Renewing one’s mind, renewing one’s life

Last Tuesday, I had the opportunity to spend a day in the park alone with God, praying. I was really seeking God’s will for my life, and I wanted to hear from Him and His word.

It was a quiet morning as I faced the beach, listening to the serene lapping of the waves against the shoreline.

semb beach

I had read Lorne Sanny’s article on “How to Spend a Day in Prayer”, you can find it here. I read from the Psalms in worship, then prayed for God’s cleansing and forgiveness.

No, there was no voice from heaven whatsoever, but a joy inside me as I read God’s word and spent time praying and meditating on His word.

Since that day of prayer, I have felt my passion for God rekindled, and a freshness in my Spiritual walk.

What have I learnt from God? Let me share a few personal lessons with you.

Renewing the Mind 

Romans 12:2 says, “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.”

This verse has been especially relevant to me. As Christians, we must not think as the world thinks, instead our thoughts have to be aligned to Biblical truth.

Over the past few weeks and months, I have had an unhealthy obsession over money – for example, looking for the highest-paying job, how to negotiate for the highest possible salary, telling others that I wanted a prestigious career.

God is telling me: Money isn’t everything. God is everything.

God has to be the most important thing in my life. My treasure, my all.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Okay, so that’s one aspect where we need to renew our mind – our attitude to worldly wealth, fame, success and prestige.

 

Human (worldly) wisdom versus God’s wisdom

But then I realized this, i.e. renewing one’s mind, could extend to every part of our lives.

In fact, in every decision we make, we should be asking ourselves – am I deciding based on worldly wisdom, or God’s will?

In decision making, I have depended way too much on my own ideas without dependence on God.

This is true, even for group decisions made in a church setting – are we depending on cleverly thought marketing strategies, social media and attractive posters/gimmicks to bring people in instead of pure reliance on God’s leading? Food for reflection!

 

Honoring God with my life

Luke 9:23-27 says, ‘Then [Jesus] said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. 25 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? 26 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Jesus words are radical, challenging and runs counter to everything the world says.

Have I been trying too hard to save my life?

Have I lived in a way where I am not ashamed of my Savior Jesus Christ?

Am I living in a way that I’m gaining the world but losing sight of my true self – who I really am in Christ?

John Piper said in his book, “Don’t Waste Your Life!” and that is my prayer too, that I not waste my life. I cannot and should not depend on worldly wisdom in terms of career choice, relationships and marriage, etc. We need our minds and attitudes to be renewed with God’s ideal and His truth.

What our mind values as important, will in fact directly affect our actions and what we strive for. Therefore it is imperative that we ask God to renew our minds in all aspects of our lives!

A very precious peace and clarity of thought is the result of having a Christ-renewed mind.

I’m rather reminded of C.S. Lewis’ words:

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”

That would be a rather apt example of how God intends to transform us!

 

A challenge from God

I feel led to offer a year of my life in full-time service to God, before I start my career, most likely in Christian missionary work (I’m not sure yet, I’m waiting on God).

This is foolishness in the world’s eyes – to derail one’s climb up the corporate ladder by taking a year or two off, wait, am I crazy?

I don’t think so. My dad, who is a Christian, when I told him about offering a year for God said,

“One year is too short. Didn’t you give the country two years of service? You can definitely give God two years too.”

Wow. Amen!

It’s time for you to spend a day with God too.

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