****This message is taken from the December 2014 issue of the Word & Spirit newsletter. You can download the newsletter here as a PDF.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. (Romans 12:2)
Most people think of Christmas and think of giving, which is correct to do. Our Father God gave us the greatest gift in His Son Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race. Thank God He gave Jesus to die in our place to grant those who believe in Him eternal life.
I want to tell you about a gift to give yourself this Christmas, that will benefit you and many others you come in contact with. The gift to give yourself is to renew your mind with the Word of God. People declare New Year Resolutions this time of year, and decide to change their situation. Most of them fail to finish what they start and remain the same, and there is a reason they do. The reason people fail is they need to renew or reprogram their minds.
I say this from personal experience and not to condemn or find fault with anyone. I struggled with this, especially earlier in my life and ministry. The Lord Jesus Christ helped me understand how to be free from failure by renewing my mind.
A spirit of fear and insecurity bound me as a little boy of seven to eight years old. I became so fearful that I would go to bed at night and take the lamp shade off my lamp. I would put the light under the cover with me for comfort. I eventually would turn the light off and fall further into a world of horrific fear. Ghastly images of horror would appear to me and constant nightmares occurred. I would break out in a cold, fearful sweat. I would only fall to sleep when I was exhausted.
Later in life I discovered that evil spirits, from Satan, attacked me with a spirit of fear. I would pray for daylight to come so I could get out of bed. I would go to school worn out from a sleepless night and walk around school in a daze. It went on like this for several years.
One night, I was so afraid that I felt like I would die or something would kill me if I did not get to my parents. Many nights I would lie on the bed, totally still, barely breathing because I did not want this thing to know I was there. This night was different and I knew I had to move and get help. I wasn’t strong enough to resist it anymore. I finally got out of bed and went and woke up my mother.
I told her that I was scared and that something was trying to get me. She pulled me up into the bed with her and daddy and I went off to sleep. I did that other times also. I was being attacked by a spirit of fear from Satan. This was not normal childhood imaginations. It was a very real spirit of fear that tormented my mind constantly.
My parents did their best, with their knowledge, to help me. My mother encouraged me constantly and tried to help me cope with my situation. I love and appreciate my mother and daddy very much! They never gave up on me and helped me many times when my life was in danger in my prison escapes. (See my book Escape From Hell) They both prayed me to where I am today and I will never forget their unfailing love for me! Try as they may, my parents could not rescue me from a spiraling downfall into a life of alcohol and drug addiction. I contemplated suicide, but I feared more that I would go to hell in my condition. I learned to renew my mind from this fearful, negative way of thinking. This process changed my life forever, and it will help you too.
The Importance Of Mind Renewal
When a person is born-again, they instantly have a desire to change and live like the Bible tells us to. It is not very long before some people discover themselves reverting back into old habits and actions, to their dismay.
You may be struggling with old habits and sin, as a Christian, and you don’t know how to overcome them. Keep reading, apply what you read, and it will change your life.
Medical Science Agrees With Bible
Just a few decades ago, medical science believed that the mind or brain was a hardwired machine that could not be changed. Many thought if you were born with certain tendencies, mentally, you had to learn to cope with it or take pills. Now science has caught up with the Bible and found that your mind or brain can be renewed or rewired by meditation and positive confessions.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success. (Joshua 1:8)
One meaning of the word meditate is to mutter aloud to yourself. When we consistently meditate on God’s Word, we renew or rewire our minds to believe what the Bible states we are. I am not saying that effort and time are not required because they are. Great rewards await those who will take the time to renew their minds.
Saving Your Soul
If your mind is not renewed with the Word of God, it will side in with your flesh and dominate your spirit. Our souls needs renovation.
Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. (James 1:21)
If you get your mind renewed, your spirit, through your mind, will dominate your body. The old man is the old spiritual man. You've still got the same body you had and the same mind you had. That old spiritual man had the nature of the devil in him. That is the nature that's gone, or the body of sin that's gone. It is up to us to put on the new man on the outside. The renewing of the mind with God’s Word will save or renovate your soul.
My son, let not them depart from thine eyes: keep sound wisdom and discretion: So shall they be life unto thy soul and grace to thy neck. Then shalt thou walk in thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble. When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet. (Proverbs 3:21-24)
Step one: Evaluate the thoughts you are thinking that do not agree with what or who the Bible says you are. You may be surprised to find that many things you think do not meet the directions of Philippians 4:8. Those are the thoughts that you want to replace with the correct thoughts. If you constantly think failure or fear in your thought life, those thoughts will control your emotions and the way you act. Decide to take control of your thought life and think Bible thoughts.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (2 Tim.1:7)
Step Two: Replace the negative thoughts with Bible truths. This is achieved by thinking and meditating deeply. Such as, I have the spirit of power and love and a sound mind. I believe that I have received healing by the stripes of Jesus Christ. I am healthy and whole. I have given and it is given to me. All my needs are supplied by His riches in glory.
This is something that you need to do daily to renew your mind. It is not a one time event. Science has proven that you need to meditate on a thought or mindset for at least 21 days before it takes hold. You may need to continue another 21 days.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8)
Remember to meditate means to mutter aloud, as well as think deeply about it. Some mental strongholds may take several 21 day periods to totally eradicate. Start with seven to ten minutes a day and it will radically change your life for the better in a few months or less. Start today. I will guarantee you that this will change your life as it did mine. Why? Because it agrees with the Bible, not because it agrees with science. Science has just recently proven the Bible is true and many doctors have their patients think wellness and speak positive thoughts. Some doctors have their patients mediate on the Bible. The Bible has the solution for every problem of mankind.
People with mental problems have readjusted to a normal life, in society, by thinking and meditating on the correct thoughts. It will work for drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals and addictions of any kind. Do not allow fear or failure to dominate your thought life. You can renew, rewire or reprogram your mind if you want to.
Step Three: It helps to write down what scriptures you want to renew your mind with. Write down how you want to think and the thoughts you want to control your life.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:4-5)
I remember when I was told I would be released from prison on parole in the month of none. It had a devastating effect on me mentally, emotionally and things seemed hopeless. The Lord Jesus told me to write down scriptures from the Bible and read them out loud to myself.
I did this for over two hours before my thinking changed and faith sprung up in my heart that I could get out of prison. I did walk out of prison about three months later! Write it down and say it out loud to yourself.
So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Romans 10:17)
Step Four: Continue to reaffirm your thought life with scripture from the Bible. It is consistency that develops a sound thought life. It won’t be long before the old thoughts no longer dominate your emotions and actions. You will wonder why in the world you didn’t do this sooner!
Step Five: Don’t give up. Your mind or brain is changing everyday, whether you realize it right away or not. Stay with it, by faith, because the Bible does not lie. The Holy Ghost is your helper and He will help you renew your mind and even give you thoughts to think. You must do it with His help though. He will not do it for you, but He will do it with you. Your future is in your control and your past, present or the devil cannot not stop you!