The Bible tells us that one of the main goals God has in store for each of us is our transformation. The Bible tells us that God wants to sanctify us - to make us more Holy like He is. He wants to make us better people - both on the inside and the outside. The Bible tells us that the way this transformation will take place is by the "renewing of our minds." Romans 12:1 states:
"And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind,
that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God."
I believe that this transformation process has 3 major steps to it. They are as follows:
1. Knowledge From The Word
The first thing each Christian must know is exactly what it is that God wants to change about us. If you don't know exactly what it is God wants to do with you, you will have a hard time in being able to cooperate with Him once He does try to start the renewal and transformation process on the inside of you.
There are a million and one self-help books on the market - but there is only one book that will tell you exactly what it is that God wants to do with you on the inside - and that book is the Bible. There are no other books out there that will tell you the specific and exact points that God is looking for to make this transformation occur in the way that He wants it to occur.
The Bible tells us that this sanctification process is actually done by and through the Holy Spirit. However, the Holy Spirit will not start this transformation process until He has something to work with - and that something is knowledge.
God expects you to play a part in this transformation process if He is going to start to work it in you. In the 3 steps that will get this transformation process going for you - you are responsible for doing the first two. If you are willing to put some time and effort in doing these first 2 steps, then God will do His part and He will actually do all of step 3 for you in order to make this kind of transformation really possible for you in this lifetime.
The first step is to study Scripture for the specific points God is looking for to change you into the kind of person He really wants you to be. Since many of these verses pertaining to all of this are scattered throughout the entire Bible - I'm going to list, in a subsequent article, some of the most powerful verses in all of Scripture, showing you exactly what qualities that God expects from you and what qualities He wants to start to "work" into your core personality.
King David tells us in the Old Testament that we are to "meditate" on the Word of God. In other words, we are to think about, to chew on, to try and figure out what God is telling us in His Word and then try to see how it applies to our life and how we can get some of these things incorporated into our lives and beings.
If you will spend some quality time really studying what is in these verses - you will then have right at your fingertips exactly what it is that God wants to start working into your personality. And once you have the basic knowledge of what these qualities are that He is looking to implant in you - then you are ready for step 2.
The reason I have the word "mindset" listed in the title of this article is because you have to know what it is that you have to "set your mind" on before God can really kick this transformation process into full gear - hence the word "mindset."
You have to develop "right thinking" in the Lord, but you can't develop "right thinking" until you first know what it is that you should be "thinking right" about. The Scripture verses that will be listed in part II will show you all the things that God wants you to dwell on and think about.
2. Attempting To "Put On" These Qualities
You will find two key words that are repeated several times in many of the Scripture verses to follow. Those two key words are "putting on" and "putting away." The Bible tells us that we are the ones that are to try and "put on" the good qualities that God wants us to have and to try and "put away" the bad qualities that He does not want us having in our personalities.
This step right here is where many Christians are missing the boat. They have been walking with the Lord for years and they wonder why there has not been many changes in their core personalities. Where is the peace, the joy, the sound mind, the self-control that the Bible promises me once I commit my life to the Lord? Why is it that I still have a problem in controlling my temper, controlling my cussing, controlling my critical and judgmental spirit?
Once you know that the Bible tells you to have self-control over your bad temper, over your mouth, over your condescending attitudes - then it is your job at this point to make some kind of concerted effort to actually "put on" these kind of Godly qualities into your personality.
Once you see in God's Word that He doesn't want His people to have bad and quick tempers - then you are ready for step 2. Now here is where your part really comes into play.
Now that you know God wants your bad temper removed from your personality - He now expects you to try and "put on" the positive quality of self-control in order to keep yourself from "losing" your temper. You now have to start to engage with your quick and bad temper every time you find yourself in a situation that starts to actually trigger it. You have to make some kind of attempt to "put away" your bad temper and "put on" the quality of self control.
By attempting to "put on" this very positive quality into your personality - you will have the ammunition in order to be able to successfully overcome not only just a bad temper - but other negative qualities in your personality that you would also like to get rid of - like cussing, too much of a critical or judgmental spirit, always being too negative, etc.
The same approach goes for trying to incorporate positive qualities into your personality. The Bible tells us that God wants us to be loving, kind, generous and gentle people.
