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Surrender Your Mind

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To have a surrendered mind is to make every thought obedient to Christ.

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Introduction

Can I have someone turn to and another to
Have them read v. 1

Therefore, brothers and sisters, in view of the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your true worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Last week we spoke about Surrendering our bodies, this week, we will talk about surrendering our minds.
Have the read v. 2
You brain weighs less than Kilogram. A quarter of all the calories from food you eat is used in powering the organ that looks like a giant lump of tofu. The width of the neurons that make up our brain are so tiny it takes a powerful microscope to see them. Yet they can be up to a meter in length. The number of connections that are made on average in a person’s brain between neurons, is 500 Trillion. That number is bigger than you think. 500 million Zl coins is enough to cover all of Zgierz about 5 mm deep. 500 billion would cover all of Zgierz and Lodz over half a meter deep. 500 Trillion would be enough to cover all of Poland 61 cm deep. That is complexity of the brain God has designed.
As Christians, we all want to know what the “good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” is. but to know this, scripture says our minds need to be conformed or surrendered to Him. There are many ways it can be evident to others if our bodies are surrendered to Christ. But even as mature Christians, surrendering our minds can be difficult because no one knows what we think except for ourselves and God.
Have read

Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy—dwell on these things.

This is a command that isn’t difficult for me to understand, I know what things are true, pure, and praiseworthy. The difficult things to consistently obey it.
I would like to propose to you today that to have a surrendered mind is to make every thought obedient to Christ
First, lets understand what scripture means when it talks about the mind...

Nature of the Mind

Turn and look at Proverbs 4:23
Let me read you something from the Dictionary of Biblical Imagery:
Today we associate the mind with the brain. The brain and the head provide us with a number of stock images of the mind and its functions. So it comes as a surprise to many modern people that in the imagery of the Bible there is no awareness of the brain as the center of consciousness, thought or will. The processes of the “mind” are frequently associated with an organ that for us evokes the emotions, that is, the heart. In the Bible heart encompasses more than what we mean by mind (for which there is no word in biblical Hebrew). The heart is the center of the being, where the will, affections, thoughts, purposes and imagination reside.
to Christ.
So in biblical language, the heart and mind are nearly the same thing. We can think of this as our inner self, who we “really are” on the inside.
Have someone read

Guard your heart above all else,

for it is the source of life.

What does it mean when it says it is our “source of life?

the starting point of the activities of life (16:9; 23:19); the heart determines the course of life

“Sow a thought, and you reap an act; Sow an act, and you reap a habit; Sow a habit, and you reap a character; Sow a character, and you reap a destiny.”
-Samuel Smiles
Now that we understand what the mind is, let’s talk about how to surrender it to God...

Surrendering the Mind

Look back at . How do we guard our heart?
I believe the answer is , Can someone read that verse again for us?
Here are 3 practical things for us to do to help us obey this passage.

1. Ask the Lord to guard and direct your mind

Can I have someone look up , , and

A person’s heart plans his way,

but the LORD determines his steps.

This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.

No temptation has come upon you except what is common to humanity. But God is faithful; he will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation he will also provide a way out so that you may be able to bear it.

This is no war we win on our own. We must claim the promises of God in prayer, and in prayer have our attention turned toward what is good. I frequently get an immediate yes to this kind of prayer when I ask God help me with bad thoughts.
The next practical thing is...

2. Recognize the source of self-focused and self-defeating thoughts.

Can i have someone look up ?

For although we live in the flesh, we do not wage war according to the flesh, 4 since the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but are powerful through God for the demolition of strongholds. We demolish arguments 5 and every proud thing that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and we take every thought captive to obey Christ

The word “Strongholds” here refers to any human idea that forms an obstacle to the knowledge of God and therefore keeps people in bondage to sin.
This is not describing a Christians’ efforts to force all their thoughts to be pleasing to Christ. Rather, the picture seems to be that of a military operation in enemy territory that seeks to defeat every single enemy plan of battle, so that there is total submission and obedience to Christ.
In light of these verses, we are in a lifelong “war” in our minds against the enemy. We need to identify the enemies tactics for putting false ideas in our head. here are some common examples:
Music
TV/Movies
Books
Games
Social media
Friends
Teachers
Advertisements
Things we enjoy or draw our attention teach us things without us realizing what is happening. Perhaps the message isn’t the best, but we know we don’t believe it. Is it okay to keep listening? Let me give you an example. is anyone familiar with the song “counting stars” by OneRepublic? It is an incredibly fun song, I have even danced around the kitchen with Addy to it before. But conciser a few the words apart from the catchy tune for a moment.
I, feel something so right Doing the wrong thing I, feel something so wrong But doing the right thing I could lie, could lie, could lie Everything that kills me makes me feel alive
Now i know what you’re thinking. “This guy is an awful parent”. Now Adelie has no idea what the words are saying, she just knows her daddy is dancing with her. I know what the words are saying, and they accurately describe the reality of people enjoying wrong choices as a fallen, sinful human beings. But what if i listened to this every day? over time, would i start to believe it? I probably won’t abandon my faith, but it would be a stronghold of the enemy in my mind. And in a moment of personal weakness, satan can use that stronghold to attack with temptation. There is always a way of escape, but you will find yourself repeating that battle until the stronghold is destroyed.
Now a disclaimer. I’m not saying that all forms of entertainment are evil and we should avoid it. If you decide become a “protestant monk” in that way, you may just be opening up new stronghold of isolation and pride for the enemy. We cannot avoid unbiblical ideas in this world anymore than you can avoid danger in a war-zone. Our goal is defeat every enemy plan of battle, so that there is total submission and obedience to Christ. Maybe music is not an issue for you, but there is a news website that you read that if influencing your thinking. Maybe it is a friend or family member who is influencing you negatively, or making you bitter. Sometimes abstinence is simply not an option, but there is always a way to attack those strongholds.
Which leads us to our last point....

3. Replace self-focused thinking with a God-focused mindset.

have someone read to

For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. 6 Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.

For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit.

This clear contrast Paul gives us happens in the middle of his big theological work that is Romans. To discuss sufficiently what it means to have the mind-set of the spirit would take hours. You can study , where Paul encourages us to “Adopt the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus”. What it should look like is the fruit of the spirit in your life. A good place to start is memorizing if you have not, and reviewing it every day.
When says to “think on these things” it is a command. We can choose what we think about. We need to take “every thought captive” like says. We need to choose to think on good thing. Every Christian struggles with terrible thoughts coming into their head at times. Every Christian has found themselves idle thinking about something that isn’t the best. We need to take every thought captive and submit then to Christ. We need to search the scriptures and understand how Jesus thought. Then, by God’s grace, we will know life and peace in our minds.
We imagined what it might do to our mind if we listened to that song every day. So what would it do to your mind to you constantly had this truth before you eyes every day? This is why we need the Word every day, to be constantly reminded of truth. To have our minds constantly renewed.
Can someone read again?
Get illustration stuff ready while it is being read.
Our minds can be filled with so many things.
Some unbiblical, some aren't bad, some might even be good things. but they all can distract us from having the mind-set of the Spirit, which is life and peace.
but if we daily have our minds renewed with God’s word,
and if we take every thought captive,
Then we can see clearly.
On post it notes, I want everyone to write out, just to themselves, a thought they are going to take captive.
Pray for group
Have group sing A Capella a surrender song.
Invite group to come and put their “thoughts” in the bowl.
close with prayer
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