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Renewing the Mind

BiblesI’m posting about the teachings that the Apostle Paul referenced in his letter to the Ephesian church.

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.
Ephesians 4:22-24

My last few posts dealt with the putting off of the old self. The second thing that the Apostle Paul said was taught to the believers in Ephesus was to be made new in the attitude your mind.

In the sequence of putting off the old self and embracing the new, the mind becomes the battlefield. It can be our greatest ally or our worst enemy. That’s because our mind can side either with the flesh or the spirit.

In order to win the war, our minds must be renewed. This can be a very quick process, if it’s done in the spirit. But the mind must be in agreement with submission to the will of God.

Do not conform any longer 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.
Romans 12:2

So many people have approached me over the years asking how they could find God’s will for their lives. The reality is that you can never “find” God’s will. According to Scripture, you must approve the will of God for your life. This will only happen as your mind comes into agreement with what God wants for you.

God has a perfect plan for your life. He developed it before the foundation of the universe. He knew you before you ever existed.

Even so, He will never implement His plan without your approval. That’s why we’re told not to conform…to the pattern of this world. That literally means don’t be forced into the world’s mold.

Instead, we are to let our mind be renewed. The word Paul uses for this is like the English word morph. We know about morphing in special effects in movies and on TV. When one thing changes into another, we say that it has been morphed. That’s what God wants to do with our mind.

He wants to take the thought pattern that we’re used to, the attitudes of the world. Then the Lord changes them into His thought patterns. In that way we’re renewed into His way of thinking. This is a work that the Lord must perform in us.

We’ve watered it down, in this generation, to the point where I’ve heard it taught that all you need to do to renew your mind is to read the Bible.

What is the Scriptural way to a renewed mind? It’s right in the second verse that we first looked at.

…to be made new in the attitude of your minds;
Ephesians 4:23

Again, the translation waters down the true meaning of this verse. We need to get back to the original meanings. The literal Greek of this verse says renew, in the spirit, your mind. Let that sink in. We need a spiritual renewal. How can we ever expect our mind to renew itself?

There needs to be an outside force at work in our mind. That’s where true renewal comes from. It’s a work done in the spirit.

I don’t know why we keep striving to do in the natural what can only be worked in the spirit. You may think that I’m wrong for continually emphasizing it, but our spiritual prayer life is more important than we realize.

Question: How has your thinking changed since you’ve been saved?

© Nick Zaccardi 2015

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How Do I Find God’s Will?

 

ButterflyMy last two posts talked about our faith being tested and approved – that’s the fire. Next I talked about prayer in the spirit – standing beside the burnt offering. The next question is; now that I’m hearing God’s Word in my spirit – what do I do with it?

Do not conform any longer 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.
Romans 12:2

There’s still a choice to be made. This is where, according to Christ, the thorns and thistles of distractions could choke it. We need to be careful about what our heart dwells on.

This verse literally says; don’t let the world squeeze you into its mold. Instead, let the Word renew (renovate) your mind.

If you want a life that’s well-pleasing to God, it will require a renewed mind. It’s the renewed mind that will transform your walk. That word transform is the Greek word metamorph. It’s how a caterpillar changes into a butterfly.

It’s only when we are allowing the Word to renew our mind that we are able, have the power, to test and approve God’s well pleasing will.

Many people have asked me, “Pastor, how do I know God’s will?” The truth is that you will never know God’s will before you do it. It’s by faith.

I get my faith approved. Then I stand beside body praying in spirit to hear God. I allow God’s Word to renew mind.

Then, as I live out my faith, opportunities arise. I feel a stirring on the inside of me, “I believe God wants me to do this.”

I now have the power to test and approve God’s will for my life. I step out. By faith, I expect either a miracle to confirm what I’m doing or the intervention of the Holy Spirit to stop me from doing it.

Paul understood this and tells us the bottom line.

For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking, but of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit, because anyone who serves Christ in this way is pleasing to God and approved by men.
Romans 14:17-18

To be well pleasing to God, it’s not about the rules you place on yourself. It’s a life lived in the spirit. That’s what God finds well pleasing. Because the flesh can never fulfill God’s perfect will.

Simply put, a well-pleasing life requires a spiritual walk.

Question: What do you believe is the next step in God’s plan for you right now?

© Nick Zaccardi 2014

 
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Posted by on April 11, 2014 in Faith, Ministry, Word of God

 

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