by Dale Shumaker
3. Renew your mind, transform your mind to Spirit.
Our brain is a marvelous creation. It remains one of the most powerful computers on earth. It not only can store great amounts of information, but can make judgement calls, express and understand emotion, and keep what is recorded in it through our whole lifetime, in storage as long as we are alive.
As soon as we are born our senses go to work to pull in everything it sees, hears, feels. We come into the world like a hard drive that has the operating system in place to run our body functions, then as soon as we are born we begin programming our brain. What our eyes see, what our ears hear, what our feelings feel is being downloaded into our subconscious.
The brain begins filling up all the experiences we have and it stores them one after another. Neuroscience says the mind can store over a million gigabytes of information. The subconscious stores everything we hear, see, feel, and categorizes it.
Without conscious effort, the brain programs all experiences and categorizes them in areas most common to our past decisions. How and what we think, feel, act is based on this. We respond automatically and instantly from this information harbored in our brain's subconscious mind.
That's the good news. The bad news is it also stores decisions eliciting behaviors not to our best interest. Then again the good news is that we can control this, and not let the brain have its own way. We spend years in school to organize and respond to this information we store in the best way possible, so we can use it in beneficial, life enhancing ways. Then again what we learned in school, through our experiences may not be to the best interest to our well-being. So again we must decide what is best to be put in our brain.
If we don't deliberating control and guide it, it will set up patterns of behavior on its own. Some are good, some are not so good. The more we repeat an action, the more it becomes an innate, auto-programmed responding behavior. Consequently, whether being happy, sad, mad, motivated, lethargic, has been determined by these past repetitive decisions that become automatic reactors in the brain.
All habits, thought patterns, and behavior are developed from what's familiar… our reaction to past experiences, outside of our conscious control. As we mature as a person, we live as a slave to what becomes the subconscious reaction to these experiences.
We face two choices... we don't take control of this process and live an aimless life without reason, based on programmed outside influences. Or we take control of this process, reprogram our brain to patterns and behaviors that are abundantly fruitful for us.
For the Spirit to work in us, we must be the commander of the brain and implant the Spirit into our brain, replacing the past mind's information with a New Mind of Spirit. The mind must become uniform and consistent with the Spirit. One mind of Spirit. Jesus said a house divided against itself can't stand. When the mind has conflicting sets of information to work from, we have a very dysfunctional person. So we need to renew the mind, program it to the principles of the Spirit.
Today a complaint I hear about those who attend church is they are one thing at church, but totally someone else during the week. Some say they are hypocrites. The cause behind living two life standards may go back to their lack of aligning the mind to Spiritual principles. Many hold Spiritual principles in their intellect, but have not made it one with the mind. A person may be able to recite Spiritual principles, but not have it as a normal functional part of their lives.
To resolve this mental double standard, the Apostle Paul admonishes us to be transformed by renewing our mind. (see Romans 12) It's essential and crucial to see Principles of God's Spirit being expressed in our lives... as an automatic behavior. We must become one mind, controlled by the Spirit and Spiritual principles. Only then will we live out the Spirit's capabilities, to become the character of the Spirit as being who we really are and what people see. Only then can we fulfill the inspired Magnificent Mission stamped on our DNA by God. When we live without the mind and Spirit in sync with each other, it causes us to feel like something is just not right. We don't know what's wrong; we are just not happy with life, or lack a sense of satisfaction. Although when mind and Spirit are in harmony with each other, we live in a greater power, are contented and satisfied within.
Consequently, taking calculated, thoughtful action to renew the mind is of utmost importance.
Our mind has been programmed by all our life experiences, ideas, media we hear without our consent. We have allowed it to be a host to a mindset, a way of thinking, that in most cases is inconsistent with the Spiritual principles of God. We can change this, must change this to be a Spirit Savvy person, living out our Magnificent Mission.
When you buy a car and follow the manufacturer's directions on how to maintain and care for the car, it will run well and last longer. The same is true for the Spirit. As you live out the mission you are designed for and follow God's manufacturing instructions, life goes better.
