And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
`Having seen (by the Grace of God) a pattern in a biblical method of becoming more in-focus or in-tune with Jesus in our relationship with Him, we have been looking at a step-by-step process to do just that. First we looked at a refreshing. How not to allow the world to lead you by its inherent distractions on your flesh, but to stop and get the spiritual rest you need to have a functionally appropriate look at things to come. Secondly, we realize that a refreshing is not refreshing for long if we delve right back into that pattern and lifestyle that we had been following, and that saw us getting of His track and running full-bore on our own. If we do not refocus on Jesus, and I mean everything on Jesus, than we stand firmly set in a pattern that comes with a 100% failure rate.
So what comes next? Our over-doing it physically and spiritually finds us in need of refreshing. In our moment of refreshing we are able to see (through prayer and meditation) and actually listening to that still small voice – that in fact we really do need to refocus our lives on Jesus, then what? Prepare for a total renewing.
Scripture speaks of a renewing at least 6 times by name in the NT. I used this verse in a sermon this past Sunday. The Focus on the Family series called The Truth Project mentioned it as well; and that is the fact that we cannot be renewed, truly renewed except by our minds. If we have achieved Christian burn-out and turned ourselves to the Lord in a time of refreshing, this refreshing will be at best physical and emotional, and will not last unless the renewal comes by the Spirit in our mind.
We are told that through the mouth speaks the heart, and this is true. Our inmost self is revealed by the actions of our hearts. James makes a special point of this to say in his book that our faith proves itself by our works. We are also told that our heart will deceive us. The book of Deuteronomy, the prophets Isaiah, Jeremiah, Obadiah, and the brother of Jesus warns us that we can easily be deceived by our hearts – through pride or outright rejection of righteousness in favor of self. But we are also shown great examples that through (most often) times of prayer and a close refreshing of Spirit by God through meditation and His Word that we can control and overcome the desire of our hearts, as is our acceptable service.
We must be renewed! If our focus on Jesus is to be consistent, and life changing , it must be a renewing that begins in our minds so that it truly effects our hearts, and allows us to use a Spirit driven intellect to make a conscious AND sub-conscious decision to die to self, and destroy every effect of the world and our flesh that still permeates our lives.
2 Corinthians 4:16
Therefore we do not lose heart. Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.
20 But you have not so learned Christ, 21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: 22 that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, 23 and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, 24 and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
Renewing cannot be accomplished without a total refocusing on Jesus, and allowing our minds, our intellect to be ruled by Him and His ways. We must stop reasoning by our own thought, and reason by His. This cannot be accomplished however if we do not know what they are, therefore making our time in scripture studying God’s word paramount in our lives.
Look at what some of these verses tell us: If we truly have put off the old man, we SHOULD be leaving these things of the world behind us. Things that remind us of our old man and old worldly ways need to be lost to our history to become part of our testimony of conversion. That even though we fear sickness, illnesses and getting old, that despite the fact that my right should is a wreck, and that my left knee no longer functions like a knee join but more like a swivel, that inside we can gain on God daily! Becoming more like him all the time because we are being renewed inside.
But all of this is done through the work of the Holy Spirit in our minds; by Godly knowledge. This must be our refocus: That our new focus is Jesus and Jesus only, and that we allow our thoughts and minds to be totally controlled and ruled by Christ and His understanding and will. As a man, even Jesus had to pray to realign His will with that of the Father. What makes us think that we can do well in our lives without doing the same?
My prayer is that we all seek this total renewing; a total transformation into what GOD wants us to be. In so doing, we are surly to go through a painful process of dying to self, and killing our old man – willfully. It may not be easy, but it is promised to be REWARDING.