Sylvia Clemons is a licensed counselor and offers guidance to renew your mind.
Do you ever think about your thinking? Have you ever just laid your mind on the altar and said, “God, I need help with this mind of mine”? Would it not be nice if, when a person is born again, he also received a brain transplant? Unfortunately, that does not happen. He will still struggle with the same old carnal mind. The “born again” experience does not come with a graduation diploma; rather, it comes with a birth certificate and is the beginning of a journey to renewal.
The renewal of one’s mind is not an option if he is to be successful in serving God. The apostle Paul said, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).The “born again” experience does not come with a graduation diploma; rather, it comes with a birth certificate and is the beginning of a journey to renewal. Click To Tweet
Do We Focus on God–His Presence, Provision, and Beauty He Created in the Garden?
What did Adam and Eve originally spend their time thinking about?
[Adam and Eve] focused on God’s presence, His provision, the beauty He created in the garden, His ever-present love for them, and their love for Him.
They focused on God’s presence, His provision, the beauty He created in the garden, His ever-present love for them, and their love for Him. He was always on their minds because He was their life. Nothing else mattered; they were spiritually minded. After the serpent, the temptation, and the fall, all of that changed. The seed of Adam and Eve—and the minds and hearts of that seed—became corrupted.
That seed took on a carnal nature and left its original spiritual nature behind. As an inheritor of that corruption, humanity lives daily with its aftermath. (See Romans 8:5-7.)
Do Our Minds Wonder to Fear, Depression, Anxiety, and Satisfying the Flesh?
What is a corrupt or carnal mind? It is a mind caught up in doubt and confusion. It is wandering and wondering. It is fearful, depressed, anxious, and distrusting. It is bitter, angry, envious, and jealous. It is focused on the world’s ways, its idols and saviors, wanting to satisfy the desires of the flesh. It definitely is not focused on God and His goodness. (See Galatians 5:19-21.) Not only is the mind—the heart—corrupt, but it also provides the primary battleground in this ongoing war for one’s soul.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (II Corinthians 10:3-5). This passage of Scripture mandates mental discipline, for there can be no renewal or transformation without it.
If a person were fortunate, his parents taught him how to discipline himself physically. They taught him to get up and go to school, to do chores when they needed to be done, not just when he felt like it, and to go to work. However, I have been unable to find anyone—including myself—who was taught how to be mentally disciplined.I have been unable to find anyone—including myself—who was taught how to be mentally disciplined. Click To Tweet
Instead, many people go through life with their minds on automatic pilot, not paying much attention to what is going on between their ears. They may suddenly feel and do things that seem to come out of nowhere, but those thoughts and feelings are, in actuality, flowing from corrupt, carnal minds. Their thinking—their “self-talk”—is the generator for feelings and, ultimately, behavior. What is on the inside will eventually make its way to the outside.
An individual must gird up the loins—the reproductive portion—of his mind and use discipline to bring his thinking into subjection (See I Peter 1:13.) Being filled with His Spirit, gives access to “the mind of Christ” (I Corinthians 2:16), but a believer must activate and apply that spiritual thinking until it overrides the inherited, carnal thinking and becomes an integral part of him.
Three Steps to Bring Your Mind into Captivity and Renew Your Mind
- Examine: Slow your thinking enough to become aware of it and listen to the messages you are giving yourself.
- Paul said, “I think myself happy …” (Acts 26:2). He was not in denial; he just knew the value of thinking on good things.
- Evaluate: Once you are paying attention, ask yourself, “Is this corrupted, carnal thinking, or is this truth? Does this come from an incorrect judgment I made long ago, or is it in line with God’s Word?”
- Ask the Lord to help redirect those thoughts and help you see the truth in your situation. Ask Him for help in disciplining your mind. Pray the whole armor of God onto yourself. (See Ephesians 6:11-17.)
- Replace: You must replace the wrong thinking with right thinking, the wrong beliefs with right beliefs. It is impossible to try not to think of something. The negative must be replaced by the positive; lies must be actively and intentionally replaced by truth.
- For instance, if you developed an early misconception that God would not meet your needs or answer your prayers, find all the verses of Scripture contradicting your mistaken belief and flood your mind with those verses. Memorize them. Repeat them. Begin to believe them.
The basic prescription for renewing your mind is to use any and all of the strategies above as often as needed. The ultimate goal is to deliberately and consciously set about to change your thought patterns until they automatically reflect right thinking. Right feelings and appropriate actions will flow from there. As you go through this learning process, it will be quite natural to swing back and forth between the carnal mind and the spiritual mind. However, it will not be long until spiritual thinking will become such a habit that it will prevail over the carnal mind.
Sylvia Clemons is a licensed counselor involved in Apostolic teaching, counseling, and ministry throughout the country and abroad. Her Word of Life Ministries is based out of House of Prayer Evangelism Center, San Antonio, Texas. Michael Chance is her pastor.