five steps to renew your mind

A renewed mind will ultimately change your quality of life. But how do you recreate your mind amid confusion? Our heavenly Father often allows us to experience hardship so He can reach us in our vulnerability. To experience change, you must renew your mind. Most people desire to change their situation. However, change is a long process, and many are not inclined to endure it. The reason is that change is difficult. It requires lots of effort; it is nearly impossible to change anything in your life without first learning how to renew your mind.

The Battle Begins in the Mind

Despite your commitment as a Christian, you may have allowed the world’s system of doing things to attune your mind rather than transform your mind. So how can you change those things you do not like about yourself? How can you live that quality life that you promised yourself? Start by renewing your mind.

God has given us the formula whereby we can make those desired changes and start living that quality life. Romans 12:2 says we should not be conformed to this world but transformed by renewing our minds. Everything we struggle with, no matter how small or immense, the struggle begins in our minds. When we commence renewing our minds with Godlike thoughts, our minds will produce Godlike actions, habits, and results.

What Has Shaped Your Mind?

Something or someone has shaped us into what we are. We are pounded, shaped, and reshaped like a lump of clay in the hands of a potter. As a result, we live a life contrary to our heavenly Father’s will.

Attempting to change our lives, we join a local church, hoping to become that better person. But church alone will not change us into that model person. Such a drastic change must include Jesus, and following Jesus is all about knowing, and knowing is all about growing. We should present our bodies as living sacrifices to the Almighty. It is the least we can do to show gratitude for what Jesus did for us at the cross (Romans 12:1). If you have a desire to reshape your world, here are three positive steps to renew your mind.

Step 1 – Change How You See Yourself

Replace thoughts that you have of yourself with those of the Creator. How you see yourself has caused you to become the product of what others have produced in you. Someone has probably told you that you can never attain “this” because you don’t have “that.” The negative words of others have shaped you into who you are today.

It may come as a surprise, but your heavenly Father has very different thoughts for you. You might ask, “How can I know the thoughts of an almighty, all-knowing God?” God reveals His mind throughout the Bible. He is not at all difficult to understand. He reveals what He thinks of us in His written word. In Jeremiah 29:11, He says, “‘For I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ says the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” So, when others tell you that your future looks dim, say these words to yourself: “God has good thoughts concerning me, to give me a good future with hope.”

Step 2 – Recreate Your Mind

To renew the mind is to make it new again. That means we must unlearn everything that we previously learned about God. Although it is difficult to relearn what you have learned, with the Creator, it is possible, for God’s word has the power to transform.

To be transformed is to be changed completely, usually into something different than the original, both in behavior and appearance. A caterpillar undergoes the process of metamorphosis and metamorphosizes into a completely different creature, becoming a beautiful butterfly. In no way does the butterfly look like a caterpillar. Not only does it look different, but it also behaves differently. It is no longer an unsightly land walker but a magnificent creature of flight.

The Word of God has the power to transform. When you try to renew your mind apart from the power of the Holy Spirit, you only go through the process of unlearning what you have learned. But even in its self-renewed state, your new mind retains many of its old memories. You will eventually gravitate back to the old you. However, allowing the Creator to renew your mind will transform you. The old mind is made complete and new. You will look renewed and have new habits. Amazingly, you cannot explain how the transformation took place; you only know it did.

Step 3 – Change Your Focus

Do not focus on your present situation. God is our ever-present help in our time of need. The worst thing you can do when in a dilemma is to focus on your current situation. Instead, focus your attention on where you would like to be instead of where you are. The most effective way of changing your focus is to focus your mind on the Almighty. God has promised to keep your mind in perfect peace if you keep your mind focused on Him.

A renewed mind is necessary to achieve lasting change in your life. Start your transformational journey by exchanging your old behavior and habits for new ones. There is no magic formula for this, but the Word of God says you are what you believe you are (Proverbs 23:7).

Step 4 – Allow the Holy Spirit to Help You

It is virtually impossible to permanently renew your mind without the power of the Holy Spirit working on your behalf. The thing that prevents us from experiencing a total and lasting transformation is our blindness. Satan is the ruler of this world’s system. He has blinded the eyes of our understanding so that we cannot understand the truth embedded in the word of God with our carnal minds (2 Corinthians 4:4).

While there is power in words, there is absolute power in God’s word. People around us have shaped our future with negativity. But faith in God’s word has outright influence to bring into existence the things we say. We have the power to reverse that negative power with a renewed mind.

If we have faith in God, we can move mountains. Jesus said: “For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says” (Mark 11:23).

