How do I cultivate a renewed mind?
We have to pray for it. We don’t believe in the Holy Spirit to the degree that we ought to. We don’t trust Him to the degree that we ought to, which means we’re not really trusting God to do what He promised He would do. We don’t ask God for the things He told us to ask Him for, and we have not because we ask not (James 4:2).
We have to ask the Lord to renew our minds, and He does that by the Spirit of God. He does that from us studying His Word—and notice I said “studying” His Word, not just “reading” His Word. We need to read the Word, but we also need to study the Word. Read always, but study in-depth in chapters, passages, verses, phrases, and words.
We need to study the Word of God, but we also need to be around godly men and women. We need to be around the church. If you’re not in church regularly, if you’re not in worship regularly, you don’t care about a renewed mind. It’s that simple. You don’t really care.
If you are not attending to the ordinary means of grace, the Word, the prayers, and the sacraments of baptism and the Lord’s Supper—if you’re not participating in the fellowship of the church—you actually really don’t care about a renewed mind. You don’t care about a transformed life, because that’s really where it begins.
That’s what helps us and informs us in our own study of Scripture as we are hearing not only from our pastors and elders, but as we are studying, learning, and imitating the faith of older saints around us. If you’re in a church where there are just young people, you need to find a church where there are older people. And if you’re in a church where there are only older people, you need to find a church where there are some young people so that you can be involved in teaching, training, and discipling those who are younger.
So we cultivate a renewed mind in manifold ways, but we can’t do it in an isolated way. We are made for community. We are made to study together, grow together, and learn together—to get off our video games and our mobile devices and to interact face-to-face with real people. So if you have an online church, stop it.
Get to worship, get there early, stay late, get involved, get involved in the community, hang around, ask questions, see what’s going on, get into a Bible study, learn, and grow in community. That’s what God intended.
This transcript is from a live Ask Ligonier event with Burk Parsons and has been lightly edited for readability. To ask Ligonier a biblical or theological question, just visit Ask.Ligonier.org or message us on Facebook or Twitter.