The renewal of the mind is a powerful tool for transformation, and in this talk, Heather shares steps on how we can go about seeking that renewal for ourselves. A significant step Heather mentions is being able to know and understand the enemy, as it is one of the biggest hindrances to our happiness, our joy and our healing.
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Reflective Study Questions
Do not conform yourselves to this age but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.Romans 12:2
- What is one thing you can do or change that will allow you to cooperate more with Him and the healing He wants to provide for you right now?
- Where are you on this healing journey right now? What’s changing in your heart? How is God making Himself and His presence known to you right now?
- We cannot operate out of a place of fear, we have to operate out of our identity as being sons and daughters of God. Which way are you currently responding to the challenges in your life right now? How can you respond more out of a rooted identity as a son or daughter of God?
- The enemy is called the father of lies. And the story he tells you opposes the story that God tells you — which is the truth of who you are, who He is, that He has a plan for you, that He has a place for you in heaven. God wants to bring you into fullness and life, and the enemy seeks to kill and destroy you. Knowing this, what are some of the lies you’ve believed, both about yourself and about God? And what do you think the truth is instead — what do you think God says about those things?
- Heather shared a few different verses in Scripture that she uses to remind herself about the truth — who God is, who she is, when she is struggling. Is there a verse that stood out to you? Could you consider memorizing that scripture and bringing it to the forefront of your mind when you are struggling?
Text: Be Transformed by the Renewal of Your Mind
Welcome, My name is Heather Khym, and I’m going to be talking to you in this session about being transformed by the renewal of your mind. So let’s begin with a prayer. In the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy spirit, Amen. Lord, we welcome you here. We welcome you, especially into our minds and into our thoughts. We ask Lord that you would bring your light and your truth. That you would bring your truth to all of the places where we may have made an agreement with a lie. Or believed a lie. And we ask that you would heal us and transform us and teach us how to trust you and the truth that you offer to us. Let this be a weapon for us in the spiritual battle and let it also bring about healing in our minds and in our hearts. We pray this in your name Jesus, Amen. In the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy spirit, Amen.
Renewal Of Our Minds
Being transformed by the renewal of our minds. You might be thinking, what does this really have to do with healing? And in my experience, this is one of the practical tools that I have learned along the way, and that I feel like God has taught me. I’ve learned from spiritual directors and other spiritual teachers to be one of the most important things in the area of healing. It definitely is one of the keys. And I think when we talk about healing, a lot of the ideas, people find it hard to grasp. They’re like, but what do I do? What do I do? You know, we talk about openness and surrender. And that looks different for everybody. So it’s not like we can give you three steps to surrender, or three steps to healing, three steps to restoration. But being transformed by the renewal of our mind actually involves a lot of practical tools and things that we can do.
Like I said, in one of my previous talks, it’s not that it’s up to us to bring about our own healing, but we can cooperate with the work of God and the power of His resurrection that is living within us. And we cooperate with that and we can do our part. That means yes, opening our hearts and sometimes it means going to counseling or pursuing a retreat or something like that. But it also means that we have to do some spiritual and interior work. We have to understand ourselves, understand our stories. And that’s really really important because the things in our past drastically impact what is happening right now.
Choosing Freedom In God’s Healing
There are many things that have happened in my past that at first glance I thought, this is so little, like it doesn’t really mean anything you know. Horrible things happen to people like I have it really good. All of the justifications around it. And I remember one day in my prayer, I just felt like the Lord just spoke quietly to my heart and said Heather, you cannot compare your pain to other people. I want to heal you. This is pain for you and I want to set you free.
And so, it was like God was giving me permission to just own the parts of my story that were uncomfortable, that were difficult, that brought about pain. And when we own our story, that helps us move into a place where we can open wide the door to the Savior. Sometimes we can own our story and it turns into, being a victim, and having a victim mentality. And sometimes that’s a place where God needs to heal us. Because He has come to save us and he can restore all the places that yes, we may have been victimized and we may have experienced deep, deep suffering, but that doesn’t mean that we’re supposed to stay there forever.
Freedom can be confidently moving forward in our identity as sons and daughters of God. And the way that we can do that is by recognizing the difficulty that’s happened, inviting the Savior into those places and choosing to live a new way in the freedom that God has won for us.
