Have you ever gone back to a place that previously had been a major part of your life and reconnected with people you once knew very well or worked with on a daily basis? You see them again and the excitement is now in the air! They are the same person on the inside, yet they have aged slightly or have a different style about them now. But while listening to them, you realize that your life has dramatically changed and you have moved on. You no longer think the way they do, which is the way you used to think years ago when you first knew this person.
What happened? You both aged—but there is a stark difference between the two of you. You grew in an area that they haven't really increased in at all, and so you walk away from the conversation thinking, Well, that person hasn't changed much. And they walk away, speaking in an undertone, "Wow! I hardly recognize them anymore because they have changed so much."
How is it possible that you're so different while they remained the same, regardless of how much time has passed? The answer is found right here.
I urge you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy, and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sound judgment, according to the measure of faith God has distributed to every man (Rom. 12:1-3).
As time progressed and you walked this road of unforeseen turns, you learned to do some things the other person had not; you learned to apply the wisdom of God to your life, your heart and, last but not least, to your mind. You learned to listen more and speak less and to put others first when you wanted to lead. You learned to read the Word of God and apply it to every major decision and circumstance in your life. Because you did these things, your life has dramatically changed; your mind has changed. But how?
How can one person see so much growth and transformation while others progress very little? It is because you applied the power of the Word of God to your mind. Most of all, you applied the blood of Christ through His work on the cross to your entire life—including your mind. You see, we cannot be eternally changed from great ideas alone, no matter how biblical they may sound. If we try to transform our minds through great rhetoric, energetic preaching and wonderful teachings without allowing Jesus to wash us clean His way, we are merely picking up the ideologies of "Christian humanism" instead of genuine transformation. Jesus said it this way to Peter:
"Peter said to Him, 'You shall never wash my feet!' Jesus answered him, 'If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me'" (John 13:8).
If we choose to walk with Jesus, we must be willing to be continually cleansed by the hand of God (our Master and Savior). In other words, our heart and mind will be transformed by the continual washing of the Word of God in our thought patterns and the decisions we make in life.
There are a lot of good teachings out there which talk about how to better our lives and gain the victory while here on this earth. Likewise, there are also a lot of self-help books promising to do the same. The internet abounds with a plethora of teachings ranging from how to gain friends or influence, to how to fix everything, all the way to a quick fix to become successful or rich. If you can think of it, it's out there somewhere!
As good as all these teachings might be, when it comes to transforming our minds we may be missing the single most important ingredient: The blood of Jesus Christ—found only through the power of the cross. The other teachings that exclude the blood of Christ are deploying great concepts, good methods, practical techniques and daily skills, but you cannot truly transform your mind without applying the blood of Christ through the power of the cross. If we eliminate the cross and the blood of Christ, we are left with nothing more than a self-absorbed, internally empty approach that consist of many great ideas that possibly can help. But the blood of Christ applied to our mind isn't just a good idea that can possibly help, it is the one and only power that will completely transform our mind forever.
How do we live in power with a completely Spirit-filled mind? The answer is found in this Scripture.
"For to those who are perishing, the preaching of the cross is foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God" (1 Cor. 1:18).
We must apply the power of the cross to our lives. It is here where a Spirit-filled mind will begin. You can only walk in the authority of a Spirit-filled mind through the power of the cross of Jesus Christ. From here, we apply the Word of God, allowing Him to humble us (clean us) as He sees fit. Only then do we gain the victory.
Simple Steps to a Spirit-Led Mind
First thing: Seek Him first.
"When I remember You on my bed, and meditate on you in the night watches" (Ps. 63:6).
Spending time with the Lord, one on one, requires discipline and commitment. This is formed through making a long-term habit of making time to wait on Him.
Tune Your Mind to Kingdom News
"'O Lord of Hosts, God of Israel, who dwells above the cherubim, You are the God, even You alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth. You have made heaven and earth'" (Isa. 37:16).
Living in the digital age, we are constantly pelted with world news, breaking news, unexpected news and even really bizarre news. This amount of information coming into our minds isn't good at all. As Christians living Spirit-led lives, we have to tune it all out sometimes, detach ourselves from the world's news outlets and social media, and connect ourselves to the kingdom of heaven. It is one thing to hear what the world is saying; it is another thing to discern what the Lord is saying about every situation in life. Take a moment and stop, shut everything off and listen to Him.
Walk in the Spirit Realm
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God" (Rom. 8:14).
The blood of Christ transforms our minds through this process; He will teach us how to be led by the Spirit of God as we take every step in life. How do we do this? By learning to ask the Lord before we step into something we don't belong connected with. It's OK to miss a turn from time to time while driving in our vehicles. It may not turn our well if we make the wrong decisions in our spouses, careers and so on. Developing a Spirit-led mind starts with learning how to hear the soft, gentle sound of the Father's whisper. Minor Spirit-led steps will eventually turn into major Spirit-filled destinies.
Andy Sanders has been speaking for 25 years. He has traveled extensively around the U.S. and other parts of the world. He is a prolific writer who carries both a prophetic and leadership-type message to the church. Sanders has a B.A. from Central Bible College and a master's and doctorate in Christian education from Freedom Seminary, graduating with honors. He is married to Cathy, and their family resides in Syracuse, New York.
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