Are You Ready for Transformation? (Bible Study Section)

I know you have all heard me speak of my upcoming book, Are You Ready for Transformation? It’s All In Your Mind. Originally, I had planned to have the book ready for publication this month; however, unforeseen circumstances have delayed me a bit.  I do promise to have this ready in October.

The first ten chapters of the book discuss various types of thinking while the last ten chapters go into an in-depth Bible study of chapters one through ten.  Today, I am posting chapter eleven here.  It is a Bible study for chapter one.  It is my hope that you enjoy this reading and study, and I hope you will consider purchasing the book once it is available for publication.

 

Chapter 11 (Bible Study for Chapter 1: It Is in Your Mind)

Change Your Thinking
Image Via Canva by Allison Mitchell

Thank you for finishing chapters 1-10.  If you are with me in this chapter, you are serious about your transformation.  The following chapters will correspond with chapters 1-10.  You may or may not need to refer back to chapter readings.

Now that you have read about the various types of thinking that we often deal with, it is time to work on the transformation of your thinking.  In chapter 1, I stated that the mind is different from the brain.  Your mind is a part of your soul.  You process both natural and spiritual matters here.

Turn to Romans 12:2 and read our theme verse from your favorite Bible translation.  Write the verse on the following lines.  After writing the verse, please record the Bible translation you are writing from. (I have a reason for this.)

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Thank you for humoring me.  I will explain at the end of today’s lesson the reason for writing your translation choice.

Now, back to Romans 12:2.  First, we are instructed to avoid being conformed to the world.  When the Bible refers to the world in this sense, scripture is not referring to the earth.  The Bible is referring to the system of the world.  Sadly, many people are controlled by Satan or their own fleshly desires.  Most do not even realize this.  The world system is predominately evil.  Now, I am not saying that everyone in the world is evil. I am simply saying that the overall world system (government, secular entertainment, etc.) is not surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Image Via Canva by Allison Mitchell

Let’s look at the word “conformed”.  Most translations use the word “conformed” in this text. Some of the other wording might be different though.  If you have a translation that does not use the word “conformed”, I truly would like to know what version you are using simply out of curiosity.

Use an online dictionary to look up the word “conformed”.  Write a brief definition in the following lines.

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Now, we will look at Strong’s definition from the Greek text.  If you ever wish to look up word meanings, you can go to www.blueletterbible.org and use the free resources which includes Bible dictionaries, commentaries, and lexicons.

The Greek word for “conformed” is “syschēmatizō” meaning “to fashion or shape one thing like another.”  We are not to be fashioned like the world.  We are to be different from the world. It is sad to say that many Christian people blend in with the world, so, unbelievers often are unable to see Christ in many Christians.

What do the following verses say about the way we are to conduct ourselves?

Matthew 5:13-16  ________________________________________________

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1 John 2: 15-16 __________________________________________________

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John 15:19 _____________________________________________________

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John 17:14-16 _________________________________________________

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Now, let’s look at the words “transformed” and “renewing”.  Look up these words in an online dictionary or hard copy if you have one.  Write the words with their definitions on the following lines.

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The Greek word for “transformed” is “metamorphoō” meaning to change to another form, or to transfigure.  The root word for transformed is the root for metamorphosis which describes the process of a caterpillar as it is changing to a butterfly.  The Greek word for transfigure was the used in Matthew 17:2 when Jesus was transfigured before His disciples.  Therefore, the transformation our minds go through is powerful.  Take a few moments to visit Matthew 17: 1-8.

The change that will come to our minds after continual renewing is not to be taken lightly.  It is a powerful transformation.  When we yield to the Holy Spirit, we can think with the mind of Christ.  That is some truly transformed thinking!

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Image Via Pexels by Pixabay.

In conclusion, we will look at the word “renewing”.  If your translation uses a slightly different word, the Greek is still the same so have no worries.  The Greek word for “renewing” is “anakainōsis” meaning “renovation, a complete change for the better.”  When a house is renovated, old items are replaced with new ones.  When your mind is renewed, your old way of thinking is totally replaced with God’s way of thinking.

