Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast Episode 137 - Renewing Inwardly Through Christ
Welcome to the Terri Hitt – Live With Eternal Perspective Podcast
Episode #137 – Renewing Inwardly through Christ
Thank you for entrusting and investing your precious time with me to seek, find, and follow Jesus together as we live with purposed eternal perspective.
Last December, my youngest underwent an oral surgery she was forced to wait a year to receive. Watching me advocate to ensure sure she got the best care as quickly as the surgeons and hospital could coordinate it, combined with her history of multiple surgeries and procedures, made her begin dwelling on survival and mortality.
We shared many conversations, some with tears, all with prayers, and a few with mixed responses. Lately, as she has released most of her concerns, my responses have been lighter. Just as life is a journey that requires each individual to change and grow, our discussions have been impacted by the spiritual, mental, and emotional concerns caused for her because of the multiple delays in scheduling and performing this procedure.
This afternoon, I was finishing lunch at the dining room table. Brooklyn had already eaten, and she went to the opposite side of the table where I couldn’t quite see what she was doing. Suddenly, I heard an odd sound something like, “oof” and then complete silence.
“Are you okay,” I asked.
A sigh. “Yes.”
“Are you sure? What are you doing?”
“I’m laying on the floor thinking about getting older.”
“I love getting older,” I said.
“Yes. I love how much closer I am to God and how much more I have learned about Him.”
“But I don’t want to get older. I don’t want things to change.”
“It’s hard when things change,” I agreed. After waiting a bit, I added, “but it’s also hard when things stay the same. I want to keep growing and learning. I can’t do that if I stay the same age.”
“I want to be two years younger than I am right now and have you be 47,” she remarked. I’ve heard these ages many times. She has a thing about the age of 47, which is 15 years younger than I am.
“Oh, 47? I don’t think I want to go back to that age.”
“But you’d be so much younger,” she replied.
Because we’ve talked about this before, I knew she felt that if I was younger she would have me around longer, I said, “I don’t really think about age. I don’t want to worry about what might happen as I get older because I’d miss all the wonderful blessings happening now. I like what I’ve learned and where I am now. I’m so glad to be this mommy for you. Each day gives me the chance to be a new person inside.”
This truth pertains to us and our children or grandchildren. As we absorb and process what we think and feel, the time then arrives to do and believe what Scripture and God’s truths say.
2 Corinthians 4:16 says, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.”
God’s Word offers such beautiful truth about aging.
Just as God is concerned about the person inside as He looks directly into our heart and mind, we must be concerned with who we are becoming and focus on the work the Holy Spirit is doing within.
We don’t want to miss participating in the work being completed within us.
As my youngest daughter matures and works through concerns she carries based off of past experiences, traumas, and losses, I want my sweet daughter to know that God sees everything. He knows her past. He knows her future. He is ready to grow and change not only her, but the loved ones around her, to ensure she becomes the person He has purposed for the special work she was created for. Life is more than staying in one spot of happiness. We have to trust that God has more than one blessing in store for us. As the Holy Spirit completes the work of Christ within us daily, we will be renewed by His strength and desires as the influence of this world fades dimmer and dimmer.
Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Believers must allow God to renew our mind, revive our spirit, and release His mindset.
Ephesians 3:14-21 “For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.”
When believers receive a new identity through Christ, we are awakened spiritually and welcomed into the family of God. Through humble submission, adoration, focused dedication to God, and assurance through His holy Word, we live with assurance of a renewed spirit within.
Although our fleshly bodies waste away, (just as my daughter doesn’t want to happen to her mommy), our inner core, the renewed Christian, should be strengthening through the work of the Holy Spirit inside. As we are drawn toward deeper faith, understanding, discernment, and obedience where we knew no lasting comfort or wisdom before, we are now infused by supernatural cleansing and drawn to the foundational truths and fruits of Christ.
2 Corinthians 3:4-6 says, “Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”
Christians should respect the law, but choose to follow the Holy Spirit deposited within them by Christ. The law enlightens us to truth and sin, but because of our personal relationship with Christ, the Holy Spirit is intimately working within each person to renew and refresh believers moment by moment as we humbly trust and submit to Christ.
We must purpose to allow our inward character to renew daily as we seek Christlike characteristics and desires only accessible to us when we have submitted to Jesus as our Lord and Savior. 2 Corinthians 4:16 says, “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.” What a beautiful truth about aging God’s way.
Believers should be able to discern a difference in the character of Christ exhibited through them from day to day.
What differences do you see in your life that make you different than you were yesterday?
Are these changes worldly or godly?
Are you drawing nearer to Him?
Do you know/trust that God is drawing nearer to you?
Let’s discuss what believers can do to ensure we continue to renew inwardly:
1. Study the Word – ponder it. I hesitate to say meditate on it because the term has become twisted with New Age ideologies. What God desires is not that we empty our mind, but that we renew it with His Word, instructions, and mindset. As we ponder His teachings and commands and adhere to His mindset, we become more Christlike in thoughts, actions, responses, and words. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.”