Some people do not have a lot of these qualities operating in them due to all of the bad things that may have happened to them in this life. What God wants you to do anyway is to try and "put on" some of these qualities. Try to the best of your abilities to become more loving, more patient, more kind - even if you don't feel like it. If you will do this - then God will start to do His part - which will lead us into step 3.
Each one of us only has a certain amount of mental and emotional strength in our own personal makeups. We can only go so far with step 2. We can only get ourselves to a certain point in being able to become more loving, more kind and more patient. Our best is not going to be good enough to get this transformation process properly completed.
God wants to make us more loving, more patient, more kind, and more peaceful than we could ever get ourselves to be by using our own natural strength. So how can He do this? If we have spent quality time studying Scripture in reference to the changes He wants to make into our personalities and we have tried to the best of our abilities to "put on" these specific qualities, how can God really get us up to the level that He is looking for as you will see in the Scripture verses to follow?
Since our best is obviously not going to be good enough - how can God complete this transformation process to the degree that would really please Him in this lifetime? This will now lead us into step 3.
3. The Holy Spirit
As you will see in some of the verses to follow - this transformation process is completed "by and through" the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit lives on the inside of each believer and it is His job to mold and transform us into the kind of people that God the Father would like us to become. Many Christians already know this. They then wonder why there has not been much change in their personalities after they got saved. Where is the Holy Spirit? How come He is not removing some of my negative qualities? How come I'm still crabby, miserable and depressed all of the time?
The reason there has been little, if any changes in a believers personality after they get initially saved, is because they have not spent enough time doing their part in steps 1 and 2. They have not spent enough quality time in the Word of God to learn exactly what it is God wants to change about them and they have not made any real concerted effort to try and change - to try and "put on" the Godly qualities that God the Father wants them to have.
If each Christian would do their part as described above in the first two steps - then God the Father would only be too anxious to complete this transformation process for you through the power of His Holy Spirit.
What will happen in this third step is that God the Father will then start to impart His peace, His love, His joy, His kindness, His patience and His perseverance into your personality through the Holy Spirit. These will be His qualities and attributes being imparted into you - not yours!
You only have a certain amount of love within your own natural personality to give and to express to others. However, once God starts to release His love into your personality - then you can start to become the person God really wants you to be. Then you can start loving your children, your spouse and your friends to the degree that you would really like to. Once God's qualities and attributes start to enter into your personality - then a lot of the negative qualities you have will start to "wash away." All of a sudden, because you now have God's love, God's joy and God's peace now starting to flow through your personality - you will no longer feel crabby, depressed and miserable like you did before.
God's love and God's joy is now replacing those negative emotions. You cannot feel depressed and unhappy if the love and joy of God is operating in your personality through the Holy Spirit. This is not to say we will never get crabby, irritable or down at times. We all live in an imperfect, cursed world and we are living in bodies that are slowly dying and corrupting.
But when God really kicks this transformation process into full gear for you, the down days will not last as long as they used to. You won't have as many of them and when you do - they won't last as long as they use to. With God's peace flowing through you - you will find yourself not getting as upset as often as you did in the past. You may still "lose it" from time to time - but not to the degree and frequency that you use to.
One of the greatest accomplishments anyone can achieve in this life is to really find true inner happiness, true inner contentment and true inner fulfillment in this life.
True happiness can only be found on the inside of your being in your connection and personal relationship with God. All of the material wealth and goods that are out there for the taking will not give you this kind of true inner happiness and fulfillment.
All you have to do is look around you and see all of the unhappy, depressed and miserable people that are out there - especially those who are rich and supposedly have it "all." Ever wonder why so many of the Hollywood stars are messing with drugs and seeing therapists? They are finding out that all of their wealth, fame and notoriety are not giving them the true inner happiness and fulfillment that they thought that this kind of life would bring them.
As born again Spirit-filled Christians, we all know that this true inner happiness can only be found on the inside through establishing a close, intimate and personal relationship with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There is no other way! Nothing in this life will give us this kind of true inner happiness.
However, many Christians are not finding this true inner happiness. The Bible talks about it, the preachers talk about it on Sunday - but many are still not finding it. Why? Once you get saved - that is just the beginning.
God expects you to grow and develop in Him. Many Christians are missing out on this sanctification process - this transformation process - that is available to them through the power of the Holy Spirit. This sanctification process is what will really lead you into the true inner happiness and fulfillment that everyone is looking for these days.
