If someone is sick, we bring them soup. If we are hungry, we cook (or get takeout). If we break a bone, we find a doctor. We enjoy taking care of ourselves and others and can take care of quite a few challenges on our own. This is not a bad thing! But then we encounter circumstances we cannot take care of. We get frustrated when we cannot solve our own problems, or something is beyond our power to rectify. Even when we try harder, learn more, talk to the right people, we still can’t figure it out.
beyond our abilities
There is a brokenness in our minds that we simply cannot take care of alone. Not the brokenness that results from a lack of will power, or mental illness, but brokenness from the effects of sin. God calls us to a renewal of our minds (Romans 12:2). He tells us to take every thought captive to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Yet a tension arises between what God calls us to do and our struggle to take care of things on our own. We go through the motions of depending on Him, but we also want to be self-sufficient. This battle can lead us to power up, to paralysis, or to indifference.
Those of us who are Type-A, power-up people default to searching our past experiences, analyzing and evaluating the echoes of our thoughts. On our own this hunt will prove fruitless and frustrating.
For others, this tension leads to paralysis. We want our minds and thoughts to be perfect before we make a move. As a result, we freeze and remain hopeless that God can work in and through us.
Some of us are indifferent. We are well aware of how futile our efforts would be to renew and restore our minds, so we have no energy to dive deeper.
God does not expect us to power up, be paralyzed, or give in to indifference. He offers us another way in Proverbs: “Whoever gives thought to the word (His Word) will discover good, and blessed is he who trusts in the LORD” (Proverbs 16:20).
God has given us Himself through His Word. His Word gives life, and it is “living and active,” not sterile and silent (Hebrews 4:12). Giving thought, focusing our minds, meditating on the truths in His Word allows the Word of God to bring us understanding of our own thoughts and leads to the discovery of wisdom and renewal. Let us lean on the power of God’s Word to reveal our wayward thoughts, and then bring them into submission to Christ. In doing so, our minds have the chance to flourish.
What efforts have you put into renewing your mind? What has that been like for you? What does the truth that you can depend on God to renew your mind do for you? Do you believe it? What efforts do you need to let go of, trusting God’s work? Spend time meditating on Psalm 143:8. Put it in a place where you will see it each morning (a bathroom mirror or in your car). Make this your meditation for a few weeks.
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