“…and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,” (Eph. 4:23)
This is an absolutely wonderful thought. Being renewed. The older I get, the more I think about the prospect of renewing some of my parts. I now have an artificial knee which works well, but I’m not sure I want to replace my mind with AI.
These Christians lived in a tough world, just like we do today. Life was not easy, and temptations were abundant. Just like 2017. They had spent lifetimes living one kind of life, and now they had heard the good news about Jesus, and they were trying to live a new kind of life. But all the parts of the old life were still around them. The same people, shops, things, temptations. All still there. That former way of life was not in another country or even another city. It wasn’t even on a different street. They were in the same house in the same town, and what was more, one look in a reflecting glass would convince them they were still in the same body.
Their taste buds still liked the same things to eat and drink. Their eyes still liked to look at the same visuals that had produced lust before. Their needs for the body and perhaps the intellect were still there. Paul says they need renewal. Can’ get a new body yet. Can’t change the taste of candy or wine. Can’t turn the physical needs that produce lust off. Evil has not left them and went across the street. The Devil did not wash his hands and say “I give up, let them belong to Jesus.”
What was changeable? The spirit of the mind. Yes, the mind can be changed. Candy can be refused, too much wine can be avoided. Physical lust can be controlled. Not by the flesh. Noway. The flesh is weak. Leave it to the body and the child of God would be right back where the cleaned pig would be. The body can’t say no, and in fact, it won’t say no. The mind must control the body, and the spirit must control the mind.
Make your mind new, Paul says. Make it new. Some of us think this is a onetime deal. Not so. Mind renewal is a continuous renewing process. Just when you think you have it under control and take your spirit off it, you will be thrown a curve ball. Every morning requires a renewal of the mind. All day, mini renewals may be required.
It is important for the Christian to focus on Jesus. To read about Jesus and hear about Jesus and talk about Jesus and pray with Jesus. Christians need a steady spiritual diet of Jesus to put down the works of the flesh. The flesh doesn’t know Jesus. The Spirit does. Contacting the Spirit on a continuous basis keeps us up to date with Jesus.
Task for today: Bodily exercise profits the body. It may stir the intellect. The spiritual part of you needs spiritual food. Today, renew your mind through the Spirit. Call on the Spirit who is in you to give you a clean heart and to focus your inner being on Christ. Practice renewal.