Mind renewal is the process of systematically removing all lie-based thinking from your heart. We all have lie-based thinking. Truth-based thinking brings peace. Lie-based thinking always stirs up negative emotions. That is how we know that we are not thinking with a foundation of truth.
Now, there are emotions that are truth-based, such as grief, sadness, sorrow, to name a few. These are emotions that are a consequence of loss in some form.
There are also emotions that guard our hearts to prevent anyone or anything from touching the painful places inside. These are choice emotions and they are lie-based. We believe something about facing the inner pain so we do not want to go there. That is when we choose anger or anger related emotions because it will shut down other emotions and protect the inner wounded places that were triggered. Another emotion in the same class is panic (seen where it is not logical to panic). So, the question to ask would be, “where is this anger, panic, etc. coming from? Follow that to the place, time, memory where you learned that it is an effective tool to block other emotions. I will talk about methods of mind renewal later.
In John 16:13, Jesus talks about the Holy Spirit being sent to us to lead us into all truth. I believe that the key word here is the word “all.” The Holy Spirit indwells the heart of the Christian. He has a job to do. He is our comforter. He walks alongside us to help us. He teaches us and leads us into truth–all the truth that we need to free us from the bondage of lie-based beliefs.
The problem with that is that we often do not cooperate with the Holy Spirit. In order to be led, we must follow. God will never force us to follow Him. Satan and his followers will force us. They will do everything in their power, including using other people, to make us do his bidding. He too is limited by our will. God created us with the right to choose between right and wrong. Satan’s favorite tool is deception. He starts with us when we are very young without the ability to reason things out. He uses what the scripture calls our “carnal nature,” or “old man” against us. It is a ready made tool. We are all born with a sin nature. When something in our lives goes wrong, he sends evil spirits to whisper lies and false conclusions to us. Because of the pain we feel from the event, the lie seems plausible even if it is irrational. It is our natural inclination to try to find something onto which we place blame for the circumstance we just experienced. The lie provides a reason for what we feel. Adam and Eve both did that in the garden of Eden. Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the serpent.
An example of what I am talking about would be:
A child’s hand gets caught in the door of a car. A person was there at the door when it happened. The pain is excruciating.
It is natural in this circumstance to try to find where the fault lies. In this scenario, several things could take place. An evil spirit jumps in and whispers, “That person meant to do that to you.” A child hearing that thinks that it was their own thought and accepts the conclusion. Thus, a lie-based foundation has begun to be built.
Another way it may be played out would be that the person there gets upset and says, “why did you have your hand there?” The spirit then adds, “It is your own fault that you got hurt!” or “Stupid! It is your own fault.” Thus, eroding the child’s self confidence and self worth… another lie-based foundation onto which the child builds his or her life and self perceptions.
Pain is the key element that can lock lie-based beliefs into place. What follows is a cycle of belief to pain to belief that follows throughout life. But pain does not need to be present to begin with. There are circumstances where we can be blind-sided by lies. A child or adult can be “just being themselves” and someone else gets triggered by something said or done innocently. The other person’s reaction startles us and their lies demean us. If we accept the lies, we become diminished in our own eyes. Children especially are vulnerable in these kinds of circumstances since they need help discerning what is truth and what is lie. In this kind of situation, the pain comes from the reactive attack instead of pain being the initiator.
All of that was to establish that we all have situations that produce lie-based thinking in our hearts. It means simply, that all of us require mind renewal. If we are followers of Christ, we have the Holy Spirit to help us with this. We live in a society filled with lies that are subtle. We have taken on the mindset of our society and that needs to be cleaned up as well. God wants out hearts to be pure, ready for Christ’s return.
Romans 12:2 is very clear. Paul says that we are not to be conformed to this world but be transformed by renewing our minds. That transformation process cannot be done by trying to convince ourselves of truth. We need the Holy Spirit to work in our hearts so that we are able to accept the truth.
Ephesians 4:23 says that we need to be made new in the attitudes of our minds. All attitudes come from our belief system. If our belief system is faulty, our attitudes and reactions will be “of this world.” in other words, lie based thinking leads to bad attitudes which leads to reactiveness which is sin. God’s best comes to us when we act based on truth rather than react, based on false belief systems.
We now know that mind renewal is a systematic removal of lie-based thinking. It is also a systematic infilling of truth in the pain filled places, by the working of the Holy Spirit in our hearts. This can only happen if we cooperate with the Holy Spirit.
In order to cooperate with the Holy Spirit, we really need to develop a relationship with Him, the Father, and Christ.
More on that topic later…