God never intended for mankind to have a human nature. His plan was for us to have a godly nature and live a God-like lifestyle. Our sinful human nature is the result of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. But through Jesus, there is a way we can live according to God’s original plan. It’s found in Romans chapter 12.
ROMANS 12: 1–2 (NKJV)
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
2 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.
The path back to God’s original intention for our lives is through the renewing of our minds. When our minds are renewed, our thinking is simply put back to the way it’s supposed to be. The New Living Translation of verse 2 makes how this will happen a little clearer: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
If you want to live and think the way God intended, you have to let Him transform your mind. The change will happen as you spend time communicating with Him in prayer and reading His Word—allowing it to go from your head to your heart.
In any relationship, the more time you spend with that person, the more you understand how they think. Sooner or later, their way of thinking will rub off on you. It’s the same with God. But if you don’t spend time with Him, your mind can’t be transformed to His way of thinking.
Renewing your mind is more than a one-time occurrence. Some people think that because they were saved one time, they don’t have to continually renew their mind. But that’s not true. Everything starts in the mind. Many times, thoughts will come that are contrary to God’s Word or the way He thinks. It’ll be a lot easier to defeat those thoughts and think in line with the Word when you’ve been continually renewing your mind.
As you begin to think like God, loving people will eventually become automatic to you.
The Key to Loving People
For many Christians, renewing their mind means being nice, kind, and tenderhearted. While those things are a part of it, the other part is a commandment Jesus gave to us: to love people. (See John 13:34.) Unfortunately, this is an area where many Christians fail.
You can only love people if your mind is renewed to the way God thinks. Jesus had plenty of opportunities to not like people. There were people plotting to destroy His ministry and credibility. But I’ve never read anywhere in the Gospels where Jesus said, “I just don’t like that guy.” Everything Jesus did on the earth and the way He carried Himself was how God intended. Because Jesus spent time communicating with the Father and aligning His thinking fully with God’s will, He was able to say, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (John 14:9 CEV).
Jesus also had the opportunity to think differently. He dealt with the same devil we deal with today. When Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, He always answered with the Word. That’s an example for us to follow.
When someone tells you there is no way, your unrenewed nature may agree. But that’s the time to shut off your mind, look to your spirit, and say, “God doesn’t think that way. There’s always a way through Him. I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength” (Phil. 4:13).
If the doctor tells you there is no hope, the first thing that should come up inside you is, “Healing belongs to me. By His stripes I was healed” (1 Peter 2:24). If you haven’t renewed your mind with the Word, however, the doctor’s words will dominate your thoughts.
You Can Think Like Jesus
We live in a real world, and we frequently hear things that are contrary to God’s nature and ways. As a believer, you can’t allow yourself to think like everyone else. You have to go beyond your human nature. You must be prepared on the inside when the pressure is on and the enemy has everything in a tizzy.
You may think renewing the mind is hard. Maybe you’re asking, “How am I supposed to do that?” The same Spirit Jesus had when He walked the earth—the Spirit that raised Him from the dead—lives inside you! Therefore, you can think like Jesus. How did Jesus think? He loved and cared about people. Jesus was moved with compassion at all times. His thoughts were about healing and setting people free.
As Christians, we are to sincerely love others. Romans 12:9–11 (NLT) tells us, “Don’t just pretend to love others. Really love them. Hate what is wrong. Hold tightly to what is good. Love each other with genuine affection, and take delight in honoring each other. Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.”
Jesus never pretended to love you. Not once did He tell the disciples, “I’m just pretending to love these people. I don’t really care about them.”
As you begin to think like God, loving people will eventually become automatic to you. A professional golfer—or any pro athlete—doesn’t become a professional the first, second, third, or fourth time they play. It takes time, and pretty soon it becomes second nature.
The more you spend time with God and get ahold of His nature, the more you become like Him. Thinking out of your transformed nature will become natural. For instance, when someone says something mean to you, instead of letting your human nature dominate with an unkind response, your renewed godly nature will bless them. (See Rom. 12:14.)
It may take some practice, but the more time you spend aligning your thinking with the Word, the easier it’ll become to act like God in every situation. And that’s living the way God truly intended.
Craig W. Hagin
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