2. Strive to live God’s Word. As we study the Word, as we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us in God’s truths, our mindset become more eternally focused and yearns to uphold a lifestyle like that Christ mentored. Psalm 119:11 says, “I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path.” Deuteronomy 11:18-23 says, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth. If you carefully observe all these commands I am giving you to follow—to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to Him and to hold fast to Him— then the Lord will drive out all these nations before you, and you will dispossess nations larger and stronger than you.”
3. Safeguard your mind. Now more than any other generation, we have so much to distract and discourage us from seeking God. We’ve made this world and our activities our god. We must become and remain diligent to remember to think on the things God instructs and the Holy Spirit prompts. 2 Corinthians 10:5 says, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Philippians 4:8 says, “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
4. Seek God through prayerful and scriptural conversation. God is always present. Available non-stop, He stands ready to hear from us. When we seek God with a genuine heart, no matter what we have to say, He responds, but we delight His heart when we study His Word and speak it to Him. Praying Scriptural prayers to God holds such promise and power. Speaking the words of the Bible enable us to know and use God’s Word, becoming more Christlike in thoughts, words, and deeds. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “pray continually.” Mark 1:35 says, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” Matthew 6:6-8 says, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.”
5. Summon Scripture – Memorize the Word. In order to pray His Word, we must learn it. Whether you make a concentrated effort to memorize God’s Word (a wonderful use of time) or read the Word so often that you know God’s Word, we absolutely must know God through the Scripture He sent for us. God could have written a book about anything. Instead, He lovingly sent us all we need to know about Him and how to live in this world. If you think there isn’t an answer to be found in Scripture, study harder. Through His Word, we absolutely know the character of God, can identify sin, and we see the way He desires us to live. Joshua 1:8 says, “Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Psalm 119:16 says, “I delight in Your decrees; I will not neglect Your word.” Matthew 4:4 says, “Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Study God’s Word, live His Word, safeguard your mind, converse with God through prayer, and know and use Scripture daily. These are solid, biblical ways to continue renewing inwardly day by day.
Without the saving grace of Jesus, believers would never be free of sin or the consequences of separation. Now living with the Holy Spirit alive within, believers can begin to comprehend the agape love that lives outside the reach of our finite heart and mind. Vast and complete, God’s love is a mystery only He can unravel to those who are committed to submitting to a life of devotion to Him.
Believers submitted to Christ live with assurance that we will continue to grow and mature in relationship with God. Inside, we are renewing, growing into a Christlike maturity as we keep our eyes, heart, and mind fixed on Him and trust the truths and promises of God. Looking beyond afflictions of this world toward the invisible future promised by God, those of us committed to Christ cast aside the temporary pain or trouble in this world. Through faith, we focus on what is to come.
Dear Heavenly Father, our great, glorious God, we thank you for the Holy Spirit alive inside believers. What a beautiful deposit You purposely left with those who trust in Christ. Help us to see life more clearly each moment through Your eyes, mind, and heart. The acts of the flesh should obvious to us, yet even Christians live with sexual immorality, impurity, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, selfishness, envy, drunkenness, and more that goes against all You desire for us. Help us to carry the opposite – Your fruits of The Spirit. Your Word promises that those who belong to Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Enable us to desire You more deeply, to live by the Spirit, and to walk in step with the Spirit. In the precious name of Jesus we pray. Amen.
Thank you for listening to the “Live With Eternal Perspective” podcast. You can find this episode, as well as other transcripts online at terrihitt.com. Both of my podcasts are available on the website. You can also find them on Apple Podcast, Spotify, and they are part of the Spark Media Network. Both podcasts are also found on the Edifi app, where you can hear thousands of the best Christian podcasts in one place for your listening enjoyment.
Was the content of this podcast helpful to you? If so, while you’re on the website, you can choose to leave your email address. This enables you to receive monthly encouragement and resources to help you in your journey with Christ.
Have you rated or reviewed my podcasts on Apple Podcasts yet? When you review my podcast on Apple Podcasts, it helps to elevate the standing of the podcast online so that more people are allowed to find and hear it. Will you take a moment to follow the shows and think of someone you can share the podcasts with and encourage them to follow and share, as well?
Remember, if we are not purposed in knowing Jesus ourselves and showing Him to the next generation, the world will direct them away from Christ. Live With Eternal Perspective helps us to find, trust, and follow Christ more intimately. Purposed Parent/Connected Child shares biblical, practical truths for parents and grandparents to influence and mentor Christ over culture.
I pray that what you hear on this podcast draws you nearer to God and helps you cling to Him, despite any circumstances in your life. Until next week, keep looking Up while focusing on new ways to Live With Eternal Perspective.