P90X…Insanity…Crossfit…are all the rage. The main principle behind these workout programs is a theory called “muscle confusion.” The concept is that varying your workouts frequently dissuades the body from adapting to the workout regime and therefore growing and getting stronger quicker. Basically it is tricking your body into improving.
When it comes to improving/growing/transforming the mind however, confusion is not a good idea. Actually the mind works completely the opposite. “The more you focus on something — whether that’s math or auto racing or football or God — the more that becomes your reality, the more it becomes written into the neural connections of your brain,” says Andrew Newberg, a neuroscientist at the University of Pennsylvania and author of several books, including How God Changes Your Brain.
Last week I wrote that God wants to spend time with us through prayer in order to have an intimate relationship with us so he can change our hearts so we can love His people.
If praying changes our heart then reading God’s Word transforms our mind. And we need both in order to experience all that God has planned for us – a changed heart and a transformed mind.
Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer 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.”
A few things that standout about this verse:
- “By the renewing of your mind” states that just like prayer we need to do our part – read and meditate on the Bible; hide it in our hearts.
- The verb “be transformed” is in the passive voice; in other words we don’t transform ourselves; God supernaturally transforms us and changes our perspective.
- “Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is” – it is only if we are transformed that we will know God’s will for our lives.
I love Chip Ingram’s summary of Romans 12:2: “Allow God to completely change you by cooperating moment-by-moment with the Holy Spirit’s renewing presence.”
Saying it another way: It is not enough to just know the Bible or even to believe the Bible; we must be changed by the Bible. So how do we make certain that our reading impacts our believing and that our believing impacts our living? Only by being led by the Holy Spirit – we live by the Word and but are led by the Spirit. (More on the Holy Spirit next week)
As I stated earlier we need both prayer and the Word. If we only pray but don’t read the Word much then we will have a loving heart but won’t necessarily know what God wants us to do. On the other hand if we only read the word but don’t pray much then we will know what to do but our heart may be cold.
Proverbs 4:13 “Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.”
In His Service,
Related Post: http://wp.me/p1QSbw-7i