Understanding Our Enemy
So let’s get into this. And the place that I want to start is that we have an enemy. This is really important for us to understand. If we walk through life thinking that things are just randomly happening, then we are missing the boat. And it says this, even in scripture. It says in Ephesians 6:12, “For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers against the authorities against the cosmic powers of this present darkness against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”
So our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood. It’s a spiritual battle that we are in. And this battle is happening at every moment of every day for all of us. And it looks different and it’s specific for each person because the enemy knows our weakness and he knows our wounds. Now, as I talk about the enemy, we cannot forget that God is with us and that God has already won the battle, okay? This is really important because we can’t begin to operate out of fear. We need to operate out of our identity as sons and daughters of God. That Jesus has protected us, He is protecting us and that He has already won the battle. We’re not waiting to see who wins in the end. God has already won, this happened on the cross. And when he Rose from the dead, he defeated death.
But on this side of heaven, the enemy does mess with us. He is called the father of lies. And author John Eldredge that I really like, he said, “He’s not called the father of ridiculous suggestions or nobody would believe him. He’s really good at his job. He’s called the father of lies because he’s good at it.” And we need to realize that the enemy is trying to tell us a story that opposes the story that God is telling you the truth. The truth of who you are, the truth of who he is, the truth of his plan for you, the truth about heaven and that he has a plan for you here on earth. And he wants to restore you. The enemy’s story is in direct opposition for that. And it says in the book of John, God says, you know, “The thief has come to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life and have it abundantly.”
Those are the two opposing forces that are happening right now. God wants to bring us into the fullness of life. And the enemy, seeks to kill and destroy us. And a lot of the way that he does that is through our thoughts and he suggests. He is so so tricky with the things that he suggests to us and the temptations that he places before us and the doubts that he whispers in our ears, especially about the character of God and about our identity as who we are as beloved sons and daughters.
So, what I want to talk about first, is that Jesus says that He is the way the truth and the life. And this is important because these aren’t just words or nice little phrases or cute little quotes that we can put on our window. Jesus really is the truth. He also said that his words are spirit and life. And so we need to look to Jesus to his words and His word is the scriptures. His word is living and effective. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. And so it’s so important that we understand what Jesus says and the truth of who He is so that when the enemy suggests a lie, we can recognize it. It’s almost like being trained to see a counterfeit bill. You’ve seen people who just like hold it up to the light and they can tell. I can’t do that. I could hold it up to a light and never see if something’s a counterfeit. But there are people who know how to do that because their eyes are trained to see it. And we can train the eyes of our heart and our minds to see when the enemy is telling a lie to us.
Anchoring Ourselves With Scripture
And I would say, this is a huge part of our world. We are bombarded with the messages from the enemy taking… Trying to take apart our identity, trying to take apart our self-worth. Telling us that we’re dumb, that we’re… Like all of these various lies throughout our story, which are very specific to you and me. He tries to tell us that they’re true. So we need to anchor ourselves in the truth that Jesus tells us in the scriptures. And that is so, so important. Because if we’re in a war, we need weapons. And in Ephesians 6:10-18, it says, “Finally be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers authorities and the powers of dark world and against the spiritual forces of the evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground. And after you have done everything to stand, stand firm then, with the belt of truth, buckled around your waist with the breastplate of righteousness in place. And with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all of this, take up the shield of faith, which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.”
We need to arm ourselves for the battle at hand. And it may not look like a literal sword, but these weapons that I’m talking about specifically, scripture and truth are going to be so important for your journey. So here’s some things that, um… Some scriptures that I’ve gone through that I find that in times of trouble and in times when I’m having doubt about certain things that I need to go to the truth of what God said. And I need to hold up, whatever I’m feeling, whatever the narrative is in my mind, that’s negative. And I need to hold it up to the truth. So you might wonder sometimes if you’ve sinned and fallen, you might wonder, you know, will God forgive me for what I’ve done? And in Nehemiah 9:17, it says, “You are a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness.”
That is the truth. The enemy might be telling you, oh, you’ve sinned, God won’t love you anymore. He’s just like a police officer waiting for you to screw up and write you a ticket and get you in trouble. It’s more time in purgatory for you. You should be ashamed of yourself. But here in the scripture, when we hold up that lie to the truth, God is saying, “I’m a God of forgiveness, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in loving kindness.” When we hold it up to the truth and we make an agreement and go, no, I’m not going to believe that lie. I want to believe the truth, God, about who you say you are. It really cuts off the enemy at his knees. There’s not much he can do when we reject his lies. Because the enemy can have power, if we give it to him. Otherwise he has no power over you. You are a beloved son and daughter of a King, the King. The King who defeated him. And the enemy has no power here.
