Don’t get me wrong, I like the sound transformation as much as the next girl, but there are times I watch myself going down the same old worn paths of worry, doubt and fear, and it makes me wonder.
What’s the use of a new belief if my mind is still conditioned to fear and worry?
Is there a secret to this being transformed by the renewing of your mind thing? Because, some days, I’m not sure there’s much renewing and transforming going on.
If you’ve ever felt like that – like your beliefs are changing, but those changes aren’t showing up in daily life – maybe you’re making same mistake that I do.
I was reading the ‘transformed by the renewing of your mind’ verse incorrectly. Maybe you are, too.
Personally, I feel that I’ve done a reasonable amount of internal excavating to uncover the lies that have served as my foundation of sand. I’ve talked, prayed, listened to counsel, listened to God.
And yet, anxiety can still settle in my chest like a summer cold that I just can’t kick, shortening my breath and limiting my perspective.
I’d tell myself things like: Maybe God’s not focused on transforming me right now. It doesn’t feel like he’s renewing my mind much at all.
That’s often what happens when we read something wrong. We start to blame our lack of results on God.
I do, at least, and there I sit, awaiting miraculous transformation and renewal. Waiting on God’s timing. LOL.
That makes me laugh, because I often tell my kids that ‘God rarely uses his magic wand’, meaning that God doesn’t often perform the manna dropping kind of miracle. More often, he uses people.
I think I read the be transformed part and thought it was something that would be done to me, but it’s actually something that must be done by me.
The ‘person’ God wants to use is me.
He wants me to be the chief mover in transforming my own mind. He’s not going to strike me with lightning and have me wake up renewed, with all the neural pathways to shame and self-condemnation forever rerouted in my brain.
Yes, he’s capable of miraculously erasing old and building new neural pathways, but he wants me to grow through the process of building them myself.
The Message Bible says it this way:
‘Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.’
When you think about culture, it’s not just the society that you live in. We all have an internal culture.
The question is, is my internal culture a worldly culture? Or is it a Jesus culture?
We have deeply ingrained habits of thinking that need to be rerouted.
That’s our job. A habit is a physical thing after all.
We’ve spent a lifetime building neural pathways that lead from stimulus to response. If our response has been worldly fear and anxiety instead of trusting in the promises of God, then our brain is going to go there. Until we ingrain a new response.
Don’t become so well adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking.
If I think of my neural pathways as literal train tracks in my brain it’s easier to see the work I have to do.
A new belief is a new destination.
I have to get out there and do the leg work. The conductor needs regular reminders, flags need waving, rusty old track switches need forcing. I have to do whatever it takes to get the train onto the new track towards the new belief.
Every time I manage to get the train to the new destination, the track becomes a little more familiar, the switches become a little easier to switch. Before long, some of the switches stay switched and the conductor needs fewer reminders.
It’s how our minds are transformed. And it’s our work to do. God provides the promises – the new destination – we get the train there.