How to Renew your Mind in 3 Steps

As I prepare for our upcoming Success Webinar with author Barb Raveling (‘I Deserve a Donut’, ‘Taste for Truth’, The Renewing of the Mind Project’) I’ve been reflecting a lot on the issue of renewing of the mind.

There’s a famous poem by Portia Nelson that I think perfectly describes the process of renewing your mind. It goes like this:

“I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost… I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But, it isn’t my fault.

It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I still fall in. It’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

I walk down another street.”

As a Christian, I’ve always felt some victory and pride in the fact that I’ve been successfully able crawl out of the deep hole I continuous find myself in— this was my victory. The thought of ‘walking down another street’ seemed akin to Peter walking on water or Jesus casting out demons; it was something that you read about but was not really possible or attainable for me.

And though being able to crawl out of the hole now only takes me a day or a few hours instead of months or years like in my past; it certainly is not the victory that Christ died for me to have. My limited success has kept me somewhat content but deep down inside I’m still  yearning for freedom, jealous at other people’s victories and desperate for change. Have you ever felt like that?

I truly believe that renewing your mind is the missing key to our transformation and breakthrough. It’s God answer to the question, ‘Just how do I walk down another street?’ Not by working  harder; not by will-power and determination and believe it or not, not even by praying harder ( John 9:31), not by quoting popular scripture lines , not by positive thinking, and not by sharing your problems with others. All of these helpful strategies have taken me out of feeling hopeless down in my hole but they still have not given me the peace and freedom that I desperately desire from Christ.

Understanding the Process of Renewing your Mind

There are a few scriptures in the bible that talk about the importance of renewing your mind:

Do not conform 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. Romans 12:2

…that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.- Ephesians 4:22-24

Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh. Romans 13:4

What they all have in common is that they turn us away from ourselves and turn our focus towards our heavenly father.

Sounds wonderful right? This is how I want to live, so now what?

In her book, ‘The Renewing of the Mind Project’, Barb Raveling  encourages us to look at the our ‘old self’ and the lies that are deceiving us and replace those lies with the word of God. When we are habitually and consistently able to take off the old and put the new then we will experience victory over the habits that keep us bound.  (Don’t miss my webinar with Barb Raveling Wednesday March 25th at 7:00 pm EST. See: Success Webinars)

The process of renewing your mind:

1. Identify the Thoughts (limiting beliefs) that are keeping you stuck:

2. Search the scriptures for God’s truth on the matter

3. Whenever the thoughts come, replace the lies with the word of God

Can you see the challenge with these seemingly simple 3 step process?:

1. It’s a process which will take a considerable amount of time which most us us don’t want to commit to. There will be no quick fixes or bible miracles in this process.

2. It will take work which most of us are not inclined to do. God want us involved in the process. Breakthrough requires more than a ‘name it and claim it’ stance. It’s an active process that will require us to get in the bible and read, search, ask, study, write and even memorize.

3. It will take humility which most of us don’t like to admit to. Having people see us ‘fail’ time and time again is humbling. Feeling like a failure week after week can feel demoralizing.

4. It will take giving up control of our will which most of us don’t want to relinquish. Most of us will rather eat (or gamble, fornicate or spend) our way into oblivion before we give up our ‘perceived’ control. We would rather die than feel pain, powerless and vulnerable.

5. It will take trust and faith which many of us are leery of. If you’ve ever been hurt by a parent then trusting your heavenly parent will prove even more challenging.

But if you are ready to get out of your hole (pit seems a more befitting word) then look past these 5 challenges and let’s get to work.

I’m going to use an example from my life that is currently sabotaging me. I’ve been on a life long journey of getting healthier and helping other to get healthy but my weekend eating (bingeing) is one of the last vestiges that I cling to. Here goes:

STEP 1- Identify the thoughts behind the behaviour

This will take some work because the thoughts are often multi-layered and can be cloaked in lies from the enemy. So first identify what the surface issue is but also write out other truths you might identify after stating the initial thought.

My issue: I deserve a reward on the weekends since I’ve been so good all week

It’s seems pretty straight-forward upon first glance but as I spend some time with it,  here’s what else I’ve discovered about this statement:

1. I have NOT really ‘controlled’ myself during the week. Truth is, I did not do as well as my mind would have me believe I did. I pretty much ate more than I planned to everyday.

2. What do I really deserve? Why do I have this entitlement  issue around food?

3. What has me so discontent that I turn to food to feel better?

Ouch, ouch and amen!

STEP 2- Pray and search the scriptures for answers to your issue:

Revelation without confirmation become nothing more than rationalization and justification for our own ‘bad’ behaviour. The bible will provide an answer to every challenge, stronghold, problem, circumstance or situation we face but only if we take the time to search for it. Don’t settle for what you think ‘God said’. Always seek confirmation. God will always use scripture to confirm His direction and intentions for you and your life.

Here are some scriptures that I’ve selected (in prayer) that I will apply to my issue(s).I have searched for issues about temptation, entitlement issues,  self-esteem issues and about finding joy, peace and fulfillment.

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet he did not sin”.- Hebrews 4:15

“No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Cor 10:13

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love,joy,peace,patience,kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Gal. 5:22

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5

Mark 10:35-45 – address entitlement issues 

A couple of resources I use to do this are: http://biblehub.com and http://www.openbible.info/topics/.

STEP 3- Continue to Apply God’s Word to your issue:

This last step is to continually apply God’s truths our  habits and thoughts. Not once or twice, but continually. Not when its convenient or on a really bad day, but consistently.

Satan’s lies are so convincing that we must continually apply God’s word over and over again until we believe His word more than we believe the lies. When you stop believing the lies then you know you’ve received your breakthrough.

When you and I can stop and change our thoughts dead in their tracks, then we will know that we are renewing our minds. “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”  2 Cor 10:5b

When I no longer binge eat on weekends is when I will stop this process and even then, I will still need to be mindful. The bible warns us that, “Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

I’ve committed to applying the 3-step process to my health as well as to the other areas of my life that ‘don’t work’.

Renewing your mind can be a lengthy process but I know it will be well worth it; to live the life of abundance, joy, peace and freedom that Christ died for us to experience. I’m ready to walk down another street, will you walk with me?

 

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P.S If you want more support and discussion about this topic of, ‘Renewing Your Mind’ then join us on Wednesday March 25th at 7:00 pm EST for our next free, live webinar entitled, “Renewing your Mind for Permanent Weight Loss ”  with Barb Raveling. Spaces are limited, so register today: Success Webinars 

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