by Pastor Alli Munsey
“When you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
The writer of Ephesians was Paul the Apostle. Before he became an Apostle, he was persecuting Christians. Paul encountered Jesus on the road to Damascus, and everything changed.
Paul knew what it was like to cause someone else a lot of pain. It’s amazing that God takes someone like Paul and turns him around, using him as an apostle, an encourager. But he may not have been able to step into all that God had for him if he had not renewed his mind.
“For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.”
Proverbs says that our thoughts have the power to define who we become. For this reason, our enemy, the devil, uses fear tactics against us that are planted below the surface in our minds.
Some of the deadliest weapons of war are landmines. They are planted 6 inches in the ground and camouflaged, but just a small amount of pressure can trigger them to set off an explosion that will kill the people around it.
The enemy uses “mind mines,” negative thoughts that become triggers, that, with just a little pressure, can create explosions in our lives. He wants to derail us and destroy us to keep us from the destiny God has for our lives (John 10:10).
We need the power of Jesus in our lives to overcome these attacks from the enemy. When we open up our mind to Jesus, we become like him. He doesn’t just want us to be able to say no to the sinful things we want; he wants to transform our wants. We often live below the bar because we have not surrendered our thought life to him. His word transforms you from the inside out.
Jesus wants to go deep below the surface and de-mine those mind mines. We have to allow God into the deep places, even the dark places inside our minds, hearts and souls.
You cannot have a positive life with a negative mind. One thought can take you down a wrong path, but Jesus can change your path when you allow him to renew our mind.
Nothing changes unless we change. We often see other people as the problem in our relationships, our jobs, our families, but wherever you go, there you are. How do we surrender our thought life to Jesus?
1. Be mindful
You have to be mindful, conscious and awake. We all want a new life, but sometimes we want to hold onto our old ways. We have to be willing to let God strip away our old ways of thinking.
Don’t accept every thought that you think. Take captive every thought that does not align with the Word of God (2 Corinthians 10:5). We don’t have to live bound by negativity, anxiety, sickness or rejection; we can live free when we allow Jesus to transform our minds.
2. Be prayerful
Prayer is the practice of the presence of God. It is immediate surrender. Jesus doesn’t teach his disciples to pray first for their own needs; God already knows what we need (Matthew 6:8). Jesus teaches us to pray for his kingdom to reach ours (Matthew 6:9-13).
3. Be praiseful
We can change the strategy for our lives when we accept the word of God over our own thoughts. You can have victory here on earth because heaven is already your home. If heaven is your home, then no failure is final, no sickness has hold over you, everything changes.
It cost less than $3 to set a landmine but it costs thousands to de-mine a field. The devil is cheap, and so are his tricks. But Jesus’ sacrifice was expensive. It cost him everything. His blood covers all sin, sickness and disease.
The devil has already lost. Don’t let him have power over your thoughts, relationships, or children. You are already victorious.
Discussion / Reflection Questions:
- Is there anything old in your life (thought patterns, habits, relationships) that is holding you back?
- What steps do you think you should take to start renewing your mind?
- How can you become more mindful of your thoughts?
- How can you become more effective in your prayer life to help you renew your mind?
- What needs to change for you to become more praiseful?