“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” Ephesians 3:22-24
This morning as I was reading Romans, I came to chapter 12 verse 2 “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.”
Would you like to know what God’s will is for your life? Have you ever asked Him, Lord show me what You’re doing here? What’s next? According to this verse, the way to be able to test and approve what God’s good, pleasing and perfect will is, we need to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Last week, part of my devotions (Ephesians 3:22-24) also dealt with this same principle. It says that we need to put off our former way of life (just like Romans says to not conform any longer to the pattern of this world). Then it talks about what our old self looks like – one that is corrupted by deceitful desires.
There’s an old expression that says “I think therefore I am.” But, really, “I think and then I act” would be more accurate. My old pastor said that thoughts fly into our minds like birds. We need to open the window and force them back out rather than allow them to stay and build a nest. When we think about things and desire things that are deceitful – like a wolf in sheep’s clothing, they look good but will hurt us in the end! – we eventually give into the thoughts and put them into action.
I’ve seen this take shape in the form of someone just occasionally allowing themselves to look at pornography on the Internet and then taking it to the next level of a full-blown affair. 😦 😦 😦
For me, when I think and think about unhealthy food and how amazing it sounds, eventually, I’m going to give into my cravings. But, it can be almost anything.
In my undergraduate thesis, one theory I used was Jackson’s behavioral model, which says that people’s actions come from their knowledge or thoughts. It’s so true! So, what can we do? First, we put off our old self. As the woman speaking at Study & Share said “we need to take off our old way of life like they are nasty, sweaty gym clothes.” Would we put them back on after we got a shower? No, we would want new, fresh clothes!!! Like the shower that we need to take, we must renew our minds after taking off our old selves. This is the key to a transformed life. How do we renew our minds? We read the Bible. It’s that simple. Nothing can transform our mind like renewing it with God’s Word.
Then, as we are “made new in the attitudes of our minds” we can “put on the new self, which is created to be like God.” I’m not sure how you picture Jesus, but I never once pictured Him as fat. Not ever. And since He was without sin, we need to try and be like Him. Our new self – clothed in Jesus’ robes – is supposed to be holy and pure and righteous like God. We’ve gotten rid of the old and washed in the blood while renewing our mind.
So, for anyone who struggles like I do with being overweight (although truly this principle can apply to trying any habit changes), the next key step is reading your Bible. Every day. I think this is a crucial step alongside praying. I’m not challenging you to a work out or telling you to quit eating. I’m simply saying that you can change if you allow your mind to be transformed. You can know God’s will for your life. You can be set free of your former ways of thinking and old habits. You can live an abundant life.
I’m giving you a challenge – start this week and read your Bible every morning. Before you eat, before you turn on your computer or television, before you even get dressed, take a moment to read something. You decide how much time you have – it could be as little as a couple verses or chapters and it could be a long, sweet time with the Lord. Don’t get bogged down in the details, just open the Bible and read. God is faithful! He will speak to you through His Word right where you’re at. You will see real life transformation – starting from the inside and reflecting to the outside.
Will you accept this challenge? If so, you can leave a comment. I’m excited to see what God will do in and through you if you’re willing to take this step!
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your Word. We thank You for Your holiness. God, we thank You that we can discard our old selves and put on Your likeness. Please renew our attitudes, transform our minds, help us be more like You. God we long to know You. We’re seeking You wholeheartedly. Help us be faithful to spending time with You every day. Will You please transform our hearts and make this life change from the inside out? Will You make us healthy and thin for Your glory? May we never look the same again! In Jesus’ Name we pray, AMEN!