How the Spirit Can Transform Your Thinking ~ blog
For the past few days, we have focused on how to be filled with the Spirit and how to walk in the Spirit. We also learned from the time Jesus was transfigured right before Peter, James, and John and how His physical appearance was instantly changed from the Jesus they had been hanging with into someone whose face “shone like the sun” and his clothing became “exceedingly white.”
There are four times in the New Testament where the word transformed or transfigured appear. All four times it is the same word “metamorphosis” in the Greek. We use that same word to describe something that goes through a change from one form to another. Everything animate thing goes through metamorphosis. My body has been morphing for 66 years now and I am not particularly excited about where it is heading. Plants, animals, and humans are always going through change. It is normal and supposed to be happening.
However, there is a transformation that is also supposed to be happening in the lives of Christian men and women that is not natural but is supernatural. That is the work that the Spirit of God wants to do in us as we grow in our Christian life and are becoming more like Jesus. Here is one of the places this word is found in the New Testament.
“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
In this context, we learn that there can be a transforming of our mind. It is placed opposite of something we should not be doing and that is being conformed to this world. The world we live in is constantly trying to influence us in the ways we think and therefore the ways we act. It is always applying pressure through things like advertising, media, music, movies, and television. Even our educational system and what we read and see online is constantly trying to conform our way of thinking.
I am not saying that we should hide in our basement and cut off contact with the world. God wants us to be in the world but not of the world. So, we need to be careful little eyes what we see and learn. Our thoughts dictate our actions and so what we put in our minds can influence the things we think, do, and say.
I am also not a proponent of those who want to create a “Christian Bubble” around themselves to try to keep the world out. Nobody trying to build a fortress around themselves and their families can ever be the salt and light Jesus has called us to be. God has given us good minds and we should use them … or else live brain dead.
So, we are to not allow the world to conform our lives and thinking. Instead, we are to be being “transformed” by the renewing of our minds. This is where the law of GIGO takes effect. Garbage In, Garbage Out was a phrase developed by the computer science industry. It simply means if the information going into the computer is garbage then what comes out of the computer will also be garbage. This is true of us as well.
One of the problems with our minds is that even if we are sincere, we can at the same time be sincerely wrong. The way we think will determine the actions we take. So, if we are filling our minds with sexual thoughts, images, and videos our actions are going to become sexual because that is what we have been thinking about.
This verse is great because it tells us something about how critical it is to be adding good information into our brains. Our minds can be transformed. Over the past 13 years, I have seen the Spirit transform my thinking from being self-centered and addicted to porn, to being strong in maintaining purity and now allowing my mind to lust.
My mind is continuing to be being transformed because I am careful about what I allow to go into it and I am also strong in stopping inappropriate thoughts to dwell in my thinking. In the book “Who Switched Off My Brain” Dr. Carolyn Leaf says that when a thought enters our brain, we have but a few seconds to decide what to do with it. If we reject it, we can move on. If we embrace it then it will impact the way we think, feel, and act.
This is why it is so critical for us as those recovering from sexual brokenness need to not only guard our minds but also be learning the truths about God. Daily Bible reading is critical for our minds to be being transformed by the Spirit. By the way when the verb “transformed” is the present tense and passive voice.
Present tense means that this is something that should be happening on an ongoing basis. Passive voice means that the transformation that is being done in coming from an outside source, which we know to be the Holy Spirit.
So, if you want to win the battle for your mind you must be guarding your thoughts and learning the Word of God. Here is what the very first Psalm promises us;
“How blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked,
Nor stand in the path of sinners,
Nor sit in the seat of scoffers!
But his delight is in the law of the Lord,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water,
Which yields its fruit in its season
And its leaf does not wither;
And in whatever he does, he prospers.”
God wants us to prosper, especially in our recovery from sexual sin. It will not happen unless we are having our minds renewed with daily reading and learning from the Bible.