The ability to live each day with purpose and destiny comes from the dynamic of new thinking and positive emotions. The apostle Paul dealt with this in his writings to the church in Ephesus.
"Therefore this I say and testify in the Lord, that from now on you walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their minds, having their understanding darkened, excluded from the life of God through the ignorance that is within them, due to the hardness of their hearts. Being calloused they have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn about Christ in this manner, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off the former way of life in the old nature, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that you put on the new nature, which was created according to God in righteousness and true holiness" (Eph. 4:17-24).
The apostle was urging the believer to not be shaped or controlled by the philosophies, culture or ideologies of the world around them. Their life must reflect the clear will of God.
This happens when the transforming power of the Holy Spirit renews the mind. The Greek word for "transformed" is metamorphooomai. The English word metamorphosis is derived from this Greek word. Metamorphosis means "a change of form, structure, substance or function," according to Webster's New World Dictionary (Neufeldt, 1990). Metamorphosis is that life transformation that changes a wooly worm into a butterfly or a tadpole into a bullfrog.
"Bull frogs and butterflies have both been born again," sang Barry McGuire.
There is a spiritual metamorphosis that must take place in the life of a person. A wooly worm changes its "form, structure, substance and function" from that of a wiggly and fuzzy worm that frightens little girls into a beautiful and graceful Monarch. Once controlled by ungodly thinking, negative emotions and carnal appetites, a person can be transformed into a saint of God; filled with righteous thinking and the fruit of the Holy Spirit.
The miraculous transformation is made possible by the "renewing of the mind." The Greek word for "renewing" is anakainosis. Kenneth Wuest describes the work of renewing as "the gradual conforming of the man more and more to that new spiritual world into which he has been introduced, and in which he now lives and moves; the restoration of the divine image; and in all this so far from being passive, he must be a fellow-worker with God" (Wuest, 208).
Living the abundant life requires a person's mind be made like the mind of Christ (Phil. 2:5).
4 Areas Where the Mind Must Be Renewed
1. The conscious and the subconscious mind of a believer must be transformed if they are to live in the dynamic of new life.
2. The old thought patterns must be changed into the way God thinks.
3. The value systems, philosophies, ideologies and reasoning of a person must be adjusted so they match the ways of God.
4. The memory patterns and dream life of the old man must be renovated to conform to the truth of God.
If the mind of a person is transformed to think and reason by the mind of Christ, that individual will view life and daily circumstances from God's perspective. They will refocus their emotions to agree with the truth of God's Word. Instead of living as a victim, they live in victory. Instead of being held in fear, worry and insecurity, they will have a positive outlook. Rather than responding to people with rejection, jealousy and low self-worth, they accept themselves in the image of Jesus Christ. Instead of being captive to their old habits and behavior patterns, they "stand fast therefore and (are) not be entangled again with the yoke of bondage" (Gal. 5:1).
The daily application of such freedom is made possible by the sufferings of Jesus Christ.
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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