Four Steps to Renewing the Mind: (3) Practice the Presence of God

Four Steps to Renewing the Mind: (3) Practice the Presence of God

     In this series on the renewed mind, we are looking at four practical steps to renewing our minds. We want to be transformed as Romans 12 directs, by the renewing of our minds.
Romans 12:1 and 2:
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
     Rather than being conformed, or molded, according to the world, we choose to be transformed by the renewing of our minds according to God’s Word. When we hold in our minds God’s Word, which is spiritual knowledge, and then act on it, we prove what is that good, acceptable, and perfect will of God. Being spiritually minded, we then have minds that are coordinated and in harmony with the spirit of God in us. This alignment and harmony allows us to enjoy rich fellowship with our heavenly Father and to walk by His power.
     Each of the four steps we are looking at is a Biblical principle that helps us build a new quality in our minds and bring forth positive, powerful results. First, we study God’s Word so we can know His will and take action on it. Second, as we develop greater understanding of the Bible, we recognize our position in Christ as sons of God. We become enlightened regarding our rights and privileges that we can exercise right now. Third, we practice the presence of God. And fourth, we live God’s love. Let’s concentrate on the third step in this renewed-mind “power package”—we practice the presence of God.
     Once we have studied God’s Word and recognized our position in Christ, we want to practice the presence of God. We want to stay constantly aware of His presence in our lives. God is always present whether we acknowledge this truth or not. However, to transform our lives by renewing our minds as Romans 12:2 directs, we need to consciously direct our thoughts toward God and lean not unto our own understanding. We need to give Him priority in our thought life and pray to Him as well, acknowledging His powerful presence in our lives. Additionally, we want to acknowledge Him in our actions. Whatever we do, we do it for Him. These are all aspects of this third step to renewing our minds. Let’s explore more about practicing the presence of God so we can understand how to apply this powerful principle, enjoying the blessings of His fellowship as we transform our lives by renewing our minds.
     First of all, whether we recognize it or not, God is always present. The psalmist understood this truth.
Psalms 139:1,7-10:
O Lord, thou hast searched me, and known
Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?
If I ascend up into heaven, thou
art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea;
Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me.

     This psalmist recognized that wherever he went, the Lord was there. Where could he flee from His presence? God was above him, and He was below him. And even if he were in the “uttermost parts,” God’s hand was there to lead him: His right hand would absolutely hold him.
     Our heavenly Father is everywhere present and is ever ready to lead and guide us. We want to stay constantly aware of His presence in our lives. One way we do this is by giving Him priority in our thought life. At any waking moment we can direct our thoughts toward God and His Word and acknowledge Him in all our ways.
Proverbs 3:5 and 6:
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

     With each decision we make, instead of relying on our own understanding (which can be limited and unreliable), we can turn our thoughts to God and His Word and trust in Him. He has unlimited knowledge and understanding. We acknowledge God in all our ways, and in doing so, we have the promise that He shall direct our paths. This is a powerful benefit to practicing His presence in our lives, for He will direct us in the best way to achieve optimal results.
Psalms 46:10:
Be still, and know that I
am God….
     What a simple and powerful truth to remember and practice: “Be still, and know that I am God.” The Amplified Bible reads, “…be still, and know (recognize and understand) that I am God….” This verse is set in the context of Psalms 46:1: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” We can trust God to be a very present help to us. Recognizing He is always there, we can be still even when we face trouble….

This is an excerpt from the November/December 2015 issue of The Way Magazine.
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