S224P2 – At work within us: a mind changed

Eph. 4:20-24

But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.

He had been heavy since he was a little boy, so he always thought that his size was simply a result of his genetics.  It was only after a health scare in early adulthood that he decided to try and do something about his weight.  Instead of going it alone at any old gym, he hired a fitness and nutrition coach to work with him on a plan that would be specific to his needs.  He had all the resources necessary at his fingertips to make a great life change.  He showed up to his workouts faithfully every morning, but progress on the scale was slow.  A few months in, and he actually weighed a little more than when he started.  It was only after some poking and prodding that his coach would realize that he had not been sticking to his nutrition plan.  His problem was an addiction to food, and no reasoning would change that.  He would need more serious treatment to transform his mind to see food as fuel instead of a reward or a source of comfort.

This passage is clear that there is a spiritual component to our minds.  What happens in our brains is not merely a series of electrical charges.  Our minds are logical, but there is much more to them.  This idea of renewing the spirit of our minds in order to take off the old self and put on the new self is about changing our perspective.  This is a critical component of our sanctification, but we must submit our minds to the Holy Spirit for this transformation to take place.  We must be willing to forget all of the justifications we use to entertain sin or rationalize why we really do not need to follow the ways of the Lord.  We come into this world addicted to sin, and our minds must be reconditioned to recognize that God’s holiness and goodness are really what we need.  We must let the spirit of our minds be transformed so that we can see sin for what it is and despise it as the Lord does.

Before Christ, we are wired to see things as much different than they actually are.  The spiritual world around us is invisible, and we do not understand the deadly road on which we travel.  God’s kingdom is completely different from this order of things, so our minds need to be changed in order to understand how things really work because it is so different than we thought.  If we determine to remain the same, if we do not change our minds but let them stay in that state affected and driven by our sinful nature, then we have no new self to put on.  We cannot wear Christ on the outside and remain living according to the flesh on the inside.  This spiritual change of mind is necessary for God to do his good work in us.  Father, thank You for your Holy Spirit making us think and see clearly by simply relinquishing our minds and allowing him to do the work.