Changed from the Inside Out

In part one of this post, I discussed putting off the old self and putting on the new.  There are so many things being billed as “life changing” these days: diets, cosmetic procedures, home makeovers, etc. But while these things might make a difference on the outside, they don’t have the power to change who we are on the inside.

  • What are the “old things” that you need to take out of your life, mind, or body?
  • What are the “new things” that you need to fill your mind and body with?
  • What are the new habits you will have to develop in order to do that?

Unclutter Your Soul

I have written in past posts about the de-cluttering your soul. I hope you will take some time to read them.  I believe you will be blessed by the insight I share within these articles.

I will tell you there is no better way to make space for the new and to evaluate everything you own, by going through your wardrobe carefully, piece by piece and throwing away anything that hasn’t been worn in the last twelve months or no longer fits you. You can consider selling these items on eBay, having a SWAP party or better yet, donate them to charity. messy-closet-makeover-part-1-unorganized-mommy-of-3-unorganized-bkl50d-clipart

But, if you’re anything like me you tend to ponder whether you should keep some of the favorite items you love.  Not a very good idea.  It only leads to having to eventually do it all over again. I'm getting better at doing this.

Your soul is made up of your mind, your will, and your emotions. Throughout the years, our lives have become cluttered, and this clutter dulls our joy and robs us of energy. We lose not only physical energy, but emotional, psychological, and spiritual energy as well. Maintaining a cluttered soul takes a lot of effort. We have to purge our lives of old stuff to make room for new things. Many times there are old attitudes, old ways of thinking and old wounds that still cause us pain and hinder us from walking in newness of life.

Time to Study the Bible

We can do this by personal or devotional study, family Bible study and with an in-depth Bible study group. The Internet offers a vast array of websites for those wanting to study the Bible Study Tools. One important thing is to purchase a good study Bible.  See what God has to say about your life through Scriptures You can also go online Christian website to read, hear, and study Scripture, and explore the best and most effective version of the Bible that meets your needs.

Your question may be, "How do I study the Bible?"

a-bible-study

In 2 Timothy 2:15, the Apostle Paul wrote, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

What is the word of truth?  God’s Word revealed to us in the Bible.  The word of truth will guide us on a straight path.

The most important principle is context. This means that when studying the Bible keep in mind not only the immediate context of the portion you are studying, but also other forms of context such as the cultural context, the literary context and more. Usually, however, to get started it's enough to have a basic understanding of the immediate context of what is being studied. Reading what comes before the passage being studied, what comes after and what the Bible says as a whole about the topic being studied, are all key concepts to keep in mind.

Assess Your Lifestyle

The perfect wardrobe should not only reflect your personal style, but also your lifestyle.

The Apostle Paul in Colossians 3 speaks of putting to death whatever belongs to our earthly nature and setting our minds on things above.  renew-your-mind-renew-your-life

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory. Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry." Colossians 3:1-6

When I first began my journey of change to renew my mind and change my lifestyle, I read "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer.  What I learned is that we are in a war not with other people, but against the power of Satan to infiltrate our thinking and build up "strongholds" in our minds to keep us from living the abundant life that Jesus paid the price for us to live.

Through careful strategy and cunning deceit, Satan attempts to set up "strongholds" in our mind. A stronghold is an area in which we are held in bondage due to a certain way of thinking.The enemy of our soul bombards our minds with cleverly devised patterns of nagging thoughts, suspicious doubts, fears, wonderings, reasonings and theories.

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." Ephesians 6:12

He knows what we like and don't like. He knows our insecurities, our weaknesses, and our fears. He knows what troubles us the most, and he is willing to do whatever it takes to defeat us. Yet, we are not defeated.  The Word of God says we are to tear down strongholds,

"The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ." 2 Corinthians 10:4-5

How do we win this battle?

By changing our attitude or way of thinking. Ephesians 4:22-24, "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." 

I'm a thinker and like to analyze things. I needed to learn to control my actions by controlling my thoughts. I had strongholds in my mind that had been their for years. I knew that my attitude and way of thinking was wrong and wanted to change. My heart's desire was to please God. I found my answer in Romans 12:2.

"Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."

Stick With It

God has given us the weapons we need because this war we are engaged in is not in the physical realm. Renewing our minds and changing our lifestyles is a process, not a one time achievement. When it comes to renewing your mind, God will do His part, but not your part.

When you feel like giving up, you are missing out on what God has to offer. There are so many things that demand our attention and while it may be good to leave behind unhealthy relationships, jobs, and habits, it's also important to keep fighting for what is good and right. Fight for your marriage, fight for your kids, fight for your health - don't give up! Know that you are not alone, and know that we are in the hands of God- He will provide us with strength when we need it. Use these Bible verses to find the trust and strength from God for encouragement.

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." Galatians 6:9

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.” Mark 10:27

Ladies, we can do this.  Remember you are beautiful in God's eyes and adorned with love and grace!

Published by Dr. A. Francine Green