Today we’re going to look at two of Paul’s passages. First, let’s review Romans 12:2.
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.
Doesn’t that sound great?
The part about knowing the will of God that is. Knowing what is good. What is acceptable. What is perfect.
Notice that Paul doesn’t say that we renew our minds and we MAY be tested, he knows that we WILL be tested.
Remember a little while back when we talked about Jesus being tempted by Satan? We talked about finding the fallacy in the temptation, zooming out to see the big picture, and quoting Scripture. That’s what Paul is talking about. That’s discerning the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
But what specifically can we do?
Is that what your thinking? That’s how my mind works. I want to know specific steps.
2 Corinthians 10:5:
We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God and take every thought captive to obey Christ . . .
Every thought captive.
That means that all our thoughts that we unleash need to align with God’s word.
That means that what we say about ourselves needs to align with what God says about us.
That means every thought that doesn’t align with God’s word needs to be captured & isolated. Those that bring us to anger. Those that bring us to gossip. Those that bring us to cheat or lie or murder in our heart.
And . . . those that bring us to lust.
I have a close friend who talked about some of the dark thoughts he use to struggle with. He casually mentioned that he had to capture those thoughts. I stopped him and said, wait, how did you do that? Like specifically, what did you do? I don’t understand.
Whenever he had a negative thought enter his head, he would stop, and audibly say, “That thought is not my thought. I’m a child of God”.
For the first several days he had to do that over and over and over again. But that stopped those thoughts right there, captured them, and prevented them from growing.
Eventually, he could just say, “That thought is not my thought. I’m a child of God” in his head.
And eventually, that thought would come simultaneous to, or even right ahead of the negative thoughts.
It’s not a perfect system and from time to time negative thoughts creep in. But it’s put him in a position to capture those thoughts.
Force his thoughts to obey God’s word.
Renew his mind.
Not being conformed to the world around him.
Thoughts to Pray/Journal:
- Try it. Say to yourself, “That thought is not my thought. I am a child of God” every time something negative enters your mind. Note what changes you see.
- What things are typically happening right before the negative thought? That might help you find a pattern to your thoughts, emotions, and behavior.