THE UNRENEWED MIND CANNOT EMBRACE WEAKNESS

Weakness. Ug. Human beings never, ever naturally gravitate towards weakness. Voluntarily embracing weakness is an operation of the Spirit of God within us. We cannot do it at the heart level without the Holy Spirit. As long as we continue to operate by our sinful, fleshly mind, we will always hate weakness, and trying to pray, fast, serve, give and forgive will be as foreign to our natural appetite as asking someone to punch us repeatedly in the face

Let’s get this straight

If we do not submit ourselves to the renewing of the mind, we will be doing nothing but going through the motions when we try to choose weakness. We will always be gritting our teeth and waiting for the moment when we can stop embracing weakness and do something that makes us feel strong. What does this look like? It looks like fasting but thinking of bacon-double cheeseburgers the entire time. It’s trying to make it through it so that you can finally stop being weak and go back to feeding your flesh and feeling strong.  It’s tithing and giving but being caught in the deceitfulness of riches – fantasizing about having money to spend on your pleasures. It’s serving but wishing you were free to tend to your own comfort. The flesh will always war against the spirit.

Don’t be discouraged!

No, you shouldn’t give up. No, you are not a failure or a hypocrite. If this sounds all-too-familiar to you, it’s okay. This is the normal experience at the beginning of the journey into a renewed mind. We are all required to “go through the motions” to a certain extent while renewing our mind at the same time. We can’t do one without the other. Faith without works is dead, and works without faith is dead religion. So don’t disregard the outworking of your faith, and don’t disregard the renewing of your mind that fuels your works. “We can’t do God’s part and God won’t do our part” (one of my favorite ‘Bickleisms’).

We must renew our minds

Our fleshly mind is an enemy to God. It is 100% incapable of knowing the things of God. When we are born again, we are given the nature of Christ and for the very first time are given power to conquer the flesh. This is not an automatic victory, though. The only way we can be transformed, even after receiving the incorruptible seed, is not by empty works, but by the renewing of our mind. This requires active participation on our part – namely, cooperation with and submission to the Holy Spirit, not something we accomplish through our own works. That doesn’t mean we stop doing works, but we have to understand that the works themselves will never, ever, ever transform us. The works have to be an outward manifestation of the submission of the heart to the Spirit of God, Who reveals Christ in us through supernatural revelation.

Prayer is not about us

Why do we pray? Mostly because it’s a declaration that we believe choosing weakness is wise and powerful. We often tend to define prayer as something that relies mostly on the strength and activity of humans. More than “talking to God”, “standing in the gap”, or “carrying the burden of the Lord”, prayer is simply “embracing weakness.” It is the embracing of weakness that shifts things in the heavenlies, not repeating phrases into the air. It is belief that God has chosen the weak things of the earth and expressing that belief through the work of prayer that has power. If prayer is not an expression of faith, it has absolutely no power.

Make it easy on yourself

If you have signed up for a lifestyle of weakness, give yourself to the renewing of your mind. Why suffer through decades of torment in your inner man by perpetuating the battle between your flesh and your spirit? That is tortuous and dumb. As long as we set our minds and appetites on the things of the world, we will be miserable trying to embrace weakness. Don’t do that to yourself. The fasted lifestlye is supposed to release you into joy, peace, hope and the power of the Holy Spirit. Go there! The good news is that it is easy, because it’s not something we do, it’s something the Holy Spirit does. It’s believing that the small things, the weak things, work, and then making decisions that reflect that belief. All along the way the Holy Spirit is revealing Christ in us, the mysterious, wonderful hope of glory.

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  1. zachary wood

    hmmm… very good! the more i look at what the renewed mind is, the more i realize it is more than what it looks like. no, but for real. you know what i’m talking about!

  2. Hey, why’d you get rid of your wordcast role? I liked junping to peoples sites from your site but now I can’t, boo. Anywho, good post Molly Mo!

  3. Ha, nevermind, I just saw your “links” picture. Sorry.

  4. Zack – you should write more about the renewed mind. You are a systematic thinker. The more we read, pray, write and think about it, the more we’ll understand it. 🙂 Let’s go for it!

    Nate – 🙂 Just trying to clean up the space a bit. Hope it’s not inconvenient.

    I love the Woods!

  5. Nope it’s all good, I just hadn’t had my coffee yet when I first commented so I was a lil slow, not like I’m ever quick but yoou know. We love the MO!!

  6. don’t i know! coffee is a MUST.

  7. benjaminwood

    I liked this one! It is a constant thing that has to be done everyday, and then continue to do it while we are moving throughout our day. It is a paradox I hate it, and I love it. Hate it, you ask? I hate that we have to do it continually because i want it to be done already, i wish that i did not have to do it. Then i love it because i have to make it a point to renew my mind everyday. It is a discipline. It is a good one too. I just wish that it was all done for me. Dang that Adam for the fall, thank you Jesus for the redemption of the Cross.

  8. I’m going to have to reread this later…the comment about asking someone to punch you in the face made me think of Fight Club, and then I was totally distracted by trying to connect Fight Club to my understanding of the renewing of the mind. Somehow, I doubt there’s any nifty symbology along those lines in the movie…

  9. Mollie, you are an excellent and clear writer. You really should consider sending this out to some magazine publishers. It’s clear, concise and interesting to read. I’m absolutely serious.

    Anyway, I’ve been in the field of ministry to the sexually and relationally broken and the first thing we have to teach people is to embrace weakness as a lifestyle. They hate it, I hate it, let’s just say everybody hates it. But, it’s a necessity to walking in freedom and maturity. Since coming to IHOP I have realized that the weakness factor has turned up a notch in my life. God has had the pleasure of pointing out numerous blind spots and major weaknesses. It’s been challenging, but the reward is far greater. It really is a discipline that I’m learning to embrace. I love it. I really do. And I hate it. I really do.

  10. Idhrendur – no connection to Fight Club…don’t try to hard. 🙂

    Ben – You summed it up nicely in your last line.

    Tom – Thanks! You certainly are an encourager.
    Your comment is well said.

  11. Naw, it was just a random mental connection. I tend to do that.

    And I still need to read over this again. But I wanted to thank you, because with my first reading, my brain got working, and then God grabbed hold of my working brain and fixed some stuff from this week that had been going on. So, thank you for your writing!

  12. Idhrendur – cool…yay for God. Glad it helped!




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