The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
The Herald of Jehovah's Kingdom
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so on earth.
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The International Association Jehovah's Witnesses

Themes Archive

 
Life Transformed by Making the Mind Over
 
    From birth to death, most people live their life by certain principles and standards. Some people lead their life according to particular strict laws, according to some moral standards, by the education received when they were children or, others are at the opposite side, without any trace of morality. Therefore, people come in the situation to live by some human philosophies and teachings, they comform themselves to customs and traditions kept by people from generations, without wondering if what they do pleases God, their Creator, or not. However, we can change our life in a way which can be helpful both for us and for our neighbour, so we can please Jehovah God. This means for us to return to His Word and to follow it!
    By turning from traditions and philosophies of the world’s people and by taking God's Word, we have come to appreciate more the comparison he makes between himself and shortsighted, low-minded man, saying: "My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith Jehovah. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." We are convinced that his word is true because he upholds it and makes it come true, for he adds: "As the rain cometh down and the snow from heaven, and re-turneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, and giveth seed to the sower and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it." (Isaiah 55:8-11) The loftiness of his thoughts and ways is uplifting to us. The infallibility of his word makes it true knowledge and safe guidance for us.
    Therefore, our life needs a change and this change of life must begin with our mind. The apostle Paul makes this point sharp and clear when he says to Christians living amid this worldly system of things: "Quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making your mind over, that you may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and complete will of God." Paul appeals to the mercies or compassions which God has shown as an inducement for us to undertake this life transformation. - Romans 12:1,2.
    Our brain is a marvelous creation of God. Just how it functions excites the wonder and admiration of even materialistic scientists of this world. In giving us brains our Creator endowed us with mind. The mind is a most vital part of our makeup, for with it our thought originates. It is that faculty of our consciousness with which we assemble information, then exercise reason and reach conclusions which we think are justified. You can establish a rule of action or law for your mind. It is advisable to establish a good rule for mental health, for the mind operates according to a mental rule. If you turn your mind to evil, it will follow that rule of operation in the evil direction and will move ever farther that way. Not only do your inborn sinful tendencies incline your mind to evil, but the world or system of things about you tends to make your mind gravitate toward base things. More than that, the "god of this system of things", Satan the Devil, together with all his invisible demons, tries to cast an unseen power over us and to control our ways of thinking, so as to debase them and turn them away from the "God of truth". For this reason you can never change this world over to a good one, but it can change you according to its likeness if you let it. Almighty God will not change this world but shortly will destroy it and all who conform to it.
    Our Creator, who constructed our intricate brain and gifted us with mind, understands its mechanism and operation better than any college psychologist or psychoanalyst of this so-called "brain age". Instantly he detects any bent of man's mind and knows what it will surely lead to. So he encourages good leanings and warns us of the fatal consequences that follow an evil bent. He can best help us make our minds over so as to transform our lives in expectation of the approaching new world. How? Why, by giving us his Holy Word in writing. If we really want this kind of change in our life we cannot afford to submit to psychologists and philosophers of this world. We cannot afford to let them determine our thinking for us. We must gather information from a source higher, purer, more enduring than this world, namely, from God through his Word.
    In his sacred Word God discloses to us what his ways and thoughts are. His Word makes known to us the glorious purpose which he has formed for his creatures here on earth. By his Word he informs us what his will toward us is that we may harmonize our lives with it and gain his approval. So it is by means of his Word that we get acquainted with him. By it we learn to love and adore him, yes, learn to want to do his will. His Word is no dead letter. It is highly charged with power to alter our personality and our lives for true righteousness. Those who let his Word have sway in their minds know the truth of what Paul said: "The word of God is alive and exerts power and is sharper than any two-edged sword and pierces even to the dividing of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and their marrow, and is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12) It probes into us and shows us just what sinners we are. It also proves itself true in the light of prophecies fulfilled in the past and prophecies now fulfilling. So God's Word carries conviction to us.
    With God's Word in our heads, we have a new force to dictate the law of our mind and to correct our thinking and our way of life. We now see how futile all the plans and schemes of this world are and that they are faced with absolute frustration, and how empty all its philosophies, ways and glory are. We no longer care to conform to this world and its false god. No, we want to be Christlike in personality. This is as it should be, according to Paul's words: "You should put away the old personality which conforms to your former course of conduct and which is being corrupted according to his deceptive desires; but . . . you should be made new in the force actuating your mind, and should put on the new personality which was created according to God's will in true righteousness and loving-kindness." (Ephesians 4:22-24) Because it is created according to God's Word and by the power of his Word and spirit, our new personality is indeed created according to God's will.
    We cannot afford to relapse and fall back into imitating this world and submitting ourselves to its false, unrighteous standards. With each fresh revelation of God's truth and purpose, our lives must undergo further transformation in harmony with it. By continual, progressive study and practice of God's Word we must train our minds in right ways of thinking. We must view things as God views them. We must arrange our affairs in keeping with his revealed purpose. We must keep our minds fixed on him and his will. Only in that way shall we be able to keep loving him above all. His greatest commandment according to Jesus' estimate is this: "You must love Jehovah your God with your whole heart and with your whole soul and with your whole mind. This is the greatest and first commandment." (Matthew 22:37, 38). But we cannot do this if we let this wicked world which God condemns to destruction shape our minds and fill us with its ideas and aims. We must gather God's thoughts from his Word and lovingly meditate on these.
    When we transform our minds by making them over according to the knowledge we get from the Bible by which God speaks to us, then we prove to ourselves the "good and acceptable and complete will of God". The will of debased, imperfect man falls so short of righteousness, but God's will is only good, perfectly good. It is never best for us to do our own selfish will nor that of any other creature, for such will is not acceptable to God. Only what He has willed is acceptable to him, for his will can never fail or lead to disappointment. It leaves nothing out of consideration. It has provided for everything that is necessary to his own rightful vindication and to our eternal salvation. It is therefore a complete will. By doing it we prove we love him. If we do not want to pass away forever with this doomed world, we must prove to ourselves what God's will is and faithfully do it. "The world is passing away and so is its desire, but he that does the will of God remains forever." (1 John 2:17). That means life forever.
    Why ever look back at the things of this world? Let us look forward with the new mental vision which God's Word gives us. The Bible is the most forward-looking Book in the world. Un-der its instruction let us plan for life in the righteous new world which it so lovelily describes. With made-over minds trained in God's way of thinking let us fix our desires and hopes upon the things that the new world holds out for us. Let us uphold God's kingdom which will govern that new world through Christ. Let us keep our minds new by talking to others the things we have learned from God's Word and thereby exalt him and his kingdom and thus help those who listen to us toward salvation. Then, whether we die before the universal war of Armageddon or whether we survive it under divine protection; whether we come up in the resurrection of the dead or we live through this old world's complete end, we shall enter into the new world with a mind made over according to God's will and joyfully in tune with the glorious new world. What a grand start that will be of life evermore under a new system of things, and all this because now we studied and learned God's Word and obeyed it that thus we might "let God be found true".