I don’t know about you, but I get excited when I think about the change of thinking that we can undergo through the power of the Holy Spirit.  Renovation takes work.  It can be painful as old mindsets are torn down, but the pain is worth the victory.

Write a brief prayer in the space below asking God to help you as you prepare to renovate your mind and tear down what is not of God and wallpaper your mind with what is of God.

 

Overcoming Burnout

Most people suffer from burnout at one time or another.  The most dedicated worker, the “best” Christian, the awesome parent, the most loving spouse, and so many others have times of feeling a lack of motivation. Burnout comes from being in the same situation or bad relationship over a long period of time.

Feeling burnt out about your job, church activities, and other situations does not make you an unloving person.  It is perfectly natural to feel this way about various situations, particularly if you’ve had no rest or reprieve.

No Rest

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Image Via Pexels by Pixabay.

If you are not sleeping well, or if you never take a break, you are setting yourself for burnout, perhaps sheer exhaustion.  Too many people run their bodies on empty for long periods of time.  As a result, they eventually come crashing down.

You were not meant to do it all.  If you are suffering burnout due to a lack of rest, take a break!  You might have to say “no” to some activities or people.  You might even have to say “no” to activities that you would really like to do.

During your time of rest, seek God.  Ask Him what activities would be best for you to do.  Ask Him what you might need to let go.  He will give you wisdom.  According to James 1:5, all you have to do is ask.  Proverbs 3:6 tells us that if we acknowledge Him in all our ways, He will direct our paths.

Stress

Being in a stressful situation for a long period of time causes burnout.  Perhaps, it is a circumstance at work, a family crisis, or a spousal relationship gone wrong.  Whatever the case may be, stress affects your body leading to fatigue and illness.

Besides finding a way to resolve your stressful situation, you also have to find a way to deal with the stress itself.  Learning to renew your mind with God’s word and seek peace from Him will help you cope with stress.  As a result, negative circumstances will not cause you to stress out nearly as much in the future.

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Image Via Pexels by Ken Ozuna.

I am not at all suggesting that you might not need a change in your circumstances.  If you seek God, He will provide that change when the time is right.  If He is leading you to take action, then do so at His direction.

If you are in a stressful situation that can not be resolved in a timely manner, begin renewing your mind with scriptures and singing praise songs. I can tell you from personal experience that your heaviness will lift when you begin praising the Lord.  Mind renewal and praise must be repeated often, so, don’t expect your negative feeling to dissipate just because your renewed your mind once or spent time in praise and worship once.

Signs of Burnout

The following are signs that you might be suffering from burnout:

  • Lack of motivation.
  • Inability to cope.
  • Physical exhaustion.
  • Mental exhaustion.
  • Apathy.
  • Lack of creativity.
  • Overall feeling of negativity.

Everyone has days in which they might display the above signs.  There is no need to be alarmed unless these signs linger for a long period of time.  If they do, take action quickly.  Get some rest, or find someone to talk to such as friend or counselor.

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Image via Pexels by Public Domain Pictures.

Matthew 11:28-30 promises us that Jesus Christ will give us rest spiritually when we bring our burnout to Him.  He will renew and refresh us.  If you are suffering from burnout, go to Him in prayer.  He will guide you to deliverance.

 

If you do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, you can have one right now.  Romans 10:9-10 says that if you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart, you believe to righteousness and with the mouth confession is made into salvation.  Romans 10:13 tell us that whoever calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

 

On Guard

Throughout the Bible, we are instructed to be on guard, or, to guard various area of our lives.  Our hearts and minds are also to be guarded. If God’s word tells us not once, but several times, to be on guard, then it is important that we pay attention.

Guard Your Heart

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Proverbs 4:23 (CSB) states the following:  “Guard your heart above all else, for it is the source of life.”  The word guard comes from the Hebrew word natsar meaning to observe, keep close, or serve as a watchman.  The only way to successfully guard your heart (spiritually speaking), which is said to be the source of life, is through checking everything that tries to enter.

At important events, particularly those involving government officials, a security guard is often posted at the entrance to check the guests for identification.  It is vital that the guards know who is entering the building because someone who wants to bring harm to a government official could be entering.

