“I don’t know why I always end up in the same mess I’m always in!”
There is a powerful principle at work in this person’s life: What we saturate, we believe; what we believe, we live.
If we saturate our mind with lies, we will live as if the lies are the truth. The antidote is to saturate our minds with the truth – then we will live as if the truth is the truth.
Paul speaks of this principle quite often in specific and in subtle ways (put off/put on, etc.), but never quite so eloquently as he does in Romans 12:2 (NET):
“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…”
The word “transformed” is the Greek word μεταμορφόω “metamorphoō”. We get our English word “metamorphosis” as a near transliteration.
When we hear that word, what do you picture? A butterfly, right? Where did the butterfly come from? It came from a caterpillar that metamorphosed into the butterfly.
To “be transformed” is to be, like the butterfly, changed from one form into another. The essence of the caterpillar is still retained in the butterfly, but almost everything else has been changed.
In another place, Paul speaks of this change with greater dynamism when he says (2 Corinthians 5:17):
“So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come!”
So, when someone has been converted (changed from one thing into another) in their nature, there is a further, on-going transformation that takes place in their life (2 Corinthians 3:18) and impacts every area more and more each day.
Now that they have the ability and freedom to no longer be in bondage to their old ways, their old sins, their old ways of thinking and believing, they learn to walk in their new identity in Christ.
But it doesn’t happen by accident or osmosis!
How does it happen? By the “renewing of the mind”.
To renew does NOT mean “to freshen up the old”. To renew means “to replace with new”.
Jesus makes a specific promise to His followers in John 8:32 that contains a Christ Kingdom Principle we need to keep in mind:
“and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
While this is speaking of the Living Truth that is Jesus Christ, there is principle at work here. Jesus is promising freedom from being a slave to our sin; our sin choices and our sin ideas.
Every thought that is not surrendered to the truth indicates a thought-life that is not obedient to Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 5:10).
The ONLY escape is to “tear down arguments and every arrogant obstacle that is raised up against the knowledge of God, and [we] take every thought captive to make it obey Christ.”
And, the ONLY way to accomplish this is to exchange the lies for the truth – the truth contained in God’s Word.
Let me give you a word picture: Imagine your heart as a 5-gallon bucket. Over time, the lies we come to believe – the lies that have been poured into our lives by way of the sins we have committed and the evils we have suffered – are like thick, gooey-black sludge.
Now picture the bucket as near full. See it? Bump or tip the bucket, and what comes out? Sludge. Yuck. Putrid mess.
Now imagine putting the end of a garden hose into the bucket and turning the water on just a little. Know what’s going to happen?
As the pure, clean water goes into the bucket, it begins to dilute the sludge. As the water continues going in, the diluted sludge overflows the top of the bucket and spills over onto the ground.
Leave that hose on. Let that pure, clean water continue to flow into the bucket. Over time, the sludge will be replaced with pure, clean water.
Know what will happen if you bump or tip the bucket?
Yep – pure, clean water will spill out.
The sludge in our hearts and minds is the obstacles and arrogant arguments against the knowledge of God. Where do we gain knowledge of God? From the Word of God.
The Word of God is The truth (John 17:17; 1 Peter 3:21) just as is the Person of Jesus Christ (John 14:6).
The Word of God is also spoken of as cleansing, like water (John 15:3; Ephesians 5:26).
Getting the picture?
By saturating our minds and hearts with the “pure water of His Word”, we clean out the sludge of lies and replace it with the truth.
This results in a transformed life.
Tired of believing and living as if the lies you believe about God, about yourself, and about others are true?
Then start saturating on the Word of God.
By “saturating”, I don’t mean “doing devotions”. By “saturating” I mean repeating it over and over and over, just like you have been “saturating” with the lies.
How many times have you said to yourself, “I’m worthless”? How many times have you repeated the lie, “You’ll never measure up”? How many times have you repeated the lie, “I am unworthy of God’s love or forgiveness”?
And to our dear abuse and neglect survivors…how many times have you repeated the lie, “If only I had been/done/said something different, they wouldn’t have done that to me”?
If you want to replace the lies with the truth, then you are going to have to start repeating THE OPPOSITE TRUTH over and over and over to drive out the lies (sludge)!
Only then will what you have believed be replaced by the truth God says you should believe.
Pray about this, examine the Scriptures, and see if these things are not so.
If what I have shared here resonates in your heart, if it gives you a glimmer of hope when you have felt hopeless, let me share one more thing with you: I have witnessed God transform a countless number of lives of those who have begun this practice and made it as much a part of their life as breathing.
This is a personal discipline that has blessed my own life in ways beyond what I have words to describe.
Scripture saturation is more than memorization, more than taking a verse and “meditating” on it. I will discuss this principle and practice in upcoming posts, so stay tuned.
Soli Deo Gloria