In order to move forward in something new and different, we need to renew our minds. To do that, our minds need a new connection.
Repentance can feel like a heavy word. Maybe it’s a new word altogether for you. But repentance is the way God uses to change us. Let me show you what I mean.
When we recognize our bad news, it is a watershed moment. Hopefully you’ve been digging deep and asking God to reveal what is playing on repeat. It may take days or weeks, but I hope a pattern emerges to you. I hope you’re able to write down those thoughts or tell them to a friend, so you’ll be more apt to snatch them out of space when you think them.
When you realized the junk you were preaching to yourself, I hope you took your heavy heart to God in sorrow and asked Him to change your mind — which is what repentance is about. We really can do that! It may feel foreign to do, but we pray for physical healing from things like cancer or injuries we’ve suffered in an accident. We clearly believe that God can work at a cellular level.
When we feel frustrated or stuck in our ruts of false belief, we can pray that God will change the very neural pathways in our brain. We can ask Him to rewire the innermost parts of our minds on a biological level. He created us. He knit us together in our mothers’ bellies. I believe that He can change the way my brain tangles together and makes connections. Do you believe that too?
Let’s practice together. We can pray this prayer when we’re feeling the effects of our false beliefs:
Lord, You are mighty in me. You made me. You put every cell together and came up with me. You are the Lord of my life, and You are the Lord of my mind. Lord, I have believed things that are not true, and I’m sorry for that. Please forgive me. Lord, because You are good, would You let the ways I used to think die off and then would You blaze a new trail in my mind? Would You stop connections in my brain that are tied to my old way of thinking and form new neural pathways with Your good truth? Thank You, Lord, for Your forgiveness and for the miraculous way You made me. Please remake my mind to be more like Yours.
That is a beautiful moment of repentance — of receiving His grace that comes after we go to Him, humble, needy, unable to heal ourselves.
That is one moment of repentance — repentance for years of being a false preacher in your own head, repentance for overlooking His good news and still preferring the bad news. This is the kind of repenting that happens a thousand times a day. When you go about your day and all is well, you thank God for keeping you on the narrow path. When you catch a bad news loop gearing up, you shush it, preach to yourself, and then get back to the good news. You pray, “Forgive me, God. I want to believe; please help me overcome my unbelief.”
This is the kind of repentance where you skin your knees and get back up. This is the kind of repentance that you commit to, knowing that God is urging you on to good works. His Spirit is mighty in you, and you are renewing your mind!
Don’t get stuck in guilt and shame. The work of turning around is the work of honesty and wholeness. There is a peaceful kind of power that comes when you go God’s way, however imperfectly it might be.
In Romans 12:2, the apostle Paul writes,
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
You renew; God transforms. To “be transformed” means that something outside of you is doing the transforming. You must be faithful to take the thoughts captive, but ultimately, God is the only one who can change our minds.
Excerpted with permission from Preach to Yourself by Hayley Morgan, copyright Hayley Morgan.
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We cannot change ourselves but we can be an active participant in what God already wants to do to heal us and make us new. Let’s pay attention to our thinking, recognize when it’s a bad news loop, and take our thoughts captive. Then, let’s pray today for the Lord to forgive us for thinking wrongly and ask Him to forge new pathways in our brains so that we can become more like Him! Come share how God is renewing your mind. We want to hear from you!
Join the Preach to Yourself Book Club and take the Talk Back with Truth Challenge!
Dare to spend 7 days fighting back destructive thoughts and negative self-talk patterns, and replace them with the truth of the Gospel and what God says about you!