An article for the St. Simon's NV Renewal Mission Newsletter
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2 ESV
Because I became a Christian quite late in life I understand the transformation that happens “by the renewal of your mind”. Along my seeker’s journey I investigated many spiritual paths and philosophies, and accumulated many thoughts and beliefs that were not in line with God’s will for my life. In the early days of my walk with Christ I was not willing to lay down some of these beliefs, even when they were questioned by my spiritual elders. They made sense to me. However, as the life Christ grew within me - and especially after being baptized in the Holy Spirit - my thoughts and beliefs began to come more into alignment the Word of God. Not because of any argument or debate with members of my church, but because I was continually surrendering my life to God and being counselled by the Holy Spirit.
Seeking the renewal of the mind is crucial for every Christian whether we’ve grown up in the church or not. As sadly evidenced in the Anglican/Episcopal Church in North America, believers can be influenced and even led astray by ideas and beliefs that are not in line with God’s Word. Renewal is the work of the Holy Spirit who wants to continually come in and fill us up with the life of Christ, renewing our minds and giving us God’s perspective on life. Renewal enables us to discern the “good and acceptable and perfect” will of God so that we cannot be easily led astray by worldly ideas and ungodly philosophies. When we are truly aligned with God’s will and our thoughts line up with His Word, we no longer live in a way that conforms to the world. Our lives and relationships demonstrate that we are different, and the transformation is apparent to those around us. We become more concerned about the needs and lives of others and we become “fishers of men,” concerned with catching human fish for the Kingdom of God because we have and know God’s heart and God’s thoughts toward people. As the Bible tells us in 2 Peter 3:9, it is God’s desire that none should perish, but that all people should turn to Him.
I pray that St. Simon’s Renewal Mission 2009 will be a time of seeking the renewal of the mind that God, through the Holy Spirit, wants to bring. I pray that our hearts will be set ablaze with the love and the compassion of God’s own heart and that we would passionately seek opportunities to bring others into His presence so they may know His love. May we be transformed as individuals, and as a church, and may our hearts and attitudes become the same as Christ’s.
(I will happily forward the brochure for the upcoming Renewal Mission March 20-22, 2009 at St. Simon's Church NV and Harvest City Church to anyone who is interested. Just send me an email to request it.)