by Gary F.

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”                                                                                                            Rom. 12:1, 2

The problem with most Christians isn’t that they don’t want to change; it is that they don’t know how to change. The desperately want too be transformed but they are unfamiliar with the components necessary for change to occur. They do not know how the process of “renewal of the mind” takes place.

This is especially true for those of us who are in recovery. We are desperate. We want to change. We know it is possible for, “with God, all things are possible”
(Mt. 19:26). The question isn’t do we need to change? We know we do. We also know that we cannot change ourselves. We need God to change us.

As Christians, when we recognize the need for change, how do we accomplish it? How can we become different from the people we are now, to become the people God wants us to be? How can we possibly think differently than we do now?

Normally, our ability to change ourselves is limited to the strength of our will. We have some limited power to make ourselves into different people. The problem is that we are limited. Our power to change ourselves is, therefore, limited. God is not. He is unlimited. He is all-powerful.

True change at this mental or intellectual level can only come from a supernatural source. God has to rewire our brains and reprogram our thought life. Once we are firmly convinced that change must occur, then, the Lord is our only hope for real and permanent change.

One of the basic understandings of the workings of God is that nearly everything He does is a process. Creation was a process. Conversion is a process similar to sowing seed. Most people hear the Gospel several times before they receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Salvation is a process. Our faith is in process. We are to grow daily in our walk with the Father. Therefore, we are in process.

Paul wrote this in his epistle to the Romans

“Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”                                     Rom. 12:1, 2

Having our minds renewed is also a process. It does not happen overnight. The ways in which we think are changed over time. As baby Christians, we still maintain many of the world’s methods and thought processes. We have been indoctrinated by the world system. So that we might know and do God’s will, even the way we think must, of necessity, change. This is called the “renewing of our mind”  process.

Before we go further into this study on “renewing of the mind”, we must lay down a fundamental truth. In Matthew 7:24-27, Jesus teaches the parable of the wise and the fooling man. The wise man built his house upon the rock. The foolish man build his house upon the sand. Most Believers are familiar with these passages.

However, when you ask most Christians, “what is the rock in this story?”, they would answer, “Jesus” and they would be wrong. Read carefully verse 24, “Whoever hears these words of mine and does them…”. Contrast that to verse 26, “…everyone who hears  these words of mine and does not do them…”.

What was the difference between the two builders? Was it the storm? The winds and the rains?  No. It was the foundation of doing what Jesus said  or not doing what Jesus said. The rock isn’t Jesus. It is obedience to the Word of God.

Both builders heard the words of Jesus. One man man who heard and did and built on rock. The other man heard and did not do and built upon sand. The difference is either obedience or disobedience. The key here is that we are to act upon the truth the Lord teaches us.

Why is that principle important? James writes that we are to be doers of the Word and not hearers only (Jas. 1:22). To hear—which implies to understand— and not put that truth into practice is like building your house on sand.

In these lessons, you will learn what it takes to have your mind renewed. It is of utmost importance that you put into practice these truths. If you do, you will be building on a solid foundation making your recovery all the more certain.

                                                TO BE CONTINUED…

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