Pray First – Mind
Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of god. -Romans 12:2
The mind is powerful and far more complex than anyone can understand, yet you have the power to renovate your mind and make it new. Loving God with all of your mind involves renovating your thoughts and emotions according to the truths of God and the ways of Christ. Loving God with your thoughts can start with learning the truths of God. As you read and listen to biblical teaching, your mind develops an informed understanding of who God is and begins to interpret the world through that knowledge.
Studying God’s Word will change the values of the mind. Memorizing Scripture will help the truths of God penetrate to your core beliefs. These are not fleeting thoughts, but rather deeply held, often unrecognized beliefs about yourself, others, and God that you use to interpret new interactions and information. Even these foundational beliefs can be renovated through focused attention on God’s truths. In a world where attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, will you train your mind to dwell on the things of God? When you have built this discipline into your life, you can face dark times because you have these truths to light your path.
Renovating the mind would be incomplete if we did not consider the power of emotions. Left unchecked, unwanted emotions can control the mind and body. Your best and worst thoughts are constructed largely by emotion. Loving God with your mind doesn’t mean being less emotional, but rather having more emotional clarity. Take a few moments to understand how you are experiencing your environment in the moment. One way to do that is simply by labeling the different feelings you are having. Practicing emotional awareness may feel strange if you haven’t done this before, but the benefit is well worth it. When Christians have emotional clarity, they find it easier to see God’s involvement in their lives.
Understanding your emotions does not give them authority over your actions. In fact, the opposite is true. The more you understand your emotions, the less they control your thoughts and actions in unwanted ways. Your new insights take you one step closer to practicing healthy expressions instead of overreacting or overindulging. You get to be the one to decide how to express your emotions, but I recommend not waiting until they are about to spill over. When you prioritize healthy routines and spiritual disciplines in your daily life, you are choosing to renew your mind through building emotional clarity and practicing healthy expression.
The practice of renewing your mind will transform every aspect of your life. This practice will also enlighten you to God’s presence with you and His will for your life. Will you make the choice to renovate your thoughts and emotions according to God’s truths? Will you commit to loving God with all of your mind?
Father, thank You for making me unlike any other creation. You have given me a powerful mind that is far more complex than I will ever understand. Thank You for giving me everything I need to renew my mind, which is so easily conformed to the ways of the world. Help me to reconstruct my thoughts and emotions according to Your truths. May Your words light my path on my dark days and make me aware of Your presence with me and Your plan for me as I follow after Jesus.
How is your mental health? What is troubling you? Is anything making you anxious? Are you allowing intrusive thoughts from the enemy to invade your mind and destroy your peace or have you asked Jesus to infiltrate your mind? Is your mind set on things above? When is the last time you were at rest mentally? How is the Holy Spirit working in, through, and around you? Do you trust that He is with you in the good times and the bad? Have you given every care to the Lord? Are you allowing external factors to persuade your mind into believing worst-case scenarios or are you placing your hope in the promise keeper?
Practical Life Application
Take some time to journal. Put a real pen to a real sheet of paper and simply let your thoughts flow out. Remember that God made you an emotional human being. So, tell Him how you feel. Release what you have been holding tight. Loosen the grip you have on trying to hold it all together and let God carry each and every burden. Take a walk outside. Put your hands to work and give your mind a break. Delete social media for a while and turn off the news. Use this time to memorize scripture and talk to the Lord. Physically bow on your knees in prayer. Cry out to the Lord even if it means shedding a tear. Be vulnerable with Him. Schedule coffee with a trusted friend who loves Jesus. Share what's on your mind with them. Speak it out loud. Get out of your head. Get into the Word. Don't worry about tomorrow. Remember who is in control.