“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God,” Romans 12:2 (NKJV).
Romans 12:2 is one of my favorite verses in the Bible. I began truly meditating on it when I became a part of Thin Within as the workbooks have quite a bit of teaching on this process. Mind transformation is a total necessity if we are going to walk in victory concerning any area of our lives. Victory for me not only applies to my issues with food, but it also applies to other areas of my life.
Struggling with major insecurity for many years, I knew that as a minister, I could not go on in defeat and expect to help others to victory. I began to apply the mind transformation scripture to my insecurity which, by the way, contributed to much of my emotional eating.
One of the first steps in mind transformation is recognizing lies from the enemy of our souls. We can fall for his lies and not even realize that we are wearing a cloak of deceit. For example, I believed the lie that I was not good enough to work in my church, witness to people, or have successful relationships with people. The source of much of my insecurity was wounds I had suffered from relationships with men before I met my husband, people in the church who had lied about me, and friendships that had seemed to dissolve rather quickly. What was wrong with me? Why could I not maintain relationships?
I had to recognize the lie Satan had put into my mind that I was not good enough. Of course, I am far from being the perfect person, but if I am a child of God, I am made worthy through the blood of Jesus. Recognizing this truth took time because the lie was engraved in my mind for such a long period of time.
Once I recognized this lie, I could begin tearing it down through the power of the Holy Spirit.
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing EVERY THOUGHT (emphasis mine) into captivity to the obedience of Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NKJV).
I had what I needed to tear down these lies, not in myself but through the Holy Spirit. I had to participate in my mind transformation. I say this because we often want God to just pour victory on us without our participation. He must have our cooperation in the process, or we will just as easily return to bondage.
Now that the lies were torn down, I did not need to stop at that point. My mind was now empty and something had to replace those thoughts or the lies would return with a vengeance. Luke 11:24-26 is proof of the need to fill the empty places. Jesus spoke of an unclean spirit leaving a man and returning to find the house empty so the unclean spirit brought more with him causing the man to be worse off than before.
I believe this is where we often miss the mark in mind transformation. We begin to recognize the lies and tear them down, but we fail to replace the thoughts with God’s thoughts concerning the situation. 1 Corinthians 2:16 tells us that we have the mind of Christ so we can think his thoughts toward our situations. Philippians 4:8 describe the thoughts we should dwell upon.
Let me give you an example of the process. When I felt I was unworthy of ministry and relationships, I had to recognize the lie. Many lies will have some degree of truth which makes deception come into play. Without Christ, I am not a good person or a good friend, but with Christ, I can do all things. I have made a major step in the process, but I am not finished. I must realize that although I might have been at fault in previous relationships, those people had issues of their own so I could not be blamed for all of the failure.
Now that I had recognized a bit more truth, I needed to replace the lies. When replacing lies with truth, you must have scripture that applies to your situation. Some scriptures that I used in my battle were 2 Corinthians 5:21 concerning being the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ. I read Ephesians 1 and 2 aloud concerning my spiritual blessings in Christ. I read Proverbs 18:24 claiming that I was able to show myself friendly. Philippians 4:13 about being able to do all things through Christ works in many situations. Aside from these, I found scriptures on the love of God. Recognizing His love made me able to have healthy relationships and a godly ministry.
The process was not easy but had I not participated in my mind transformation journey, I would not be able to tell you about it. You have to participate and cooperate with God in your own mind transformation. He is more than willing to be your strength, but He will not force His will on you. Your willingness to work through tearing down the lies and replacing them with truth is a must.
What about you? How can you cooperate with God in your mind transformation? What lies need to be torn down? What truths need to replace these lies with truth?
This truth is life changing. When I lost my daughter, I asked God how would I be able to deal with that crushing loss. Others had; I could, but I wanted to know how. God spoke this truth to me: ONLY by staying close to HIM could I make it. And then He began to show me that was the only way any of us can deal with life in these last days: an intimate relationship with JESUS. God has been so faithful.
Such a good word, Allison. Changing the way we think is pivotal to overcoming strongholds in our lives. So much of what you shared resonated. Something must rise up inside to overcome the lie permeating our thoughts. That is the real battle. Eating too much food, feeling insecure and unloved, being filled and consumed by worry; these are the weapons the enemy picks up on an given day to use against us. We have only one weapon against him. Truth. This was beautifully written, thanks for sharing your heart.
I love this post. Not only recognizing the lie, but replacing it with God’s truths and reading aloud His truths. I recently read in another blog(I believe it’s from Cathy Maher) that seeing it, speaking it and hearing it in your own voice really instills it in your mind and heart.
Wow oh Wow, what a great testimony. I wrote most of what you said on my truth cards and will carry them on vacation with me. I have been living in defeat and waiting on God to “pour out victory” on me when HE is waiting on me to find the lies, kick them out and fill my house with truth, then the unclean spirits CANNOT return. Thank you so much for this very timely word!!!
Thank you so much Allison! You have brought to light some beautiful truths about the renewing of our minds through Christ. What really resonated with me is that our willingness and hard work is necessary . . . God will not just fix us with a magic wand because He wants to change our hearts and have our hearts as His. He does not waste anything in our lives, but works it all out for good! How blessed we are! 🙂
Thanks for a very thoughtful, helpful, and encouraging post Allison. I like your emphasis on our part in the process of transformation – sometimes I think we confuse making an effort with works, but, as one of my favourite authors wrote,”Grace is not opposed to effort – it’s opposed to earning”. (Dallas Willard) We make the effort to transform our minds by soaking in His truth, and then grace swoops in to multiply our efforts and bring about our transformation in ways that we could probably never even imagine. I need to apply this process to worry – a stronghold for me. Probably comes from having a way too active imagination 🙂
Thank you all for your encouragement. I think many of us struggle with worry in our thought life as much as anything. God is so faithful to give us what we need to renew our minds. I am thankful for the support and new friends I have made as a result of being involved with Thin Within. God is so good to have lead me here!