However, God is not going to give you a "free lunch" on this process. You have to do your part before God will do His part.
The Bible tells us that with the measure we use - will be the measure measured back to us. In other words, if we want God's best - then we have to give Him our best. When it comes to this sanctification process - we have to give Him our best by reading and studying the Word for the changes that He wants to make with us. We then have to attempt to "put on" these Godly qualities He wants us to have.
If we give Him our best in doing both of the above - then God will give us His best and then start to transmit His Godly qualities and attributes right into the middle of our personalities though the Holy Spirit. Think about this possibility!
That God Himself can literally impart part of His nature into our personalities through the Holy Spirit - if we are willing to do our part by working with Him during this process.
One last point before I give you all of the power verses in another article showing you the Godly qualities that God wants to try and work into us. Once you read all of the qualities that God would like us to have - some of you may get a bit dismayed or distraught after you read what's in these Scripture verses. You may feel overwhelmed - realizing that you may be a long way off from some of these qualities and that you may have a lot of work to do to clean yourself up.
Some Christians read these verses and feel so overwhelmed - that they don't even feel it is worth trying for because these ideals just seem to be too high to strive for. The one thing we all have to realize is that every single one of us is flawed to some degree. We all have our character flaws - our rough edges. No exceptions. We all have issues that need to be dealt with and we all need God's transforming - sanctification process in our lives.
This sanctification process is not done overnight. This is a process that will actually occur over the rest of your earthly life. If you are willing to work with God on this process - God will gradually and progressively transform and sanctify you to make you the kind of person that He really wants you to be.
Your reward for allowing God to do this will be a joy, a peace, a love and a zest for life that you never knew was really possible to obtain in this life. You will find true inner happiness and fulfillment. You will find what everyone else is looking for these days and cannot find - and people will be drawn to you as a result.
Many non-believers have stated that what drew them to a certain individual that ended up getting them saved was the peace, the joy and the love that seemed to be operating through that person's personality. They said they were drawn to those personality attributes like a magnet.
Not only will you be much happier and fulfilled as a person by allowing God to do this with you - but you will be a joy for others to be around - believers and non-believers alike. As a result, many people, including other Christians will start asking you what it is that you have. Why are you always so happy and upbeat? How can you have so much peace in your life in this crazy and tumultuous world we live in? As a result of this, you will be able to lead non-believers to salvation and other Christians into a deeper walk with the Lord.
They may not be open to admitting to God what their problems and character flaws are. They may be full of too much pride and arrogance to admit that they have any flaws that need to be dealt with and thus God cannot properly "reach" them to start this sanctification process. As a result, they present a haughty, prideful, arrogant and know-it-all witness that does nothing but turn people off and away from the Lord.
If you decide you really want God to start this sanctification process in you after reading all of these Scripture verses in the article to follow - all you have to do is go to God in prayer and tell Him that He has a green light from you to start this process. Tell Him that you really want and would welcome this transforming-sanctification process to start to occur and that you will be open to allowing it to occur over the rest of your lifetime here on earth.
Your job will be:
To get into the Word and study the verses that will give you the knowledge on what qualities God wants to impart in you. The verses listed in the article to follow will go a long way in giving this knowledge to you.
Make the best attempts that you can to "put on" the qualities that God wants you to have and to "put
away" the qualities that He does not want you to have.
And then be open and sensitive to any communication that you may get from God and the Holy Spirit on any specific areas that They may want to work on. God will let you know what these areas are and exactly how He wants to deal with them.
When this occurs - it may be a bit painful at times. It's hard for many of us to admit to anyone, including ourselves or God, that we may have problems in certain areas of our personality. But let God do His "inner surgery" on you and you will be much better off
for it in the long run.
Now on to the actual Scripture verses that will arm you with the knowledge that you will need to really enable God to really start this sanctification process in you. Remember - the Holy Spirit needs something to work with and that something is knowledge. These Scripture verses will give you that knowledge.
These verses are the "door openers" that will get God to start the sanctification process within you if you are willing to seek and try to "put them on."
The complete article on renewing your mind can be found on our website.
Article written by Michael Bradley of Bible Knowledge Ministries. Their website is a resource of Bible Knowledge, articles, commentary and teaching. They currently have over 100