It’s simple because it’s a basic process: replace lies with truth. It’s complicated because sometimes you have to search through layers and layers of lies to get to the full truth.
And it’s heart wrenching because you come face-to-face with who you are and have to go through the painful process of dying to yourself so you can live for God.
But it’s worth it.
It’s about relationship.
Because every minute you spend renewing your mind is a minute you spend drawing closer to God. When I look back over the last ten years, I look at ten years of intimate fellowship with God.
He’s been there right beside me in the dying-to-self process. Holding my hand. Wiping my tears. Embracing me as I ask, What? You want me to do that?? Submission always seems like a sacrifice before you do it.
You feel like life is going to be miserable, but you’re willing to be miserable for God, so you give in. That’s when He surprises you with joy.
The joy of fellowship with Him.
It’s a process.
That joy doesn’t last forever, though, because before you know it, you’re going to have to submit again. And again. And again. It seems like it goes on forever.
But you string enough moments of submission and joy together, and all of a sudden one day you realize, I’m living in victory. This sin no longer controls me. I’m free!
You might think that that’s when it’s worth the struggle—when you finally start living in victory. But that’s not true. It’s worth the struggle all along because of the intimacy of working through your problems with God.
Honestly, this discipline—the renewing of the mind—has done more for my relationship with God than any other discipline. I hope you’ll hang in there at the beginning when it’s hard to establish the routine.
It’s not easy.
If you want to work on a bad habit or sin, there are three basic (but not easy) steps:
- Make a goal.
- Establish boundaries.
- Renew your mind every time you break your boundaries (or better yet, every time you feel like breaking them).
We’ll talk more about the boundaries next time.