I have often heard people pray “God renew my mind”. That would be so easy wouldn’t it, to expect God to flick the switch and our mind be renewed. Our thought patterns would be instantly changed, our desires would instantly change, fantastic no effort on our part. Yes I do believe that God can by His soverign will and power has done that in the past for people, but God does teach in His word that He expects us to play our part in the renewing of our minds.
I like the Message translation of Romans 12:2 Don’t become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You’ll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.
So we are instructed to focus our attention on God and we will be changed from the inside out. It requires discipline on our part to train our minds on to Godly thoughts. An old saying “we can’t stop the birds flying over our head, but we can stop them building a nest in our hair”. You may find that the thought will come, but what is important is what we do with it. The key is not to allow it “dwelling time” quickly turn your thoughts away to something that will build you up. Maybe even thank God that the habit or thoughts you once had no longer have a hold over you. The enemy doesn’t like to be reminded that he has been defeated. Maybe sing, so often in the bible they used singing before a battle as in 2 Chronicles 20. Also in Msg Isaiah 54:1 Sing, barren woman, who has never had a baby. Fill the air with song, you who’ve never experienced childbirth! You’re ending up with far more children than all those childbearing women.” God says so! The result in this case of the singing was the instruction to make the tent larger for the children and that the children would take over nations
NIV Ephesians 4:22-23 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; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
Put a new zest into your mind. Notice the verse above says “put off” and “put on”. That is an instruction for us to do it. The old deceitful desires which are corrupt have to be put off; the new attitudes of your mind which are “created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” have to be put on. Both words “put off” and “put on” are actions on our part. This doesn’t automatically happen at salvation or during our walk with God, but are something that you and I must do by an act of our wills in a process. The balance of this passage gives clear direction in many areas of how to go about fulfilling the exhortation.
Our human mind has the ability to concentrate on what ever we train it to. The renewing of our mind is to fill it with what God says in His Word, so that the Word does “dwell richly” in you. Msg Colossians 3:16 Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ—the Message—have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives—words, actions, whatever—be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way. Now we can walk and act upon it, and live the great life that God has made available to us
Renewing the mind is the replacement of our old values with the attitudes, beliefs, and concepts of God as shown and revealed to us in His Word. Satan’s first attack will be against the mind of those that have given their life to Jesus. The mind is the only territory over which you have complete control. You determine what you think about; you determine what you do.
Some people want to make and see immediate change. and if that doesn’t happen, they get discouraged. If you don’t put anything into it you will not get much out. Patience is one thing that is very important. You know from experience that when you take your time and do a good thorough job when you are trying to achieve or create something, it turns out much better than if you try and rush it. Msg James 1:4 Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colours. So don’t try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.
I heard a story that occurred many years ago of a visiting speaker who on this occasion had taken his son with him, and on entering the church saw an offering box and he placed in it 50p. At the conclusion of the service the church deacon came to him and said it is our custom to give the total content of the offering box to the visiting speaker and handed him 50p. The speakers son looked at his father and said “well dad if you had put more in you would have got more out”
Make the effort start changing the garment of your mind and “put off” and then “put on”.