For all this to happen, carefully guide and direct what you put in your brain, and follow the Spiritual principles of your Creator. When your mind is transformed to line up with God's principles on how He designed you, you function phenomenally.
When Jesus said a person needs to be born again, this includes a rebirth in how we think, a renewal and transformation of the mind to be a Spiritual mind, living out Biblical principles, doing things God's way.
It needs to be re-calibrated to the way of the Spirit. It takes a conscious, calculated effort to become Spiritually-driven as a person. The mind must be reborn, rebuilt, realigned with the systems of the Spirit for the Magnificent Mission to reach the magnitude it is made for.
"Study this Book of Instruction(the Bible) continually. Meditate on these words (the Scriptures) day and night and what you set to do will be accomplished." Be diligent to do everything it says and do it well. Then be bold and courageous because the Lord God, the Almighty Spirit of God will be with you.
(see Joshua 1, Deuteronomy 6)
Your best time to take in information that goes into your subconscious is at night, right before going to sleep. Read Jesus' teachings, the Apostles letters, the Psalms, as the last part of your evening. Play a Bible audio version as you fall asleep. Then the first thing when you get up read the Scriptures. Go to your Scripture of the day if you have a devotional that provides one. There are also several sites on the Internet with Scriptures of the day. Your church may have a Bible reading plan, do it daily.
Throughout the day, take a Bible reading break. In the middle of the day, when you have a spare moment read faith promises, Jesus' teachings, etc.. Carry a small New Testament or download an app to use on your smartphone. Listen to faith, inspired teachings as you drive, and do activities around the house.
Talk to a friend and share your Scripture, or Spiritual thought that is going through your mind that day, or something that happened that reminded you of one of God's principles.
I heard a minister say he has a notebook of God's Principles. In it he has over 100 Scriptures that build up his belief in God's Power, and the very character of God's Spirit. Consider doing this too. Using Bible Gateway, or another Bible site, do keyword searches of the characteristics of God's Spirit, such as faith, belief, hope, love, forgiveness, trust. Make your own notebook (paper or electronic) of Scriptures that inspire or direct you.
Inundate yourself with Inspired Praise Music, the inspiration of the Scriptures, and Inspired teachers. Do this morning, noon and night. A balanced diet of the Psalms, Proverbs, the Prophets, Jesus' teachings, the words of the Apostles... taken in every day will keep your Spiritual Well-Being steady and strong. It takes a disciplined, deliberate, systematic habit each day to keep you tuned into His Spirit and to live out God's principles daily. Create a plan and follow it every day. By having a plan you stay on course. On your days off from work, create an advanced plan, go more in depth in your study of Scriptural principles.
Joshua 1 works today. Mediate on His Words, day and night, and what you do will go well for you.
Jesus prayed that "they be One as we are One." (John 17) To be One with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit deliberate reprogramming is a must. One foot in the world's philosophies and one foot in God's way of doing things will only bring great frustration, create inertia, make a person inept.
To be One in Spirit with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the mind must be one with the mind of Christ. We gain the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2) through the Spirit. Lining it up with God's principles, His Mind, or the Mind of Christ, our influence in the world grows like Jesus' did.
In Leviticus 26 it outlines the blessings for obedience. First it says to have no other idols before you and then to honor the Sabbath rest and show reverence for His Sanctuary. In the New Testament our body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit, His Sanctuary. (1 Corinthians 6)
Consider this, Sunday is one day of seven in a week. Relating it to a day that's one seventh of a day, or about 3.5 hours. If we spent that amount of time daily putting God's Spirit first in our lives before anything else, would not the blessings from obedience come our way. ...(see the rest of Leviticus 26). With that focus in a day, we would most certainly reprogram our minds to be His Spiritual mind, and replace the old programming of this world's inept principles with the Power of His Spirit. We would most certainly see His Spirit work in our lives in a way we have never seen before.
