by ploughing and tilling it, and eradicating all the weeds, tares and thorns that have been growing in it (Jer. 4:3).
How do you break, plough or till your mind, so that you don’t sow among thorns?
Identify the thorns, take hold of them, and uproot them completely!
You need to identify the cares and worries of this life, the pleasure and delight, the glamour, lure and deceitfulness of riches that are suffocating or choking God’s Word in your life, thereby making it unfruitful. Then, consciously, constantly, and consistently deal with them until you have completely removed or eradicated all of them from your mind.
The Word of God is like a fire and a hammer. God said: “Is not My word like a fire?” says the LORD, “And like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” (Jer. 23:29 NKJV).
Therefore, having identified the thorns that are choking the good seeds in your mind, confront them with the truths of God’s Word constantly and consistently until they are totally removed and consumed out of your mind.
The Word of God is also like water to wash, cleanse, purify or sanctify your mind from every filthiness or pollution of the flesh and the spirit (Heb. 10:22, Eph. 5:25-26). Therefore, you need to constantly and consistently expose, soak, and immerse your mind in God’s Word.
This is why the Lord Jesus said to His disciples, “You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.” (John 15:3 NKJV).
The Lord Jesus also prays for them thus, “Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.” (John 17:17 NKJV).
Third, Cultivate your Mind with Good Seeds (God’s Word):
Naturally, when a farmland is broken, ploughed, or tilled to eradicate unwanted weeds or thorns, it has to be immediately cultivated and sowed with good seeds, lest it becomes overgrown with weeds again.
Similarly, if you don’t cultivate or sow your mind with good seeds (the truths of God’s Word), it will naturally overgrow with weeds and thorns. Therefore, as you are putting away the imprints, programs or mindsets of the old man in your mind, you must also see to it that you are putting on, imbibing or inculcating into your mind the mentalities or mindsets of Christ.
How do you do this?
Begin to diligently, consistently and constantly read, listen to, study, meditate in, memorize, confess, sing and pray God’s Word until it begins to rule, control, dominate, shape, influence and direct your thoughts, words, emotions and actions (Eph. 4:17-24, Jam. 1:21-25, Deut. 6:6-9, Josh. 1:8)!
This is what Apostle meant by admonishing, “That you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph. 4:22-24 NKJV).
Lastly, Daily Guard with Diligence the Gateways to your Mind:
It is a futile exercise to be seeking to renew your mind according to the truths of God’s Word while still exposing your mind daily to the garbage of this world. You must diligently guard your mind by constantly turning your eyes and ears away from anything that is impure, corrupt, worldly, ungodly and unedifying.
The Scripture admonishes you to: “Take heed what you hear.” (Mark 4:24 NKJV). And to: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” (Prov. 4:23 NKJV).
Beloved, what are the urgent and necessary adjustments or changes that you need to make in order to make significant progress in the process of renewing your mind?
Make a list of the weeds, tares and thorns (the cares, worries or anxieties of this life) that have overgrown in your mind which need to be eradicated without any further delay. Then, list your diligent plans on how to get rid of them all one after the other. Do it now; don’t postpone it!
Also, make a solid plan on how you will begin from today to cultivate your mind daily or regularly with good seeds (God’s Word). Don’t just say you will do it when it is convenient for you. Fix a definite time of the day when you will consciously and effectively cultivate your mind with the truths of God’s Word. If you don’t schedule time for it; you may never get to do it!
Moreover, you need to make a list of things you will stop hearing or listening to which you have identified as the sources or agents which are broadcasting or inculcating evil seeds, weeds or tares into your mind.
Friend, commit all your plans, decisions and resolutions to God, trusting Him to strengthen you daily to follow them through.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy–meditate on these things.” (Philip. 4:8 NKJV).
Prayer: My Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for showing me today the process of renewing my mind. I receive the divine grace and strength that I need to be diligent and committed to the process of renewing my mind by God’s Word, in Jesus’ name. Amen.