2 Corinthians 5:17 – Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
When we are born again, we are made new on the inside, in our spirit. But our body is still the same, and our mind doesn’t instantly change. The Bible teaches the way to be transformed or changed.
Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
We are created to do things in life and for God that are probably beyond where we are currently living. How do we get ready to fulfill the highest purpose for which we were created?
Romans 12:2 (Amplified) – Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
We are not transformed by trying harder to change or making stronger and stronger resolutions to improve ourselves. We are transformed only as we change how we think. We need to adjust our thinking from of the current trends and ways people around us think and sadly from many of the traditions in the church world to something else. We need to start on the inside.
Where do we get the thoughts and ideas we need to be transformed? We get them from the Word of God. Since God created us and designed us for a purpose, only when we find that purpose will we be truly fulfilled and successful in life. Doing what God designed us to do is the VERY BEST life we could ever live.
WuestNT – And stop assuming an outward expression that does not come from within you and is not representative of what you are in your inner being but is patterned after this age; but change your outward expression to one that comes from within and is representative of your inner being, by the renewing of your mind, resulting in your putting to the test what is the will of God, the good and well-pleasing and complete will, and having found that it meets specifications, place your approval upon it.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…
You are transformed as you change the way you think. The more you can see life and see yourself from God’s viewpoint, the more changed you will be. The more your own human thoughts are exchanged for His thoughts which are above our thoughts, the more like God you will be.
There is a direct connection between how you think, how much your mind is renewed and how fully you walk in the will of God. You can only be filled with God to the degree you are filled with His thoughts.
How do you do this? It is a matter of thought replacement.
Ephesians 4:22-24 (Amplified) – Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; and be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], and put on the new nature created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness.
Colossians 3:8-10 (Amplified) – But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, and have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.
God has made us new. He has put His very life and nature within us. We can put aside the old man and put on the new, beautiful creation to whom all things are possible – by the renewing of our minds, by reaching out beyond what is likely or possible, reaching past the boundaries we have unconsciously set for ourselves and letting only the limitations of God and His Word become ours!
We can change from anything contrary that has been part of us, and we are changed as we change our thinking to match up with His concerning everything. The more we do this, the more we are transformed, the more of the new we put on and the more of the old we put aside, and the more we can actually walk in and enjoy all that He has provided.
Anything hindering your abundant life can be changed; you can get beyond any character flaw or weakness, stronghold or bondage.
But to do this you must take the time to renew your mind, change your thinking. There is no easier way. It doesn’t happen by the laying on of hands. Someone else can’t do it for you or impart it to you. You must pull down the strongholds in your mind and bring every thought captive to the thoughts of God as shown in His Word.
Renewing your mind is not learning to think as the church world around you thinks – no, it is learning to think like God! And many times there is quite a difference! His thoughts are far above ours concerning everything. But we can think the thoughts of God and be transformed into His image from glory to gory.
I have found that the church world as a whole usually falls into the same pattern as the spies which were sent into the promised land (Numbers 13-14) – ten of twelve usually take a stand against God’s Word, saying and thinking that it is impossible, that they can’t do it! Ten of twelve people see the impossibilities and problems of life as greater than the Word and power of God! They fall into the safety and comfort of numbers. But that is not safe. Jesus said that if the blind follow the blind, both will fall into a ditch. As for me, I don’t want to be in the ditch but one who follows the example of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises!!!
It is up to me how much of the land of my life I take back from the enemy. God has placed no limits on what He has provided. What I put into it is what I will get out of it.
Mark 4:24 (Amplified) – And He said to them, be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you—and more [besides] will be given to you who hear.
Take the time to study the Word for yourself and be strong enough to believe what you see there and hold to it regardless of what others around you do.
Who will you stand with? If you want to walk around in the wilderness for another forty years, go ahead and stay with the crowd or come with me and be one who presses on daily to fully enter all of the provision of God! Become outwardly ALL that God has made you inwardly.
Press on and take hold of His provision!
Philippians 3:12-14 (Amplified) – Not that I have now attained, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to lay hold of (grasp) and make my own, that for which Christ Jesus has laid hold of me and made me His own. I do not consider, brethren, that I have captured and made it my own [yet]; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize to which God in Christ Jesus is calling us upward.
1 Timothy 6:12 – Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called…
The highest purposes to which God has made you don’t come to you automatically. You must press on and take hold of it. You must fight the fight of faith and lay hold of your eternal, abundant life in God’s kingdom.
Joshua 18:3 – So Joshua said to the sons of Israel, how long will you put off entering to take possession of the land which the Lord, the God of your fathers, has given you?
