In the first part of Renewing Your Mind, I wrote about the benefits of renewing your mind. Now, I would like to tell you how you can renew your mind. This is not an automatic process as we ought to notice in Paul’s admonition. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” We must note that this is a command, not a suggestion. So, the objective is to be transformed, that is, have our lives changed further into the image of Jesus. Conversely, the world pressures us to be conformed to its pattern, but we are to be transformed. It pays to mention again that the term conformed is to be forced into a mold and the term, transformed, is a change from the inside out. It is true change. It is change that flows from what is already inside of us, that is, the Spirit of God.
There are more than a few words in the New Testament that are translated as mind. It’s hard enough in English to define mind, but the Greek language gives it a good try. This is the first step in renewing your mind. You must think differently than you did in the past. The target of your thinking is above not below. In Colossians 3:2 we read, Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. However, context, as usual, plays an important role. V1. says, If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Both verse 1 and 2 employ a command - Keep seeking and set your mind. Actually, verse 2 says, Think! Think on the things above!
Think on the heavenly things where Jesus has won a place for you for eternity. This is not gazing at the heavens imagining pearly gates and streets of gold, but the work Jesus has accomplished through His death and resurrection. Think on the provision of his grace, the hope of glory, the power of the resurrection. These much more are the items to think on. Learn to think biblically, and yes, theologically.
For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. (Romans 8:6). Here again Paul using the same word for “mind” tells us that if we set our minds on the flesh we are carnal people. The next two verses betray that the mind set on the flesh is of the flesh and hostile towards God. (Reflect back on Chapter 1 of Romans.)
In Romans 8, Paul states that the mind set on the flesh is death, not subject to the law of God and cannot please God. This jives with Romans 12, also. Remember, Part 1 of Renewing Your Mind.
The mind set on the heavenly things, the things of the Spirit help us to renew our minds. If I may press this further and say that a good habit of reading quality material that lays out the person and work of Christ, good material that properly lays out biblical history and theology will help you renew your mind. If you persist in reading “feel good” books that do nothing to advance your critical thinking skills, nor give you good sound biblical information, you will not be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Books that do nothing but appease our selfish appetites are helping you set your mind on the flesh. Friends, this may sound blunt, but I make no apologies for it. I know how easy it is to take the path of least resistance and give in to the flesh. We sometimes do this by thinking we’re reading something spiritual that will help us when all it does is gratify our selfish desires. There are many books and videos that only help us focus on ourselves. We must learn that the answers do not reside in us but in Christ. Think on these things. You can be transformed by renewing your mind and succeed in proving what the will of God is. You can do this by setting your mind on what Jesus has done for you. Think on these things. Focus your attention on Christ, who is the wisdom of God and fullness of Him.