The Problem of a Renewed Mind
It's a struggle to have a renewed mind -
Confession: I am prone to making excuses. Terrible I know. Ugh. Lord help me (and that's truly one of my prayers).
Confession: I struggle in my thought life.
I got issues yo!
Oh, where are my manners??? I mean, HAPPY NEW YEAR!! Woooo!! Its already Day 8 of 2014! And we're still here - Woop! Woop!
I know. I know. Some of you may be thinking 'We're only eight days in and already she wants to talk about problems!?!'
I know! :pained look:
And you know what, if you're riding an ultra great high right now, then by all means skip over this post. It may not be for you.
This post is for those of us in the trenches. This is for those of us in the fight for our minds!
That Bible Verse You've Probably Heard Before That Refers to Renewing the Mind
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..." - Romans 12:2 KJV
Why do I have to renew my mind anyway?
Every word we speak, every act we commit, starts off as a thought in the mind.
How you think also affects how you feel.
Thankfully, there are some thoughts we know to shut down immediately and we never act or speak on them. But there are also other thoughts that we don't think through completely and before we know it we have said or done something wrong, and that we may even later regret: 'It was the heat of the moment' or 'I didn't mean to'. So, yeah, this "mind" thing is kind of a BIG deal.
'So Cara What's Your Problem Yo?'
I mean where do I begin??? Lol.
Let me get straight to the point.
All this hooplah we usually hear as we transition from one year to the next about New Year, New Me (or any other of the infinite versions that may come in), cannot be attained without a true change in thinking, a change in the mind itself.
That's why so many people fail at New Year's Resolutions.
The human will is only a facet of the mind and so it is not strong enough to overpower the general hardwiring of the mind.
I have had to admit to myself in recent days that I think wrong. (That was another confession in case you missed it.)
Sidetrack: That was difficult for me. Why? Not because I haven't admitted that to myself before but because this time I truly realized that I cannot simply will myself to think right. It's going to take much more than that.
Here's where another struggle of mine enters: My attitude towards God.
Sometimes I can have a pretty sucky attitude with the Creator of All.
I argue with Him.
I ignore Him and try to fix things on my own.
Or like Jonah I simply run off into the opposite direction, and say, "Lord I don't wanna. I don't like it. It's uncomfortable. It's difficult." (See what I mean about excuses??? Jesus Help!)
But like Jonah and like David I just can't seem to escape God, there's no shaking Him. He's always there in my face with mad love to give (understatement).
Today, after my set apart devotional time God decided He was not finished with me. And so while I was going about domestic duties, cleaning this, cooking that, God showed me what a problem wrong thinking posed for my relationship to Him.
If He winked at my ignorance in the past, He sure wasn't winking anymore...
Who's Report Will You Believe?
Think about yourself for a moment. Who are you? Your likes and your dislikes? Your imperfections? Do you make excuses for them and say things like "Well's that's just me," or "I was born this way" or 'I can't help that I'm like that.'
For me, one lie that had become so ingrained in my life was this:
"I'm a quitter by nature."
Today, God was like "Stop thinking that!"
Me: But God [here comes the excuse] that just points to Your work in my life all the more. That means [like I have to tell the Creator what something means, Oh Cara!] anything I have seen through to completion is because of You.
GOD: Stop thinking that! That's a lie. One you've bought into. When I created you, I created a warrior.
:Grimaces: Now, normally this is the part where I try to tune Him out and secretly [but it's not a secret to God so what's my deal?] think "I'm not a warrior" or whine "But I don't wanna be a warrior" but this was an opportunity to do the opposite of what I wanted and to change my way of thinking and acting regardless of how I felt. So I listened and I took it.
GOD: What is a comfort zone?
Me: A place where you're most comfortable, most at home.
GOD: Wrong. A comfort zone is a lie you've made yourself at home in.
GOD: If I say I've created a warrior and you say you're a quitter who needs Me, just to make it sound better and more acceptable to yourself and others, something is not right.
Those two things are opposite.
One is the truth and one is a lie.