2 Peter 1:3-4 – …Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, in order that by them you might become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
He has given us His life, His nature, His abundant life, all that we could ever need in life – but we must fight to take hold of it. It comes through the knowledge of God, through His promises. Through them we become partakers of the divine nature and life He has given us all. Through the Word we apply and put on who He has made us in Christ.
This is the same as in the Old Testament when they were given the land but had to fight the enemies and kick them out to possess it and live in it. We have been given everything we need for life and godliness – every time, in every area – but we must fight the fight of faith to take hold of it. We have to kick the enemies out of our thoughts and take back the land of our lives!
To the degree that we kick the old thoughts and images and strongholds out of our minds and replace them with the truth is as much of His life as we will take and actually enjoy, as much of the will of God we will live and enjoy. We will prosper only to the degree that our souls prosper. And the enemies in your thinking must be kicked out from the root, from the heart, and not just superficially.
If you leave them or just improve yourself outwardly, the enemy will still have power deep in your mind and heart to trip you up (Joshua 17:12-13; 23:13; Exodus 23:25-33). Change yourself from the inside out. Prepare yourself so that you can be a pure and clean vessel of God, prepared and set apart for the highest purposes of God!
Matthew 23:25-26 – Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, pretenders (hypocrites)! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the plate, but within they are full of extortion and grasping self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and of the plate, so that the outside may be clean also.
You can’t make a permanent change in your outward life and behavior without first changing the inside – how you think. The changes in outward life and habits of behavior will follow the inward changes in thought.
No stronghold is too great for God!
Job 36:8-12 – If they are bound in fetters and are caught in the cords of affliction, then He declares to them their work and their transgressions that they have magnified themselves (He gives wisdom as to the reasons they are bound and the way out). If they hear and serve Him, they shall end their days in prosperity and their years in pleasures.
No matter how long a way of thinking has been in control or how deep the patterns of bondage and oppression – if you come to Him and listen, if you obey and serve Him, if you humble yourself and take His written Word, His ways and thoughts above your own, you shall end your days in prosperity and your years in pleasure.
Isaiah 40:24-25 – Can the prey be taken from the mighty man or the captives of a tyrant be rescued? Surely thus says the Lord, even the captives of the mighty man will be taken away, and the prey of the tyrant will be rescued, and I will contend with the one who contends with you…
Isaiah 50:2 – …Is my hand so short that it cannot ransom? Or have I no power to deliver?
2 Corinthians 10:4-5 – Our weapons are divinely powerful (mighty before God) for the destruction of fortresses, destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.
Notice again the battle is in the thoughts.
Psalm 40:1-2 – I waited patiently and expectantly for the Lord; and He inclined to me and heard my cry. He drew me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, steadying my steps and establishing my goings.
No matter how deep the pit you find yourself in, how horrible, how slippery the path out, no matter how deeply ingrained the ways you think and act, no matter how great your bondage – He can and will draw you out of your pit and set your feet on a solid place and steady your steps in a new way of life and victory. His Word as it takes hold of your life will save your soul and your entire being (James 1:21-25).
He has already given us absolutely everything we could ever need in our own lives and to help those around us, every tool and provision to reach the highest and best places in life. We are only limited by our own thinking, our ideas and perceptions.
So we need to renew our minds. We need to change our thinking. We need to expand ourselves to think like God – to see all things as possible, to see no limitations. Whatever we can see, we can have. Whatever we can imagine, we can enjoy. Whatever we can believe is in the realm of possibility to us!
So take the time to renew your mind. Do you really want to change? If you do, take the time to change yourself from the inside! Stop spending all of your life’s efforts trying to change your outward actions and spend more time reading the Word of God, feeding on the Word of God, listening to the Word of God, and applying it to your life.
Change your thinking first. Put more effort into what you are putting into yourself. Put more effort into getting to know God through His Word and through prayer. You will keep on fighting the same old battles and overcoming the same old things until you think differently.
This is the way you take and enjoy the promises of God. This is the way to take hold of the abundant life Jesus has come to give. This is way you can actually change anything and everything in your life.
It doesn’t come naturally, nor is it easy, nor is it quick. It is a battle. It is a fight. But victory is assured! So put as much effort into it and take as much time as necessary – and you can live the best God has to offer!
No person can change you. But God is mighty to completely and totally deliver you from all that the enemy has built into your life (1 John 3:8; Hebrews 7:25).
Even the deepest stronghold in your life is not beyond the reach of His salvation. His hand is not shortened but can reach to the depths of your being and make you completely whole so that you can be the highest and best He intended. And He will – if only He can get you to work with Him by allowing Him to fill you with His thoughts and His Spirit. (2 Corinthians 10:2-5; Isaiah 50:2).