Being transformed into the image of God by renewing our minds is our goal.
Most of us would agree with this verse. We desire transformation to happen in our hearts and minds. However, experiencing transformation is often harder to grasp.
Here are three simple steps to take as you seek to renew your mind in Christ.
Focus on God
If you look back to Romans 11:33–35, before God asks us to renew our minds, He focuses our thoughts on who He is.
It’s difficult to transform or renew when our focus is on ourselves.
And let’s face it, we all need to be reminded we aren’t God! We may have power in our home, at work, have incredible skills, have strong opinions, and get things done, but we need to be continually humbled by remembering God’s authority and our lack of authority in this world.
We need constant humbling lest we forget we aren’t God and never will be.
Remember the Character of God
As we seek to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, it’s not just important to remind ourselves of God’s authority, it’s also important to remember the character of God.
We need to balance the view of his authority with his character and how He works out his authority.
God is faithful, possesses a steadfast love, delights in you, gives you refuge, is your salvation, delivers you, provides for you, is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, abounding in love, is in your midst, rejoices over you with gladness, exults over you with loud singing, is for you, gave himself for you, is holy, is just, is love, and we are His children.
The list of his character could go on forever! His authority over all things tends to be pretty easy to believe, but certain aspects of his character, if we are honest, are a little bit more difficult to truly believe as we walk through our day.
And this is where we need to focus if you want to renew your mind. Your life will reflect which characteristics of God you truly believe in and which ones you don’t.
Your Behavior Indicates Your Deep Beliefs. Address these Beliefs in Order to Renew your Mind.
Do you stress when your kids are out of your sight? Maybe believing God is their protector and truly loves them is difficult for you.
Are you worried or anxious about finances? Could it be your heart is struggling to believe God will provide and take care of you?
Do you find yourself waiting for God to punish you for past sins? Maybe you are only focusing on God’s judgment and not truly understanding how much God loves you and forgives you.
Our behavior can reveal to us which characteristics of God are difficult for us to believe.
We see this tendency in the example of the rich young ruler in Matthew 19.
This wealthy religious man approached Jesus and said in vs 16 “What good thing must I do to get eternal life”.
This man is asking about salvation, but for those of us that have accepted Christ as our savior, we tend to ask a similar question of Jesus all the time. Only instead of eternal life, we substitute “what good thing must I do to gain peace, financial stability, contentment, joy, unconditional love, forgiveness, self-control?”
We forget there is nothing good except God.
Only in understanding that God is good can you discover that your deeds will never be enough.
Oftentimes it’s easier to believe we can’t do anything good to earn salvation, but yet we try to earn peace and contentment and joy and God’s blessing on our life.
In Matthew 19:20, we see the man respond, “All these (the commandments) I have kept…what do I still lack?” This young man tells Jesus he has perfectly followed all the commands, but yet he’s still asking Jesus this question so we can assume he feels something is lacking.
Can you relate? Are you following God perfectly but something appears to still be lacking? The adventure, the fun, the abundant life promised?
When there are parts of God’s character we don’t really believe, we can feel that lacking.
In Mark 10:20, we see Jesus look at this man, saw his striving and the desperation to figure out why it wasn’t good enough, and it states Jesus looked at him and LOVED HIM. He looks at us with the same eyes.
Because Jesus loved this man, He revealed to the man what was lacking, what was keeping him from experiencing a true relationship with God. On the outside, it did not look bad. He was a great guy. But personal wealth had become his identity, his power, his sense of meaning in life.
He made wealth the god of his life and Jesus, looking on him with love, tells him what he lacks is a true relationship with him. Jesus asks him to believe he alone would provide. Not his wealth, power, or money. Jesus told him to not allow his wealth to be his god. Believe Jesus is who he says he is.
Many of us are like this man.
The rich young ruler went away sorrowful because he couldn’t stop worshipping the god of his heart. His behavior demonstrated what he believed. This man did not believe God was going to provide the way his own personal wealth would.
Do you believe the same way?
Does your behavior demonstrate that you don’t truly believe in certain characteristics of God?
There is hope. With God, you can identify where you are struggling to believe parts of God’s character, renew your mind, and be transformed.
Take time today to really think through your behavior and ask God to reveal to you what aspects of his character you are struggling to believe. Confess those struggles to the Lord and ask Him to enable you to believe He is who He says he is.
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