The Power of a Renewed Mind

by Misty Phillip

…be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2 ESV

One morning not too long ago, my phone rang. On the line was my assistant. She was anxiously awaiting an important appointment, and I could tell that fear was guiding her thoughts. “What will happen if this appointment does not go well?” She asked.

Wanting to provide comfort, but also speak truth in love, I responded, “God is good, either way. Place yourself in a posture of praise. Thank the Lord for who He is and what you know He can do. Keep a record of His faithfulness because He has been so good to you.” Since that conversation, my assistant has shared with me that her focus has shifted from worrying about her circumstances to worshipping the God who holds her in the midst of these circumstances. With her permission, I have shared this story, so that you may be encouraged and uplifted.

Perhaps, in this moment in history, we could all use a change of mind, a perspective shift, and an adjustment to our attitudes. But it should not stop there. Specifically, as believers, we need renewed minds – ones that worship the creator in Spirit and in truth. If you only take one tiny nugget of inspiration from this post, let it be this: a renewed mind leads to a renewed life.

What does a renewed mind look like?

The life of Paul the apostle is a tremendous example of the power that the Lord possesses to shift perspective and change a life. Paul was once a persistent persecutor of the church who met the Lord on the road to Damascus. Not only was his physical sight taken for a time, but he gained eternal vision. That is, he found that heavenly things are immensely more important than the things of this life.

In the letter of Romans, Paul provides an excellent framework for how our minds and our worship are to look. As believers, we should strive not to look like the world, but to imitate the character of Christ. When we do this, we are acting as set apart, and holy people who have dedicated and consecrated our minds and our lives to our Savior, Jesus Christ.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:1-2 ESV).

The word “renewal,” as used in this passage, comes from the Greek term that means “complete change for the better.” When we come to know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, our minds, hearts, and attitudes are completely shifted through the process of sanctification. This process, although ongoing, allows for us to have an intimate relationship with the Lord. The more that we grow in the knowledge of Him and His character, the greater our desire will be to worship Him. Having a deep personal connection to the Lord enriches every area of our lives and points others to our source of hope—Jesus.  

I want to encourage you to get to know the Lord personally. Worship Him daily and walk in His ways. He is the giver of life, and we, as believers have the gift and the opportunity to praise Him with every breath. Take time to thank Him for who He is and to assume a posture of praise.

This article is brought to you by the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA).

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About the author: Misty Philip is a dreamer and a doer who believes we are all here for a reason and that we are created for a purpose. She encourages people to use their story to give God glory. Misty is a podcaster, speaker, author, and entrepreneur who is passionate about helping you spark your soul message.

Founder of Spark Media which consists of the Spark Christian Podcast Conference, Spark Now Summit, and the Spark Collective. She is the host of the popular By His Grace podcast. Misty inspires others through her leadership, speaking, and mastermind groups. She currently serves as the Houston Connect Leader for Christian Women In Media. Misty is the author of the best-selling Bible Study, The Struggle is Real: But So is God and Spark Podcast Planner 2020.

Join the conversation: What do you do to renew your mind each day?

YOLO? Well, Yes and No

by Rhonda Rhea @RhondaRhea

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God. Romans 12: 2 HCSB

There may have been a few other things I squeezed onto the day’s itinerary that didn’t exactly start out there. But those make-up tips on Pinterest are not going to pin themselves. And also, that word game on my phone keeps my brain sharp. Probably. Who needs a mind-sharpener more than I do? I’ve finger-swiped a lot of words in that game. Miles. I’m sure that’s why my mind is a steel trap. I can’t explain how the otter got in the trap. But still, I do think every now and then I hear him hollering, “YOLO!” It’s about as cute as a puppy. But not cuter than a puppy and a baby.

Not that I’m big on throwing my time away, because I had plans for accomplishing something great today. But you have to understand, that video said I wouldn’t BELIEVE what happened next. “BELIEVE”—it was in all caps just like that. It’s not like I had a choice anyway, but I could see that this video had a baby in it. And a puppy. Only a monster could just scroll down like it wasn’t a baby and a puppy.

Of course, that “You Only Live Once” philosophy is not all that biblically sound. Frittering my time away isn’t any too biblical—even if my brain-otter says it’s okay. At the end of this life, I wonder how many of us will say, “Sure wish I’d played more dragon games on my computer.” Or maybe, “If only I’d spent more time looking at my phone.”

It’s not that recreation is a bad thing. There’s often restful, rejuvenating purpose in a couple of “kick back and relax” items on the itinerary. But we do only live once here. We need to spend our fleeting time wisely. I think if someone translated “YOLO” into Latin, it would be, “carpe diem.” Every day is one that’s begging to be seized.

Despite its familiarity, I still read Romans 12:1-2 regularly. “Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (HCSB). Though I read it routinely, it never fails to inspire me to seize the day. It does so much more for my heart than any word game could ever do for my brain. It’s like a heart-soul-and-mind-sharpener.

