I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 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 (Romans 12:1-2).
In the new birth our spirits are transformed from darkness to light. The nature of sin is removed and replaced by the nature and life of God. A new motivation for living rises up from within. The things we once delighted in are replaced by an attraction to right living. And that’s where the challenge begins.
Before Christ we allowed our minds, emotions, wills and bodies to absorb habits that now bring regret if we participate in them. Paul said it to the believers in Rome this way: I am speaking in familiar human terms because of your natural limitations. For as you yielded your bodily members and faculties as servants to impurity and ever increasing lawlessness, so now yield your bodily members and faculties once for all as servants to righteousness (right being and doing) which leads to sanctification
Stubbornness, anger, malice (the desire for bad things to happen to people who do you wrong), self-centeredness, habits of fleshly lusts, sexual and otherwise, overeating to cover pain, overwork to escape dealing with relational issues, and perfectionism. All of these things come from a soul (mind, emotions and will) that must be subdued and brought to obedience to the Word! The mind is renewed and the body submitted to God as a living sacrifice as we daily yielded ourselves to the Lordship of the Word, making a conscious decision to act on the Word when everything in you wants to go the other way!
Here are four simple steps we can take to renew our minds and clean up our way of living. We can make a decision today and everyday to 1) meditate the Word, to let it revolve over and over in our minds. Find scriptures that deal with the areas of our personal weaknesses and meditate on them. Replace idle mental time with willful thinking on scripture. 2) We can make a decision to practice the word at each decision point today and not just listen to it and forget it. 3) We can make a decision to put the Word first place in our lives today.We should ask ourselves, what does God’s Word say about this issue I am dealing with right now? Do what God says should be done in this situation. 4) We can make a decision daily to obey our conscience, the voice of voice of our human spirit speaking to us. As we train our conscience to obey the Word, the voice of God in our inward man will become clearer and clearer.
Mind renewal is a lifelong process that will only culminate when we get to heaven and are like Him! Work towards that end everyday! His life in me must rise up, and I must choose to say no to the old habits of thinking and living. When we say yes to the Word, the Holy Spirit will come to our aid with the power to say NO to the old habits that once ruled! He must increase; I must decrease!