Summary: Many Christians don’t realize how crucial the mind is to our growth in Him and transformation into the new creatures He is making us to be. Here’s the conclusion to renewing your mind in Christ, focusing on Christian meditation.
This post is the concluding Part 2 to “How to Renew Your Mind in Christ Part 1.” If you missed the first part, click on the link above to read that first.
I had so much to say about renewing your mind in Christ that I couldn’t do it all in one post. It would’ve been too long. So, sit back and enjoy part two of this teaching on how to renew your mind in Christ and live the righteous life He has for you.
Meditating on God’s Word
It’s not talked about enough, but Christians meditate! It’s nothing like Eastern meditation you hear about all the time. You do the opposite when you meditate. People in Eastern religions tell you to empty your mind. Then, they have guided meditation that tells you to let it take you wherever it wants. That’s what I’ve been telling you not to do.
You know what you find when you empty the mind and let it fill itself, or listen to the voices either outside of our inside of you? The flesh. Thoughts of carnal pleasure from your past that tempt you. Voices from the world. All the stuff you’re taking captive to Christ. Such meditation can open you up to the devil and daemonic activity.
Instead of all that, practice Christian meditation. Instead of emptying your mind, read a passage of Scripture and do what the ancient Hebrews had been doing for centuries. Meditating on Scripture is a biblical discipline. Look at some of the passages that talk about meditating.
- “but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.” (Psalm 1:2)
- “Oh how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalm 119:97)
- “I will ponder all your work, and meditate on your mighty deeds.” (Psalm 77:12)
- selected all starts selected starts “I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.” (Psalm 119:15–16)
And that’s just a sampling. Meditating on God’s Word is absolutely necessary! If you’re not sure how to meditate on God’s Word, let’s do some work shopping a passage now. Let’s take a familiar part of Scripture that you heard all your life, even if you haven’t been a Christian very long. Psalm 23, the Psalm of the Good Shepherd, is a perfect place to start.
The word for “meditate” means to mutter, murmur, and repeat. It will take a while to get used to meditating. Consider the meaning of each word as you mutter it. Put yourself in the passage. What is the Spirit speaking through that passage to you? Is there something to address? Something to think longer on?
Meditation starts with memorizing your passage so you can ruminate over it all day long. Memorization and meditation are disciplines. It is not easy, and sometimes it will not be enjoyable, but you need it to meditate on the Word without having to carry a Bible around or constantly refer to the passage. Do you think you are terrible at memorization? That’s just because you haven’t trained your brain to have mental pathways open for this discipline.
Meditation gets past the rote memorization in your mind to your heart, to your soul. It reroutes mental pathways. In a very real sense, the Scripture you memorize and meditate on becomes you. That’s why the writer of Hebrews says the Word of God is living and active, sharper than a double-edged sword that can penetrate and separate even the closest of things (Hebrews 4:12). The goal of meditation is to internalize your passage.
Meditation is a powerful weapon against your flesh and passions of long ago. Use the weapons God gives you and destroy those strongholds in your mind. That’s how the Spirit renews your mind. Let’s meditate on Psalm 23 together. These are my quick meditations, meant to get you started and provide a springboard to allowing the Spirit to speak through Scripture to you.
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” (Psalm 23:1)
The Lord is my Shepherd. What does a shepherd do? He takes care of sheep. In John 10, Jesus said that He is the Good Shepherd who takes care of the sheep – me. The LORD, Yahweh. Yahweh, my God, is my Shepherd. He takes care of my every need. That’s why “I shall not want.” I live without lack. Everything I need He has provided. Like a shepherd, my God is my provision.
“He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.” (Psalm 23:2)
He makes me lie down in green pastures. I rest in green pastures. Green pastures for sheep are places without danger, peaceful and safe places. Places God protects me. I rest in the peace of my Lord. I can rest because I need nothing. His provision gives me rest from my worry, fears, and the busyness of my day. He leads me beside still waters. The sheep can drink. There’s no fear of being swept away by currents. It’s a beautiful place to relax in God.
“He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.” (Psalm 23:3)
He restores my soul. All my busyness, worry, and troubles fade away. I am renewed and restored in God’s presence. Not only does He take away my worry, but He gives back things that were taken by my worry, busyness, and fears.
He leads me in paths of righteousness. I have learned God’s way instead of the world’s way. I am walking in wisdom, doing the right thing at the right time for the right reasons. Doing things God’s way. It’s better this way.
For His name’s sake. It’s not about me. God gets glory from providing for me. I praise Him and give Him the glory for the piece, calm, and relaxed posture I am taking.
“Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death. I’m in the valley instead of the mountain. Many things surround me. I’m dealing with trials. There are things that can pull me down and make me feel like I’m drowning. I have many things to worry about.
I will fear no evil. Nothing can hurt me. Jesus is not surprised by these trials. Like a Shepherd, Jesus protects me from death. My worries are nothing compared to His power. Jesus is my savior from the things that frighten me, that threaten me, that cause me worry.
For You are with me. Jesus’s presence with me is more than enough. In His presence, my fears, worries, and busyness fade away. Nothing is more important than Him being with me. I am never alone. Nothing can attack me with Jesus with me.
Your rod and staff comfort me. I am safe. You keep me from going my own way. If I do that, You will discipline me. It’s for my good that your rod and staff keep me in line. I am safe in Your presence. I want to stay in Your presence. You protect me. You are my Shield, Fortress, and Refuge.
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” (Psalm 23:5)
You prepare a table before me. You give me nourishment and provide for me in dangerous places. You protect me, but you give me from your blessings. I have more than enough.
In the presence of my enemies. The danger and distraction my enemies want to bring cannot stand against Your blessing. You bless me even when others want to hurt me. Their threats and actions cannot hurt me because You provide for me.
You anoint my head with oil. Your Spirit is with me. You’ve given me a call to Your mission. I am here to represent You. In my trials and dangers, You walk with me. Your Spirit comes alongside me.
My cup overflows. You are not just my Provider, but You overly bless me. I am content no matter my circumstances. Even when I feel I don’t have enough, You are enough. You are all I need.
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” (Psalm 23:6)
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me. I receive Your goodness and mercy. You are good to me no matter what happens. You give me mercy, just what I don’t deserve. Your goodness and mercy chase after me. They follow me, and I will never get away from them. Your mercy and goodness tackle me.
All the days of my life. There’s never a time You are not with me. Your blessings of goodness and mercy are always mine. No day, no matter how bad it gets, nothing can take away Your blessing, goodness, and mercy. They override my trials and struggles.
I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Your presence is in the temple. I am Your temple, I live in Your presence every day. I am safe in Your house. Being with You will last forever. There’s never a moment outside of Your presence. You walk with me every moment. Your rest and restoration happens always.
Take it at your own pace. You will find that as you go over each phrase of each verse, you are memorizing it without realizing it. The more you repeat and go over something, your mind remembers it. Practice doing the same things with other verses and passages.
Do you need to learn to memorize and meditate on God’s Word? Let the Spirit free and fill your mind with Jesus.
Now that we have established how to renew your mind in Christ, I want to turn to how to think like Jesus.