Are there things in your life that you would like to see radically changed? Perhaps it’s your marriage. Maybe it’s your attitude.
I’ve never met a person who said, “My life and myself are just fine, thank you. I don’t need any changes.”
There are no shortages of books, workshops, and courses on how to transform your life, so how is it that there are so many people who desire change and yet see no progress?
I believe it’s because we have it backward.
Romans 12:2 is the famous transformation scripture and here’s what it says:
“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.”
Did you catch that? It says, “be transformed.” Not get transformed. So that tells me that God will do the transforming, and He will do it via the renewing of our minds.
Meaning, if you will work with God to renew your mind, He will bring transformation. That’s amazing news!
It also means we can’t transform our lives UNTIL we renew our minds.
That’s because everything begins in the mind. And your life is always moving in the direction of your most dominant thoughts.
Mom may have told you that you’re not worth much. A teacher may have convinced you shouldn’t even bother trying. A boyfriend may have told you that you’d be better if ________ (fill in the blank.)
And those lies may have taken root and created strongholds in your mind. It is those strongholds that are keeping you from knowing and living the truth of God’s Word.
I believe that there are many things in our lives where we need to be active participants with God and the renewal of our mind is one of them.
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 reminds us: “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
This shows me that God isn’t going to renew our minds for us. We have work to do.
Are you ready to get to work?
Here are 4 steps you can take to take back your mind.
- Capture your mind.
2 Corinthians 10:5b reminds us to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” That means that our thoughts need to be filtered. If you wouldn’t allow a thief to come into your home, why would you allow THE thief to come into your mind? There are 3 sources of your thoughts: God, Satan, and you. It’s important to determine where your thoughts are coming from so you can ‘filter’ them. Here’s a surefire way to know that your thoughts are coming from God. Ask yourself, “Do they line up with God’s Word?” If yes, you can let them through. If not, they have to go. No justifying, no reasoning, and no exceptions. They simply have to go!
- Control your mind.
You may not have control over what comes into your mind, but you have complete control over what stays. Galatians 5:16 reminds us that we have control—we will either walk by the Spirit or give in to the flesh. The flesh wants to ruminate over the hurt. The flesh wants to entertain vengeance. The flesh wants to examine all the “what ifs”. You have control over whether you want to give your mind over to the flesh or submit it to the Spirit.
3. Fix your mind.
I’ve heard far too many people express that the solution for stopping intrusive thoughts is to just stop thinking. That’s about as realistic as running away from your own legs. It’s likely that God has given you an active mind, so the problem is not THAT you’re thinking, the problem is WHAT you’re thinking about. Philippians 4:8 tells us exactly what to focus our minds on when it says: “Finally, brothers, whatever 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.” So when an intrusive thought comes your way, find the scripture that combats it and fix your mind on it.
4. Renew your mind.
Mind renewal is not a one and done, it’s a process. It’s likely that you haven’t developed your current mindset overnight and it’s highly unlikely that you will demolish it on one swing. It will take consistent effort. Scripture is meant to be meditated. We want it to penetrate deep within your spirit and soul (your mind, will, and emotions). Simply taking scripture and speaking it and thinking about it is beneficial, but if you want it to penetrate deep, consider looking for proof in your life. For example, if you struggle with the thought that your life will fall apart if you don’t control it and you rest in the scripture of 1 Peter 5:7, casting all your anxieties on Him because He cares for you, you’ll not only want to meditate on that, you’ll want to look for proof in your life where God has cared for you in ways that you couldn’t. This will create new thought patterns in the mind.
The more you think about a thought, the easier it is to think that way. And just like you can train your body, you can train your brain.
Don’t give your mind over to Satan for destruction. This is your mind…take it back.
How Toxic are My Thoughts? Quiz