Renewing the Mind
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 (Ro 12:2).
Man is a spirit; he has a soul, and he lives in a body. (1Th 5:23) Salvation creates in man a brand new spirit. (Eze 11:19) All the old things of the past are gone and all things of the spirit are now new. (2Co 5:17) However, the Bible in Romans 12 tells us that the habits and thinking processes of the mind remain the same. Change, or transformation, only occurs through renewal of the mind.
The unrenewed mind is what causes our problems. I received salvation as a young girl, and at that time, my spirit man was recreated. Yet I still spent the greater part of my life thinking “unrenewed.” I listened to any thought that came into my head. Worse yet, I voiced them. Then, when fear became my primary thought, I found myself completely crippled. I didn’t know how else to think.
Who hasn’t begged God at some point in their life to shut off the thoughts in their head? I know I did many times. I wanted an empty mind, but there is no such thing as an empty mind. Your mind will always be full of something.
My walk towards freedom from the negative thoughts of fear began when I realized what renewing the mind actually required. Renewing the mind is a deliberate action. It means thinking about what you are thinking about! When we renew our mind, we essentially fill it with so much of God that His words crowd out all the thoughts the devil tries to place there.
God’s thoughts are always stronger than the devil’s. (Isa 55:9) I like the illustration of the Scripture in Ephesians 5:26, “That He [Christ] might sanctify and cleanse it [the church] with the washing of water by the word.” Each time I voice a Scripture, God’s Word, like a gentle ocean wave, “washes” and cleanses my mind. God’s words in me effectively rinse the filth of fear from my thinking.
What You Speak
Therefore take no thought, saying (Mt 6:31).
It is speaking God’s Word that washes my mind. Frequently, I am asked what I did daily to overcome the thoughts of fear. Matthew 6:31 supplies the answer. In this verse, we learn how we “take” thoughts. We take them when we speak them. Every time we speak the thought – “I am so afraid. What if something happens to me?” – we make a choice to accept that thought. Our acceptance of the thought then gives it power in our life.
This works both positively and negatively. The Bible speaks many times about the strength of our confession. Our confession brings to us God’s great salvation, but our confession also has the power to hold us in bondage. (Pr 6:2;Pr 18:21;Ro 10:10) The Scriptures in James 3:6 refer to the tongue as “a fire, a world of iniquity.” This is a powerful analogy to the strength of our words!
The solution to renewing the mind against fear then is simple. Stop speaking the fear! At no point is the devil going to cease placing his negative thoughts into your head as long as you voice them. In fact, every time you do, you keep yourself enslaved.
Freedom begins with what you speak. You speak the thoughts of God instead of the thoughts of fear. It’s not enough to think positive thoughts. It takes a deliberate action. You must speak God’s Word for victory to come.
The thought comes into your mind, “You know you can’t do this. You will fall apart.”
However, you speak, “Greater is He who is in me!” (1Jn 4:4)
One second later, another thought creeps in. “You are going to collapse and get sick again.”
But you voice, “God is my strength. I am able!”(Ps 27:1;Ps 46:1-3;Php 4:13) Minute by minute, hour by hour, this is how the battle is won.
You know though, in the beginning I didn’t really believe what I said. It was as I meditated on and spoke God’s words continually that they registered in my heart. My spirit man heard the words and the words changed my thinking.
Speaking the right thoughts instead of the wrong ones is like any learned skill. I learned how to type by first concentrating on the keys. I took deliberate steps to remember where to place my fingers. The more I practiced, the more time I spent typing, the easier it became, the more “second nature” it was for me. Now I can type quickly without looking at the keyboard at all. What wasn’t a habit became one through patience and dedication.
Renewing the mind works this same way. A habit of speaking fear changes to a habit of speaking the Word as I practice it. In the process, the thoughts of the devil lose their power over my mind.
This is faith. (Heb 11:1) We speak over our lives those things that are not in our lives, and the power of God honors our words and moves the mountain of fear! (Mt 17:20;Mk 11:23-24)
------------------------------Suzanne D. Williams
Suzanne Williams Photography
Suzanne Williams is a native Floridian, wife, and mother, with a penchant for spelling anything, who happens to love photography.