Renewal is here, and it is persistent. Behind the door of each growth opportunity, it greets us. With revelation. With new vision. With perspective. Renewal is such a part of daily life right now that I want to personify it, call it she and her, like the Bible refers to wisdom in the proverbs. I find the idea of renewal in two passages of scripture — Romans 12:2 and Titus 3:3-7.
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.Romans 12:2 NLT (emphasis added)
3 For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another. 4 But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.Titus 3:3-7 ESV (emphasis added)
A complete change for the better.
Or, G342, the code for a Strong’s Concordance reference in the Greek.
Renewal is God’s wonderful, uncomfortable gift. And I don’t know why, but I considered renewal more magical than methodical. Not consciously, of course, but in practice. I lived until very recently like renewal happened in worship alone. Or in Word time alone. Maybe, it happened in prayer if I got it right. (oh what laws we impose on ourselves to know God!)
But renewal occurs through a combination of means. God works with us by His Spirit. We yield and resist, submit and withdraw, fear and boldly face a thing, until one day, we realize that power has come in the form of a changed mind.
Romans 12:2 is famous. With a wagging finger toward us, many of us were warned — Don’t be like the world. There must be a difference. Then let God bring transformation by changing the mind. Transformation is the beautiful, godly alternative to carnality. Thinking the right way will lead us into God’s path for our lives.
Titus 3:3-7 is loaded! There are behaviors attached to a worldly mindset. Then God’s love and kindness come to us with transformation. How? A washing happens in and by Holy Spirit, who keeps pouring on us through Christ. Renewal. Made new. Renovated.
We are beyond saturation with the word process, so how about I say progress or advancing or growth? Growth is good. Renewal is growth, and it’s here, without our permission. Life is demanding we grow. Life requires renewal right now — a shedding, a renovation — of our thinking.
Suggestion: How about we all give God permission to renew our minds? Let Him transform us… rebuild our mind’s wiring… change the way we think. This is project G342, full of the answers we are seeking, and wrapped up in renovation (rooting out, pulling down, destroying, throwing down (or out), building again and planting).
I find we may all fare better if we allow renewal to happen. The insights, the lessons, the understanding, the knowledge, the WISDOM — they are all part of renewal. And renewal is here, behind the opportunity doors of hurt feelings, confusing circumstances, and lingering questions. Here’s probably the most beautiful thing about renewal (so far): I cannot whine about the discomfort or the pain because I am better the moment I recognize the insight or the lesson I am to learn. I am better because I realize God is changing the way I think, and like Him, I look around my rehab’d life and say to myself as His re-creation… THIS IS GOOD.
Dr. Shaunta Scroggins is the lead contributor for The Bereans’ Commentary.
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