4 Steps to Training Your Mind in Christ
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.
1 Corinthians 9:24-26
A few weeks ago, God put it on my heart to praise him more. I hate to admit it, but praise isn’t my natural first response... yet! I tend to play out scenarios in my mind, doubt the decisions I’ve made, and fear the worst. All that is usually followed up by a well planned out course of action to “fix” the situation. But God is teaching me to sit back and let him fight the fight.
Training my mind to become the mind of Christ is a process, this handing over my deeply engrained behaviors and control issues will take time and effort. But I am growing. This verse spoke to me as I read it last week. “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.” We are training for eternity with our Lord. It is through this training that we are changed and made strong and fit. As we walk with Christ we should become more and more like him. Our spiritual muscles are exercised and forced to grow and change.
When athletes go into strict training, they alter their diets. Their mindset is focused, and their daily routine is adjusted. As Christians we enter training when we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior. The training begins with our thinking. Romans 12:2 tells us, “be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Our minds are patterned to certain behaviors. We have a “default” setting, and Christ works in us to reconfigure that default to an upgraded way of thinking.
It is however, our responsibility to cooperate with Christ in this process! Here is what I’m doing to work with Christ in the reprogramming of my mind and responses:
My goal is to praise God more. So as soon as I catch myself in doubt, fear, or control (or any other negative pattern of thinking), I try these things:
Repent: admit to God that I’m not focusing on him and ask for his help
Rebuke: “In the name of Jesus Christ, I refuse these thoughts.”
Replace: I then replace the thought with a scriptural praise. I’m working to memorize praises, but until then I often just begin singing a praise song.
Rejoice: I am amazed that each time I choose to refocus on Christ within moments my heart is lighter and the praising comes more naturally.
This process is repeated numerous times each day. It’s training! It’s serious and requires effort. But, oh, the prize that is to be received! Not only eternity, but peace and joy in this lifetime.
Train Hard, My Friend!