“Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Restore to me the joy of Your salvation And sustain me with a willing spirit.”
Psalms 51: 10 & 12
2016 Is the Year of Renewal
Think – Feel – Act
We can say, “I need to love my church more,” but that isn't going to work. Or a woman can say, “I need to love my husband more,” but that isn't going to work. You can't fight your way into a feeling. You must change the way you think about your church, about your husband, about your wife, and that will change the way you feel, which will then change the way you act. “There must be a spiritual renewal of your thoughts and attitudes” Eph. 4:23.
You are not what you think you are, but rather, what you think, you are. The battle for sin, the battle to deal with those defects in your life that you don't like, starts in your mind. If you want to change anything in your behavior or anything in your emotions, you start with your thoughts and your attitude.
The renewal of your mind is related to the word "repentance." Many think it means something bad, something you don't really want to do, something painful. They think of a guy standing on a street corner with a sign that says, “Repent!” Repentance has nothing to do with your behavior. It is about changing your mind,
learning to think differently. “Repent” simply means to make a mental U-turn. It's something you do in your mind, not with your behavior. Changing the way you think will then affect your emotions and affect your behavior. (For those who want to use “heart” instead of “think”, please do.)
When I repent, I make a mental U-turn. I turn from guilt to forgiveness. I turn from purposelessness to purpose in life. I turn from no hope to new hope. I turn from frustration to freedom. I turn from darkness to light. I turn from hell to heaven. I turn from hatred to love.
You must say: “I also change the way that I think about God.” He's not mad at me; I'm deeply flawed, but I'm deeply loved. I change the way I think about You, I change the way I think about Your church, and I change the way I think about my life. I change the way I think about the world, and I change the way I think about my past, my present and my future. So being renewed in your mind means more than changing the way you think about God and Jesus; it also means you change the way you think about your own defects.
The Bible tells us, “Let the same mind and attitude be in you which was in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 2:5). NIV says it this way: “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus”. Here Paul is talking to the church and the challenge is to have the “mind of Christ Jesus”. We must constantly allow the Holy Spirit to change our minds to think like Jesus!
May God richly bless You His Church in 2016 with His mind and will. May we think like Him, Feel like Him and Act like Him in all that we say and do. This is our challenge for this New Year!