Renewing Your Mind in Christ. Have you made any new year’s resolutions? The most popular new year’s resolutions tend to revolve around health and fitness, organization, saving money, traveling, hobbies, and general life wellness and productivity.
While those are all good goals to have, sadly, most of those goals tend to fall by the wayside after a short period of time unless you are actively committed to them. With any resolution, consistency is key.
So – what about your personal plans for growth this year? Where are you in your spiritual walk? Perhaps you’ve started a Bible plan or recommitted to going to church. Those are some great starts, but you can do even more. How about renewing your mind in Christ?
Truly, it’s all about Jesus.
At the heart of a true spiritual renewal is a focus on Christ Jesus, and who He is, and what He’s done for you. The only way you can let that resonate with you is by spending alone time with Him – in prayer – as a way of remaining in constant communication.
The trust you develop in leaning on His ways over yours, and learning more about Him by reading the Bible, will improve your ability to do and be more in Christ than you can ever by just going to church, listening to Christian music, surrounding yourself with spiritual people, or checking off passages of scripture by rote.
Moreover, those things were meant to be an accompaniment to your faith, not a substitute. That’s why when your heart is not right with God, it doesn’t matter how much you go to church or do any other spiritual activity – you won’t change unless you have an experience with the Lord.
Steps to Renewing Your Mind in Christ.
If you’ve let things drift between you and Jesus, it’s never too late to get reacquainted. If that’s something you want to accomplish this year, you can do it with the rest of your goals if you take into consideration these steps:
1. Spend time with Christ as soon as you awake. This keeps you from getting distracted by other tasks when you first wake up and gives you an opportunity to talk with Him, revel in the quiet, read the Bible, and take notes.
If it helps, you can journal out your thoughts and prayers, or write about what you read in the Bible. This activity can take you anywhere from 5-20 minutes and is the foundation of everything else you do to improve your relationship with the Lord.
2. Develop an attitude of gratitude. The quickest way to reshape your mind is by filling it with reasons why you follow Jesus. As you journal (or as a separate activity entirely), you can write down what you’re thankful for each day, or week, or month. Doing so regularly helps train you on counting your blessings and where they come from, and will help steer you away from dwelling on the negatives.
3. Be selfless. While it’s true you have to help yourself before you can help others, looking for a way to lend a helping hand is a spiritual experience all on its own – if you let it. To make the most of it, ask God how you can be of help today, and ask for your eyes to be open to the needs of others. Being selfless will keep you happy in life.
Then, as you find things to do, recognize what is happening in those moments, and turn them back to Jesus by your praise. If that seems too intimidating and overwhelming to do right now in approaching God before you are ready, then think of an area where you already enjoy being of help to others in need, and volunteer your time doing something meaningful in another person’s life.
The more you do that, the more you can’t help but have a renewed mind. As that happens, then, you can have something to say for praise back to God, and begin to pray for needs you have been able to meet and those which you want to seek.
4. Surround yourself with accountability partners. You can only value the relationships you have with other fellow believers when you are able to value your relationship with God. Strengthening your mind in Jesus allows you to be more of a friend, more of a listener, and more of a helper.
When done the other way around, however, you can actually cause problems in your relationships with others, because you will be more likely to drain them of their time and energy on helping you, if you depend on them, and not God to fill the part of your heart, mind, and soul expressly meant for God to dwell.
So by taking the proper steps toward God yourself, only then you can line up accountability partners in the truest sense of the word: they are those who hold you accountable and spur you to respond in kind.
5. Repeat and adjust. As with everything, your steps might look different from day-to-day. More in one area than another, or you might find you feel conflicted due to circumstances that have dragged you down on a particular day.
All of that is normal! It happens. Just don’t let discouragement keep you from seeking Jesus completely, though –keep following the steps as you are led, and you will find them easier to do overall, no matter what you face.
Drawing closer to Jesus is not for the faint-hearted. If we are all honest with ourselves, we wouldn’t want the rest of our relationships to suffer because of lack of effort – so why is it so easy to let what we have with God come up short?
The Lord often calls us to take risks, trust without fully knowing outcomes, and getting real when we don’t always want to do any of those things. Following Christ can possibly isolate you from others, make you face judgment, and cause you to have self-doubt.
But if you have made it this far, then you know that giving your life to Jesus is not a decision to be taken lightly. You’re either all in or not at all – there is no in between.
May you renew your mind in Christ and conquer this year to the fullest with God’s grace!
Renewing Your Mind in Christ – by Natasha Polak
Mind On Jesus