Change Requires New Thinking
By Rick Warren
“Since you have heard about Jesus and have learned the truth that comes from him, throw off your old sinful nature and your former way of life, which is corrupted by lust and deception. Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes. Put on your new nature, created to be like God — truly righteous and holy” (Ephesians 4:21-24 NLT).
Change in your life requires new thinking. The battle to change the unhealthy habits in your life is always a mental battle. It starts in the mind, and it’s won or lost there.
Ephesians 4:23 says, “Let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes” (NLT). You’re not going to change until your thoughts and attitude change. This is why a daily quiet time is important. The time you spend intentionally studying God’s Word and in prayer is the spiritual renewal in your mind. If you’re not doing that, you’re not going to have the power to change.
Do you know the theological term for “change of mind”? It’s the word “repentance.” To repent literally means to change your mind.
The word “repent” is actually a Greek word — metanoia. Metanoia means to change your mind — to turn from death to life, sin to forgiveness, guilt to peace of mind, Hell to Heaven, your way to God’s way. The most positive change in your life will be when you repent of your sin and turn from regret to peace of mind and forgiveness.
You have to learn to think in new ways about your unhealthy habits. For instance, those habits are often strengths being misused. That’s a new way of thinking. You probably never thought of that, but that’s repentance! That’s a change of mind. Your unhealthy habits are often God-given strengths being misused.
You have to change the way you think. Philippians 2:5 says, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (NLT).
God wants you to learn to think like Jesus. How do you do that? Again, it’s a choice. You’ve got to make a choice and say, “God, how would Jesus think about this?” The more you fill your mind with the Word of God, the easier that’s going to be.
Talk About It
How are the things that fill your mind either hurting or helping your efforts at changing unhealthy habits?
As you examine the unhealthy habits in your life, which ones might represent misuse of your God-given strengths?
What changes will you make today in your schedule, relationships, or attitude that will cultivate the spiritual renewal of your mind?
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Gain confidence in your prayer life
Prayer is a simple concept. It’s just a conversation with God.
But at the same time, prayer can be intimidating. After all, you’re talking to the Almighty! It can be hard to know how to ask for your requests, and anticipate how God will answer.
That’s why Rick Warren’s just-released resource called Experience God’s Power Through Prayer is so powerful. It’s not a passive book to simply read, but an interactive, guided experience to help you gain confidence in your prayer life.
Experience God’s Power Through Prayer shows you how to…
• Develop a daily habit of prayer
• Pray expectantly for yourself and others
• Trust God to answer your prayers
• Understand the benefits of memorizing Scripture
• Express your gratitude to God
• Cultivate a courageous faith
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This devotional © 2017 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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