It is the same way with your heart.  As tedious as it may seem, you must check everything that comes to your mind because it will eventually make its way to your heart.  The thought must be identified by being lined up with what God’s word has to say about it.  If what is about to enter does not line up, it must be turned away.

Guard Your Mind

In order for the aforementioned security guard to prevent someone from harming a government official, the potential perpetrator must be stopped from entering the building.  Once he has entered, it is more difficult to stop him from doing harm.  It can be done, but often it is not without a cost.

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If you want to keep poison from entering your heart, you must guard what enters your mind.  Of course, you must set an extra guard at the door of your heart, but, if you watch what enters your mind first, entrance to your heart is highly unlikely.  Philippians 4:7 states that the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds.

The key word is peace. If I am listening to the Holy Spirit, I will not have peace about something that is harmful. Neither will  you.  If a thought lines up with the word of God, peace will follow.  The peace God gives is not like anything else.  This peace will warn or confirm ahead of time before it is too late.  This type of peace does not make sense to others.  The only way to have the peace that guards is to sit at the feet of Jesus, so to speak, through prayer and study of the Word.  If you have no intimate relationship with Him, there is no true peace.

Guarding your heart and mind is just the beginning.  We have to guard our words, our relationships, and so much more.  This is a job for the Holy Spirit.  He is the look-out, but we must keep our focus on Jesus so we can know when we need to pay heed to a warning, or proceed on the path.

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I don’t know about you, but I am so thankful for God’s ways that direct and guide.  If we listen, they will keep us from unnecessary trials.

 

If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Savior, there is no time like the present.  Romans 10:9-10 states that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  With the heart, you believe resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth you confess, resulting in salvation.

It’s All in Your Mind

Have you ever heard someone say, “It’s all in your mind”?  This can be annoying depending on the nature of your problem. Surprisingly, the fact is that in many cases, it is true.  No, that does not mean you are crazy.  It simply means that many of our battles are either won or lost in our minds.

Change Your Thinking

Change Your ThinkingOften, the changes we wish to see can only come about when we change the way we think about the situation.  If I want to change the way I feel, most likely, I need to change the way I think.  Many of you reading this post might ask me if that is truly possible. According to the Bible, it is totally possible.  In fact, we are commanded to do just that when our thinking patterns do not line up with the Word of God.

Romans 12:2 states that we are transformed by the renewing of our mind so we can live out God’s will in our lives.  I find it interesting and not at all a coincidence that we are instructed in verse 2 to renew our minds after being told in verse 1 to offer our bodies as living sacrifices to the Lord.  Such a feat could only be accomplished through changing your thinking.

What Needs to Change in Your Life?

Everyone has weaknesses and faults that they have to address in some way.  Everyone has situations they would love to be able to handle in a more effective way.  It will not happen until you change the way you think about the given situation.  For example, if I am angry at a co-worker, yet I know I need to forgive this person, I will be unable to do so until I change the way I think about the situation.  In order to make this change, I need to know what God’s word says about forgiveness.  Once I am familiar with scriptures concerning forgiveness, I put those into my mind and allow the transformation process to work.   God’s word says that I must forgive as Christ forgave me.  I would remind myself that Christ forgave me for so much more than what I must forgive my co-worker.  Next, I would repeat the process with other scriptures until my thinking is changed.Change Your Thinking! 3

Taking time to journal through the process helps in two ways.  It helps the process as I am going through it, and it serves as a good reference should I face the problem again.  Barb Raveling has a process that she calls Truth Journaling.  It works very well.  Visit her website for further details.

I realize that this sounds like a great deal of work.  Truthfully, it is, but if you desire the change strongly enough, you will be willing to do the work.  True change comes from within, within your mind, that is.  Being transformed by the renewing of your mind will not happen overnight or through trying the process once.  It is a process that is ongoing, and it will take time as well as patience.  However, it is worth all the work.  Most of all, it is worth giving God the praise when the work is done.

Disclaimer:  If you do not know Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, your mind cannot be renewed until you come into a relationship with Him.  Romans 10:9-10 states that if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.  With the heart, you believe resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth you confess, resulting in salvation.