Step 5 – Change Your Habits

Changing your habits is an essential step toward renewing your mind. We are creatures of habit; we find it difficult to break old habits. Have you ever tried to break an old habit only to be defeated? Here’s what I mean. For many years I watched my husband struggle to stop smoking. The more he tried to conquer his addiction to cigars, the more he craved them. He tried cutting back on the number of cigars he smoked, only to smoke more than he previously smoked.

One morning he was awakened from a sound sleep at about 2 a.m. by a heart attack. When we arrived at the Emergency Room, the doctor asked, “Do you smoke?” To my surprise, he answered, “Up until last night!” That was fifteen years ago. Since that day, my husband has never touched another cigar. When I asked how he quit smoking so suddenly, he answered, “I had a change of mind. I didn’t want to smoke anymore.” Instead of resisting the urge to smoke a cigar, he refocused his mind. He told me that instead of focusing on the craving to smoke another cigar, he thought about living.

Through the power of words, God created the world. Negative talk has shaped and conformed us to doubt. Through the power of God’s word, you can renew your mind and change into a new creature. Renewing your mind daily will transform you into the image of Christ by the power of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 3:18).

Renewing your mind is a process by which you can change the course of your life. But it is up to you to believe God’s word. Only God’s word has absolute power to change your life.

By Eric Dunbar

Once addicted to crack cocaine, my story is not unique but inspiring. I have been a professor of faith for most of my life. Before you inquire about my credentials, let me explain. I don’t mean professor as in “teacher” but professor as in “squatter.” For most of my life, I have been trying to occupy what I had never fully possessed, namely, faith. You see, my trust was in God long before I used drugs. To this day, I cannot tell you what happened to cause me to be addicted; it just happened. After a lifetime of serving God, somehow, I became a crack cocaine addict. I grew up in the church. I was born with talent. I started playing the organ for local churches at the age of eight years. I cultivated strong confidence in God early in life. From the time I was five until I was eighteen years old, I can’t remember ever missing a church service. I started playing keyboards in a popular R&B band at the age of nineteen years old. Midlife When you’re young, life is all about having fun, and I was indeed having a lot of fun. Playing in an R&B band exposed me to the rigors of nightlife, leading me to deviate from the church. I started experimenting with all kinds of drugs. At first, it was marijuana, then pills, and soon, I was using cocaine. All the while, I still attended church, although not as often. When I was married, my infrequent music revenue was inadequate to raise a family. So I left the band and found a job. I have always had confidence in God, but I didn’t know how to implement my faith. When my first child was born, I renewed my faith and got heavily involved in the church. A few years later, my pastor inspired me to begin a cell ministry in my home, where I faithfully worshipped God and held Bible studies every Tuesday. About seven years into my marriage, I slipped back into drug use. This time cocaine was my choice drug. Soon after, I learned to cook cocaine, converting it into a rocky substance called crack. That was the beginning of a life of trouble. I had become a slave to the drug; crack cocaine was now my master. Confident Expectation My wife threatened to leave if I didn’t control my addiction. Nevertheless, I remained confident that God would deliver me. But my wife insisted that I seek help. I wanted to save my marriage, so I enrolled in the Narcotics Anonymous Twelve Step Program. I completed the required thirty-day classes, and I went home drug-free. Fifteen days later, I was once again smoking crack. My crack smoking eventually led to my wife divorcing me. I lost my family, possessions, and everything dear to me. Life had become challenging, and I was near depression. My parents taught me that faith believes, so I understood the principle of faith. I had faith that God would liberate me, so I continued to pray that God would soon rescue me from this evil that had come upon me. One day I opened my Bible, and my eyes fell on this scripture: “So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17). “I don’t go to church anymore,” I said to myself, so how can I hear the word of God? Then I thought to read the word aloud to myself. The Bible was now my best friend. I read the word to myself. The word of God came out of my mouth and went back into my ears. Alas, I was hearing the word of God. I still craved crack cocaine and got high whenever the opportunity presented itself. But for the next two years, I mostly stayed to myself, reading the Bible aloud, quoting scriptures, and praying. Believing Faith Speaks After two years of practically being alone with God, my craving for crack cocaine was gone. My confidence in God rewarded me with freedom. I learned that believing faith speaks. No longer did I profess faith, but I now possessed it. Faith is having confidence in the things we hope for. Although they are not visible to our physical eyes, we believe that God is working our hope into physical existence. It is the bridge linking us to the spiritual realm and makes God a touchable reality. When we trust God, it guarantees that God’s promises and Biblical revelations are true. We cannot detect these revelations and promises of the word of God with our physical senses. However, by trusting God, we have the confidence that our expectation will come to pass. Faith is the quintessence that the things we hope for become so concrete that even belief itself becomes a definitive reality of those things that are not yet visible. Your faith becomes so tangible that you believe you possess those things in the spiritual realm.

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