A DEVOTIONAL THOUGHT
by Don Anderson
Renewing the Mind: Part 5
God commands all Christians to “be renewed in the spirit of your mind" (Ephesians 4:23). As we have seen before, this involves the renovation of our minds by removing the programming the world has been put there over time and replacing it with God’s Word.
This reprogramming begins by inputting the Word of God into our hearts and minds through memorization and then retaining it there through meditation. As we saw in the illustration of the hand in a previous post, memorization and mediation are the strongest means for retaining God’s Word in our hearts and minds. Last week we looked at techniques for memorization; this post we will deal with the other half of the equation: meditation.
Last week I suggested a sample verse to memorize: Colossians 3:16a. If you memorized it, great! If not, why not give it a try; it’s short yet profound. Once you’ve memorized a verse or portion of scripture, it’s yours; it is now in your mind and your thinking is becoming more like that of Christ. And, once you have scripture in mind, no one can take it away from you.
Assuming that you memorized Colossians 3:16a (or another verse), you now need to keep it fresh in your mind so the Holy Spirit can begin to use it. This is where meditation comes in. Like the example of charging a battery, once a verse or passage is memorized, it must be refreshed periodically to keep it “charged.” Meditation keeps the verses that you’ve memorized freshly charged and ready for the Holy Spirit’s use. This is the process of renewing the mind.
Once a verse is well learned and you are meditating on it regularly, begin to add additional verses to your list. Keep meditating on the older verses while learning newer ones.
The more scripture you take into your mind, the more the Holy Spirit will be able to teach you about its meaning and how it applies to your life. Over time, you will be amazed at how the Holy Spirit can bring verses to mind in various situations.
I like to make memorization/meditation a part of my daily quiet time. I do this while out walking, running, or biking. This not only provides time for exercise, but since I am alone with God during these times, I have the opportunity to meditate on His Word. As I am meditating, I ask God to teach me the meaning of my verses and apply them to my life. I also discuss with God the thoughts that flood my mind. Often I realize new discoveries of the meaning and application of my verses. I love those “ah-ha” moments when a scripture verse becomes more clear and I receive new insight. And, as I mentioned earlier, the more I do this, the easier and more rewarding it gets.
As you meditate, don’t be discouraged if you have to go over the passage several times before insights begin to come to mind. As God reveals an insight to you, pray it back to Him and ask Him for the grace to apply that truth in your life. If the Holy Spirit convicts you of sin in your life, confess it to the Lord and be forgiven.
As you begin to practice this discipline, you may find that you need to study a verse more deeply. You can check the meaning of words, the context of the verse, and any historical information. This will help give you a bigger picture concerning the verse you are meditating on.
For me, the practice of memorization and meditation is one of the most rewarding parts of my Christian walk. If this is not part of yours, I urge you to give it a try. God’s Holy Spirit lives right there inside of you eager and ready to take the Word and begin to renew your mind with truth and grace. And, there is nothing more that God longs to hear from us than that of us speaking His Word back to Him!