To re-program our thinking to be the mind of Christ requires a daily discipline, it requires constant diligence. As Charles Spurgeon said, "Do not indulge the notion that you can be contented without learning, or learn without discipline. It is not a power that may be exercised naturally, but a science to be acquired gradually." What we do repetitively, daily over time becomes an inherent part of us.
Scripting the Movie.
While preparing to play the role of Jesus, in the Visual Bible series The Gospel of Matthew, Bruce Marchiano memorized all of Jesus' words in this Gospel for the movie (produced word-for-word using the New International Version). To be Jesus, he spent every hour of his day for seven weeks totally immersed in memorizing every word of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew. But more than that he studied the persona of Jesus so he would be the very character of Jesus.
Actors call this characterization. They not only memorize lines, but they study their character's personality, emotions, how the character responds to varied situations.
Actors strategically reprogram their minds as much as possible so they take on the traits of the person they portray. They work to literally become that person. They do this so well, you actually see the other person instead of the actor. Marchiano said this absolutely changed his life. Living, thinking, speaking Jesus' words transformed who he was.
We can do the same. Following the process actors use to form a character, we then can bring our minds into a harmony with God's Spirit that works in us. Being in Harmony with His Spirit, we don't need to work at it, because it is naturally who we are.
Knowing this, and being trained in education, psychology, and theater, I applied it to making the Scriptures be who I am. Like the actor Marchiano, I felt to live like Jesus I had to be like Jesus.
My spirit was willing, but my mind needed to be transformed and retrained in ways of the Spirit and the Scriptures. I initiated a personal brainwashing process.
I begin reading the Scriptures as much as I could throughout the day. The first thing in the morning I spent an hour or two with my only exposure to the Scriptures. I would read a verse of the day, read an Inspired devotional, go to the Bible and follow a reading plan. Many times I would go off somewhere where it is quiet and just think about what I am reading. I deliberately would not watch the news, read the newspaper or anything of the earth's origin at these times.
When in the car instead of listening to the radio, I would play a CD series of the Bible. All day long, when I had a moment I had my Bible with me and I would read it whenever I had those "in between" times. Over several months, I continued this.
When I had lunch during warm weather, I would go off to a quiet place, park the car and reflect on the Scriptures. In the evening, many times I would watch a movie from the Bible, that was produced using the Scriptures from the Bible. This included two or three Jesus' movies, taken directly from the Scriptures. As I was falling asleep, I made it a point to turn on an audio series from the Bible.
Frequently I would put on Praise and Worship music as I was going to sleep. It's proven scientifically there is power of taking in information while falling asleep. The subconscious mind is most receptive to information when you are in the twilight state between awake and asleep.
From studying psychology and advanced education principles, I knew that this enhanced our abilities in recalling information, especially when impressed on the mind in a very relaxed state between being awake and asleep.
What you imagine then becomes fixed in your mind. This makes it easier to recall when awake. It also forms a pattern in our behavior, in that we live out what we program in our brain without having to think about it. During the going to sleep and waking up times, I get creative ideas, solve problems, get direction on what to do, and I feel I hear more clearly what the Spirit is impressing on me.
While in the process of waking up, driving, or falling asleep, you learn easier, faster, and come up with ideas. It is an ideal time to implant in your mind the ultimate vision for your Magnificent Mission.
The moral of the story: To live as Jesus, it's necessary to be like Jesus, to be Jesus. Jesus sends us His Spirit to live in us. Although, we must transform our minds so we spontaneously think and reason in line with Spiritual principles. So our mind and Spirit are One. Then the way we think, talk, act is consistent with the Spirit, and it's an automatic, top-of-the-mind way of thinking, talking, and acting. As we keep putting His Scriptures in our minds they become the forefront of our thoughts.
How you think and act is programmed into your subconscious by the world through the experiences you have every day. Deliberately and diligently inundating yourself daily with The Scriptures, will override the world induced way of thinking.
You create a Spiritual mind, a renewed, transformed mind of Spiritual power. As Marchiano said, this changed his life. Doing this will change your life, so you become a magnificent person for your Magnificent Mission.
(see Romans 12, 1 Corinthians 2)