When the Bible talks about having a renewed mind in Christ, it leaves much of the responsibility to us. We are called to change our thinking, guard our minds in Christ, and actively pursue filling our minds with the things of God. Now that doesn’t mean God leaves us empty-handed. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that we are given the strength we need to accomplish the task. God has certainly equipped us with some powerful tools to help us live out our faith.
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The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness,and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. – 1 Corinthians 2:14-16 (NIV)
Paul taught throughout the New Testament that when we are born again, we receive the Holy Spirit. In this passage from 1 Corinthians, he demonstrates the difference between someone who has the mind of Christ versus someone who does not.
When you have a renewed mind in Christ, you are able to discern spiritual matters – to see the world through the eyes of the Holy Spirit.
But here’s the truth: Just because you have the mind of Christ, doesn’t mean you’re automatically using it.
In the very next chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul reprimands the church in Corinth for being “people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ.” So basically, after telling them that they had the mind of Christ, he tells them they aren’t using it.
They weren’t actively pursuing a renewed mind, rather they were still thinking in the same way the world thinks.
In yesterday’s post, we learned about three God-given tools we have been equipped with to renew our minds. Now let’s take a look at how to practically put those same tools into use.
- We fill our minds with the truth of God’s Word.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to know God’s Word and to know it well. It’s not enough to simply read a little bit here and there, it needs to be in us. We need to hide His Word in our hearts. We need to be ready to combat the lies of the enemy when he tries to plant seeds of doubt in our minds.
If we fill our minds with the truth, there will be no room left for the enemy’s lies.
- We lean on each other and build each other up as we grow in faith.
We actively pursue a renewed mind when we build relationships with our “siblings.” We not only keep each other accountable, but we sharpen and challenge one another to go deeper.
It’s also important that we strive to live at peace with one another. Paul talks about unity in faith countless times throughout the New Testament. We can’t be at odds with one another and expect to grow as the body of Christ. Disunity weakens the body, while unforgiveness and bitterness weaken us individually.
When it comes to the mind, bitterness and offense always get in the way of spiritual growth.
- We give the reigns to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to transform our thinking.
Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to do His job? In order to grow, we have to give Him control. He needs to take the wheel and lead us where He wants us to go. It’s impossible to grow spiritually by our own doing; true spiritual growth only occurs by the power of the Holy Spirit.
I’ll be honest… it’s easy to say things like “give the Holy Spirit control.” But in practice, giving Him complete control can be difficult. I think of Peter who stepped out in faith and walked on water with Jesus. He not only had to be brave enough to step out of the boat, but he had to maintain his faith even when everything around him said, “You’re going to sink.”
The best part of that story, however, is that even though he made the mistake of taking his eyes off of Jesus for a moment, Jesus was still faithful. Even when we feel weak, if we surrender our weakness to God, He is faithful to pick us up. He gives us the strength we need to endure anything that comes our way, and He will remind us as many times as it takes to keep our focus on Him.
Pursuing a renewed mind in Christ is a team effort.
God equips us with the tools we need as well as the strength we need to change our thinking; we make the conscious choice to put those tools to good use and to rely on the Holy Spirit as He empowers our lives.
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*Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations taken from the NASB.