Be Transformed by the Renewing (Renovation) of Your Mind

- (Romans 12:2)

Self-Control, Thought-Control

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Galatians 5:22 NIV)

Are we in agreement that eating healthy and losing excess body fat, if need be, demands a certain amount of self-control? Well, where is one to get self-control when one is lacking it?

Many Christians learn early on that self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Since we know the Holy Spirit resides in us as born-again believers, then why do so many Christians continue to struggle against the same old sins they were involved in before they knew God? How come we don't walk in perfect victory from the day we receive Jesus as Lord?

The Bible teaches clearly that all believers are bi-natured. On the one hand, we are new creatures with new natures controlled by the Holy Spirit that love to please God. On the other hand, we still have our old rotten natures that are bound to sin and darkness, that hate God and seek to gratify the cravings of the flesh. The new man thrives and grows by feeding on the Word of God and fellowshipping with the Lord and the Spirit in other believers. The old man maintains vigor by feasting on the things of this world--our old way of life and fellowship with people and things in rebellion to God. At my house, we refer to the two natures as bus drivers. We say, "Who is driving your bus?" Whichever nature is receiving the most nourishment is the one who will win the driver's seat.

If you are overweight, or even if you're thin but eating in a way that is destructive to your health, your carnal nature is driving your bus at least some of the time. To dethrone the flesh, you will have to strengthen the new man in order that he may assume his position behind the wheel.

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

The pattern of this world is to eat whatever tastes good. For many in the world, the pattern is to eat as much and as often as desired. But the Bible says do not conform! Don't be like everyone else. Just because everybody's doing it, doesn't make it okay.

Oh, how my spirit is willing but my flesh is weak, you might be thinking. Right you are! In fact, the above scripture indicates it will take nothing less than a transformation to keep from conforming to worldly ways. That transformation occurs by the renewing of the mind.

Everyone has only one mind, but the believer has two thought processes. One belongs to the old man and one to the new man. Every action is preceded by thoughts from one tank or the other. Our adversary the devil with his cohorts appeals to our old nature through the carnal mind, or thought process of the flesh. The new nature and its thought process hearken to the voice of the Spirit. Neither demons nor the Holy Ghost can force you to do anything, because in your own life you are sovereign and have been given the right to choose. If you are eating destructively, you are in violation of God's Word, and the thoughts dictating your eating behavior are coming from your carnal mind.

Aha! What we need then for self-control is thought control. Who is going to control your thinking? You are! Become a thought watcher. Listen to your thoughts, and those that do not line up with the Scriptures or that encourage any unrighteous behavior, strike them down as if they were red hot coals coming at you. At the same time as you are deciding what thoughtsnot to entertain, consciously choose what you will think about. Your mind is going to be filled with something, so replace evil thoughts with good. This procedure of thought-watching, taking captive all disobedient thoughts, and substituting righteous ones takes practice, but eventually, so I'm told (I'm still learning to do it), it becomes habit.

Victory in anything comes from wisdom and strength. Strength comes from God. The express image of God is Jesus, and Jesus is the Word. Everything you need to succeed in anything is in the Word of God. Therefore wash your mind daily with the water of the Word. Get it in your heart, let it be in your mouth, meditate on it, do it. If you'll do this, then the Holy Spirit will drive your bus, through the will of your new nature, more and more and more!

If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. (John 8:31,32 KJ)