Change Your Mind
5 Jesus answered, verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
The finished work of Jesus is just that – FINISHED! It was a triple cure. It was a done deal. It affected all of humanity spirit, soul and body for good. Man is a spirit, he has a soul and lives in a body. And that’s the order in scripture.
1 Thessalonians 5:23
And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
When a man gets born again he experiences a second birth which is different from the first. Nicodemus couldn’t understand this. Verse 6 of John 3 says that which is born of the flesh is flesh; this refers to the natural birth where a man and woman come together and give birth to a child. Flesh gives birth to flesh.
The second birth refers to when a person gets saved. In the second birth we say that person is born again because he or she receives a new nature on the inside. God gives birth to his spirit. We were once dead. You may say how? But I was living, no! You were dead to Christ; separated from Him. (Eph 2:1) When you believed and confessed Him as Lord of your life, your spirit man came alive. Just as in the wilderness the Israelites looked and lived, when you believed, you received eternal life that is, life as God has it, life that does not perish, life that cannot be affected by the elements of the world.
All of the essence of God was deposited in your spirit. Your spirit looks just like God; just like your physical body looks like your earthly parents your spirit looks just like God’s Spirit. Hence the scripture; that which is born of the flesh is flesh and that which is born of the Spirit (God’s Spirit) is spirit (your recreated human spirit) John 3:6.
There are no spiritual birth defects in the realm of the spirit. God makes no mistakes. Every child of God is made whole and complete. You are complete in Christ Jesus - Colossians 2:10.
Paul refers to the spirit man as the inward man or inner man or the man on the inside in different portions of scripture. This part of you which is the real you cannot be seen with the physical eyes. There are eternal deposits in the human spirit. Philemon 1:6 tells us that there are good things in us.
Now the finished works of Jesus has the power to affect not only your spirit but your soul and body to the extent to which you yield them to God (Rom. 6:13). So Paul makes that prayer for the Thessalonians that they be preserved spirit, soul and body.
Your soul is made of your mind, emotions and intellect. We will be focusing on the mind. The day you got saved you did not lose your mind even though some Christians act like they’ve lost their minds sometimes. Your mind is your decision-making center. It is the part of you that thinks, remembers and makes decisions.
Your mind is made up of your will, emotions and intellect. Your mind was involved when you decided to accept the sacrifice of Jesus and be saved. It was an act of your will. This is a gift from God; the power to choose. Now that you are saved you can train your mind to make Christ directed decisions by renewing your mind with God’s Word.
When you got saved your sprit man was regenerated meaning you were completely made new. As a born-again child of God now your mind needs renovation, that is, pulling down certain thought patterns and planting new thought patterns in line with God’s way of doing things. 2Corinthians 10:5 calls these lingering thought patterns strongholds. Your mind was not regenerated or else you would forget everyone in your life before you got saved. What your mind needs is a renovation.
The tool for renovating your mind is God’s Word. The message translation says ‘we use our God-tools for smashing warped philosophies. As a believer, you need to renew your mind in order to fully enjoy all that God has deposited in your spirit man; the gifts of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit, wealth and every good thing you can think of. This is because our minds have acquired thought patterns from childhood, family backgrounds and life’s experiences that have become strongholds and warped human philosophies dictating how we live our lives.
God’s Word - Our Instrument for change
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
The salvation of your soul is accomplished by receiving God’s Word. This is how we renew the mind; through the instrument of God’s Word. The bible says as a man thinks so is he (Proverbs 23:7). These thought patterns control people’s behavior which eventually controls their lives. That’s why a person who has been saved and has been regenerated may still live below God’s standard if his mind is not renewed. No wonder over and over again in scripture we are admonished to renew our mind.
Rom 12:2 says ‘And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.’ Romans 12:2 (MSG) Don’t become well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from inside out. Readily recognize what He has for you, and quickly respond to it.
Glory! God wants us to change from the inside out. When the change occurs in our mind as it is being renewed in God’s Word, it will begin to affect our behavior, attitude and lives generally. This is when others will see us and say these ones are ‘Christians’ because we will truly be living like Christ in every way.
Changing your mind is work. Anything left to itself will naturally disintegrate. To maintain the mind is work. But it is good work. Proverbs 4:23 says ‘Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.’
Another translation says ‘guard your heart…’ it means to mount guard on your mind, like a military garrison. You have to decide what goes into your mind through your eyes and your ears and what doesn’t. This is so important because there are great things in you.
When you transform your thinking, you will transform your life. The truth is, we are what we think. The reason Christians who have been redeemed are living in abject poverty, enduring bad marriages and dying of disease is the way they are thinking. People always move in the direction of their most dominant thoughts.
That’s why Proverbs 4:20-22 says
20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. 21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. 22 For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.
This is the power of God’s Word. It is life to those who find them. God’s Word will change your family, business, relationships, financial and health status if you give it time.
These 5 Steps will help you change the way you think as you meditate on God’s Word
Casey Treat calls them the 5Rs in His book 'Renewing the mind'
Take Responsibility for your life: You need to stop blaming people and yourself for where you are in life. You cannot choose where to be born or your parents but you can decide where you want to be tomorrow. So, stop playing the blame game. Until you take complete responsibility for your life you will be out of control and incapable of change. Decide today that you need Jesus and His Word and get ready for CHANGE.
Rethink what you believe: It’s just pathetic what so many Christians believe about certain things expressly stated in scripture because of wrong doctrine and childhood experiences. Some think and believe it is impossible to have a great home, others believe that God uses sickness to teach us lessons and others believe that piety is poverty. These strongholds will prevent the believer in Christ from enjoying all that Jesus died to purchase for us with His blood. Rethink these concepts and line them up by God’s Word. You have a choice to make.
Reject your old ways of thinking: It is time to vehemently reject those thoughts that rise up against God’s Word like strongholds. Pull them down by replacing them with God’s thoughts in His Word. What does God say about your marriage, children, health, future and all that concerns you? Choose God’s Word over your experiences. Do not speak negatively anymore about those situations. Say only what the Word says. Get ready, your life is about to change. Glory.
Review your new thoughts: It is a constant battle of the mind. The devil always tries to remind you of the past. But you can remind him of his future. Glory. Joshua 1:8 says to meditate in God’s Word day and night. This means ‘always.’ Keep looking at this new way of thinking. Renewing the mind is not a one-time thing. It is what we will do for the rest of our lives because the mind left unattended will grow wild.
Resound your new thoughts: This is how we ‘seal the deal’ with our words. The Bible says ‘death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat its fruit thereof (Proverbs 18:21.) Say only what you want to see in your life. You will have what you say.
These practices will completely revolutionize your life. Quit thinking what the people said. Start thinking God-thoughts and speaking God’s Word; your life will move in the direction of your most dominant thoughts and you will start living the God-kind of life here on earth. Hallelujah!