The lie did not come from Me, so who did it come from? Why would he make you think you're a quitter? Because it's in direct opposition to my original design.
He hates you. Why would he want you to know who you really are? You have been blinded by the father of lies.
He told you, you were a quitter, he used different experiences to convey that message to you and you bought into it. You believed it. It became ingrained in your thinking and so you owned being a quitter. You made it a part of your identity and so you acted like a quitter and it became second nature. When things got tough you ran away because that's what a quitter would do. But you are not a quitter!
:Pulls at my collar: Ummm a little help here? I'm on the hot seat!
GOD: A comfort zone is a lie people make themselves at home in and fear is what keeps them there.
I call people to be in the background but no, they want to be in the spotlight because they're "comfortable" in the spotlight. But it's fear and pride at work in their life. They're really afraid of not being known. They're afraid of having to interact with people one-on-one, on a deeper level, instead of glazing over and having a shallow relationship with a large audience.
I call you to the spotlight but no, you're comfortable in the background. Why? Because you're afraid of being seen. Afraid of being exposed. Afraid of failing when eyes are on you. Lies! All of it!
It's a fallen world. Sin has affected everything. Even logic has been manipulated by the enemy and cannot be trusted above my Word.
So of course your comfort zone is in direct opposition with my purpose. Why are you surprised? The enemy wants you to feel comfortable there and to feel at home in your little comfort zone. Why, because then you won't pose a threat!
Yeap. Obviously at this point I'm dumbfounded. Definitely a Job moment. Like "Oop! I stand corrected, can I go run and hide now?"
But seriously, as children of God sometimes we walk around defeated because we're thinking incorrectly.
Because we don't realize that we are being lied to.
The enemy's goal is not to kill us. Because let's face it, he doesn't have that kind of power. He can't kill who God has already determined will live. So his goal is to paralyze us, to keep us stagnant, to keep us thinking incorrectly and buying into lies that are the exact opposite of what God has said.
The crazy thing is, this is nothing new!
He did it with Eve in the garden.
God told Adam and Eve the day you eat the fruit of that tree (the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) you shall surely die.
And what did the serpent tell Eve? "You shall not surely die."
The exact. flippin'. opposite.
To disagree with God (the Creator of Everything, Seen and Unseen) on anything is to find ourselves in pride.
To be arrogant, to worry, to be insecure, to be anxious, to feel inadequate, to disobey, to feel lonely, to believe we cannot change when God says we can, is to find ourselves in pride.
And pride puts us at odds with the God of All. Probably not something you want to do, #ijs.
If any thing about our lives is going to change then it has to start in our minds. We have to recognize the pride we may be in and those lies we have bought into (especially about ourselves) and fight against it!
We cannot simply toss that responsibility on God when His Word says that He has already empowered us through His Spirit to take charge and uproot what did not come from Him,
"We use God's mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning [logic] and to destroy false arguments [lies]. We destroy every proud obstacle [pride] that keeps people from knowing God. We capture rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ." - 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
How can win the fight for our mind? Use those weapons of course!
Confess that we're struggling. God knows that as fallible humans we have a hard time wrapping our minds around His infinite and infallible greatness. He's supreme! And our understanding of Supreme is so limited!
Depend on God's Word to expose the pride in our life and those lies we've believed. God's Word is Truth and only Truth can directly combat those lies rooted in our heart and mind. Also, we need Truth to replace those lies once we have expelled them.
Fasting is a spiritual exercise that teaches us to discipline our bodies into obedience, it increases spiritual sensitivity and can remind us that we can exercise that same control over our mind as we do our bodies.
Prayer. God is not just leaving us on our own! He's more than willing to assist and give us the strength we need through that two-way communication we as Christians like to call prayer.
Praise. In faith we can thank God for the change we are on the verge of experiencing in our mind. There's nothing too hard for God. No matter how deeply ingrained the lie, no matter how strong the mental strong hold GOD can remove and destroy it! That's something to celebrate!
Victory is Ours! Keeping Fighting!
(P.S. Dear Jesus, I need You!!)