At every point I allow His word to be my mind-sharpener, change happens. It’s a renewing of mind that doesn’t simply result in a nice word score, but one that can reveal “the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.” There’s simply nothing I want out of this one and only physical life more than I want to know and do His will.

Live once in the physical—sure, YOLO. But for those of us who’ve been born again, life here is followed by an eternity spent in the glorious presence of Christ. Every time we think of that glory, we’re inspired all the more to live each day like it’s our last, loving Him with every minute we’re given.

Incidentally, no matter how many minutes you’re given—no matter how many make-up tips you pin—don’t even try to be as cute as a puppy sleeping on a baby. Now that’s a waste of time.

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YOLO? Well, Yes and No – insight & humor about Following God from @RhondaRhea on @AriseDailyDevo (Click to Tweet)

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About the author:
 Rhonda Rhea is a TV personality for Christian Television Network and an award-winning humor columnist for great magazines such as HomeLifeLeading HeartsThe Pathway and many more. She is the author of 17 books, including the Fix-Her-Upper books, co-authored with Beth Duewel, and the hilarious novels, Turtles in the Road and Off-Script & Over-Caffeinated, both co-authored with her daughter, Kaley Rhea.

Off-Script & Over-Caffeinated: A Novel by [Rhea, Kaley, Rhea, Rhonda]

Rhonda and Kaley have just released a new novel, Off-Script and Over-Caffeinated. When the Heartcast Channel Movie division announces they’ll briefly be allowing submissions for new Christmas movies, Harlow finds herself paired with a reluctant co-star. Jack Bentley may be the biggest Heartcast Original Movie name in the business, but he is anything but formulaic.

Rhonda lives near St. Louis with her pastor/hubs and has five grown children. You can read more from Rhonda on her website or Facebook page.

Join the conversation: How does knowing our life here will be followed by eternity impact your here and now?

Blindfolded to Belief

by Sheryl Giesbrecht

Where did that come from? we ask when things don’t go as planned. It’s like being blind-folded, and we’re groping in the dark. And we wonder, What have I done to deserve this?

Circumstances can trick us into mistrust about God.  There was a time in my life when I felt blinded in a strange place. We had moved from the beach. The cold, foggy days of winter eclipsed my life, bringing on depression and a deathly sickness. I felt deceived by my husband and abandoned by God. I was angry and wanted to drop out of everything. I agonized: Why would God allow this to happen to me? I believed the lie that bad things don’t happen to good people. I had a lot to learn.

We can see a great example of struggling to trust in Scripture. God called Abram to set aside fear and step out in faith. “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you…So, Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him” Gen 12:1,4 (NIV) The only information Abram had to go on was God’s promise to guide and bless him. His decision to follow God set the plan of a chosen nation into motion, preparing the way for the coming of Jesus Christ. God wants us to come to him in total dependence; honestly expressing our lack of faith, failures, and fears.

Abram didn’t understand how his position as “the father of nations” would go down. He had major issues with fear along the way. When Abram and his group traveled through Egypt, the Egyptians were amazed at his wife Sarai’s beauty. They insisted on taking her to their Pharaoh to show her off. Abram’s fear kept him from trusting God for his and Sarah’s protection. So Abram told her to lie. “Say you are my sister, so that I will be treated well for your sake and my life will be spared because of you” (Genesis 12:13 NIV). But even as he wavered in his faith, God protected him and his family. Eventually, Abram decided to believe in God’s promises. And it was counted to him as righteousness.

Deciding to trust God after our move, even when I couldn’t see what lay ahead, was finally my decision, too. Afterward, it was as if God removed my blindfold. I could finally see. I would believe God and anticipate the future with hope.

It was time to stop believing the lies I’d been fed since elementary school. “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:1-2 (NIV) I decided to renew my mind by memorizing God’s word.

I started to share what I learned with others. I made new friends, and began to invest in the lives of young moms around me, joyfully sharing their journey. I was surprised how my faith grew after my choice to follow God wholeheartedly, letting go of my expectations and plans. As Beth Moore has said, “Trust reverses detours of adversity into highways of destiny.” The choice is ours.

Who among you fears the Lord and obeys the word of his servant? Let the one who walks in the dark, who has no light, trust in the name of the Lord and rely on their God.  Isaiah 50:10

sheryl giesbrechtAbout the author: Exchanging hurt for hope is Sheryl Giesbrecht’s focus—a message she shares with audiences as a radio and television personality, author and speaker. She served as Focus on the Family’s columnist for Pastor’s Wivesfor four years. Hundreds of her columns, magazine, and devotional articles have appeared in Focus on The Family MagazineJust Between Us, Discipleship JournalCCMWalk Thru the Bible’s – InDeed and Tapestry, Live-Living and Charismapublications. She is the author of four books including, Experiencing God Through His Names (Bold Vision, February 2017) and It’ll Be Okay: Finding God When Doubt Hides the Truth (Redemption Press, March 2018). You can find more about Sheryl at www.fromashestobeauty.com,

Join the conversation: Have you ever felt blindsided by God?

 

Photo by Kirill Balobanov on Unsplash