During the night last night, the Lord woke me up and told me to write about peace that passes understanding and the renewal of our minds today, so I couldn’t wait to check the verses out this morning to see what He wanted me to write in today’s post. As I’ve often said before, it never ceases to amaze me how I can look at Bible verses I’m so familiar with, and then find something in them that I just never saw before! Of course, that’s exactly why the Bible is “The Living Word”!
Sometimes it’s not so much about being familiar with the verses, as it is making the connection between related verses, and perhaps that is more what today’s message is about. Romans 12:2 tells us:
Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Most people would say that is accomplished through reading and studying the Bible so we know and understand God’s plan and will for our lives. And while that’s definitely true, I think there’s a lot more to it, especially since I know so many people who read the Bible, and still don’t seem to have their minds renewed or experience the peace of God that passes all understanding.
God showed me this morning that the answer to renewing our minds and experiencing His peace that passes all understanding is found inn these verses from Philippians 4:
6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. How much simpler or clearer could it be? If we follow the instructions in these verses, our minds WILL be TOTALLY renewed and there’s no way we could have anything but peace! The challenge is retraining our minds to think that way, because anyone standing for marriage restoration knows how much time we spend doing the exact opposite of what these verses tell us, especially when it comes to the things we spend most of our time thinking and talking about! Many years ago I heard an expression that says the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, which makes a lot of sense; but that’s something most of us have to admit doing. So if we want different results, we need to start doing something different, and putting the advice and instructions found in these verses into practice is an excellent place to start!
When the Bible was originally written, it did not include the chapter and verse distinctions our modern versions do, so I like to look at what the previous chapter has to say, and sometimes I find something of particular interest by doing that, as I did this morning. So, here’s Romans 11:36 and Romans 12:1-2 (AMP) together, without the chapter and verse distinction:
For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. [For all things originate with Him and come from Him; all things live through Him, and all things center in and tend to consummate and to end in Him.] To Him be glory forever! Amen (so be it). I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you].
Since peace seems so elusive for many men and women standing for marriage restoration and is an area of significant challenge for many people when they first come to the ministry, it’s important to know that we don’t have to let Satan steal our peace and joy; because he can’t have it unless we give it to him! But when we put the instruction of the above verses into practice, our minds will be renewed and we will have peace that Satan can’t steal!