A CHANGE OF MIND
Thursday, December 28, 2017
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“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5

You have probably heard the expression, “You are what you eat.” This refers to how the food we put in our bodies literally becomes part of us, meaning what we eat influences our growth and health. It is just as true that we are what we think. The things we keep our minds on influence the kind of people we become.

Having a relationship with God does not guarantee we will only think of godly things. We might find ourselves more naturally thinking about the things of God over time, but this will only happen after disciplining ourselves to set our minds on what the Spirit desires. As Paul writes, “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” (Romans 12:2).

The biblical word for this is “repentance.” To repent is to change your mind, or more specifically, to change your mind and then head in the opposite direction of where you were headed before Christ came into your life. Many people think of repentance only within the context of first becoming a Christian in which we change our minds about God, sin, the way we live, and turn from dependence upon ourselves to dependence on God. Repentance is not a one-time event. The Christian life must be lived daily in an attitude of repentance, constantly seeking to change our minds to be conformed to the mind of the Holy Spirit.

We also tend to think of repentance as changing our mind after a deed is done, as if it accompanies regret. The Christian life, however, is living in pre-emptive repentance. This means deciding ahead of time how we will think about certain situations. We will always face temptation, and if we have not pre-emptively repented, we will struggle every time we face it. But when we have fixed in our minds by the Spirit’s enabling that we will not fall prey to temptation, our minds will already be conformed to what the Spirit desires. We will find our battle with temptation has less and less hold on us.

In order to conform our minds to the things of God, we need to know the mind of God, which only comes from reading Scripture. Psalm 119:9 states, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to Your word” (ESV). This guarding is vitally important. When we are determined to set our minds on the things of God, this pre-emptive repentance enables us to live as the Spirit desires.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I pray for a deep work of Your Spirit in enabling me to live every day in pre-emptive repentance, so that I may overcome temptation and live according to Your Spirit. Thank You, Lord.


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