So we give him power when we make an agreement with the lies. And that’s almost like a little hideout in our mind where he can shoot other arrows from. The next scripture that I love is from Isaiah, because we often will wonder, you know, does God really love me? Is he really protecting me? Does he care? And I love this scripture, Isaiah 43:1-4, “But now thus says the Lord who created you Oh Jacob and who formed you Oh Israel. Do not fear for, I have redeemed you. I have called you by name and you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you shall not be burned and the flames shall not consume you. For, I am the Lord, your God, the Holy one of Israel, your savior. I will give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you because you are precious in my sight and because I love you.”
That scripture, I have gone to so many times and I have called to mind the words of that scripture. I try to memorize different scriptures, which I would encourage you to do also. And some of the ways that I’ve done that is I’ll make a little mark in my Bible about it, or I’ll write it down on a little card and just take a look at it. Often, regularly, you can put it on a posted note on your bathroom mirror. Especially if there’s some persistent lies from the enemy that he keeps coming at you with. Because he would like you to believe that this is just something you have to cope with. And that’s a lie, it’s not. God wants to set you free and he has the power to do that. So we cooperate with looking at the truth, reading the truth, believing the truth.
Here’s another one. Sometimes we might be wondering, you know, does God have a plan for me? Especially when we’ve been waiting for a long time for something to come through. I love this scripture, Jeremiah 29:11, “For surely I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans for your welfare and not for harm to give you a future full of hope.” I memorized that scripture when I was about 18 years old, and I have held that tight in my heart because there’s been so many times where I don’t know which way I’m going and I’m seeking the Lord. And sometimes, you know, there’s silence, or sometimes I can’t really understand where God is leading me. And so I just have to hold firm to the truth of who He is. And I love this one, which I mentioned in another talk. You know, does God have any control over this crazy world? I wonder that a lot right now. I love John 16:33, where He says, “I have told you these things so that in me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have trouble, but take heart. I have overcome the world.”
I love these scriptures. And when we hold on to scriptures as truth, and we fasten them, you know, around our waist, like a belt, you know. Like as it talks about in the spiritual battle in the scripture, is about the armor that we need to put on. This can really, really help us. Because in our mind, the enemy is constantly attacking. Like I said, he is trying to weave a story that is going to pull you away from your relationship with God. God desires closeness with you. And he desires unity with you. He desires to be your friend. He desires to be the lover of your soul. He desires to be your one and only. Because truly only He can satisfy you. And the enemy wants to do everything that he can to take you away from that loving embrace of God.
Believing In God’s Desire To Heal Us
And I would say like in my life and in the places where I’ve really struggled and I’ve needed healing and I’ve needed restoration. When I am close to Jesus in those times of suffering, it doesn’t mean that my circumstances might not change, but my perspective drastically changes. So I’m able to see his hand in things. I’m able to feel his comforting presence at times when I’m going through sorrow or suffering. And I’m able to go to him and trust that he is going to be there for me and with me.
I think one of the places that the enemy often attacks us in our mind is in what we believe about God’s plan for us. And he doesn’t want us to follow God. He doesn’t want us to bring other people to God. And often it’s in our story in the places where we’ve been hurt, broken, where we’ve fallen, where we’ve sinned, that the enemy tries to attack us so hard to make us believe that we aren’t worthy. He attacks our identity as sons and daughters of God, so that we won’t know our value and our worth in the Kingdom. So that we won’t know how dear we are to God, our loving Father.
And so often many of us don’t even step into the fullness of who we are because the enemy is attacking it so so,so hard. And this is something that friends, I truly believe that God wants to heal and restore in us. We are at a place in the world where God needs us to be lights. The world needs us to be lights. The world needs us to be a force of truth and love and kindness and change and restoration. And the only way for that to happen is that we need to experience restoration first. We need to experience the deep love of God so that we have something to share with the world. So that when we experience healing, we’re able to tell other people about the great healing and magnificent work that God has done. God has this amazing way of taking our past and our sorrows and our shame and pain and things that are so broken and turning it into something so beautiful that we could never even imagine.
I love one of the speakers in the Protestant world. Her name is Christine Caine. She is a firecracker that girl, she is just a powerhouse. And she tells a story about how she was abused for many years as a child. And she often will say like, I hope that the enemy just regrets ever messing with me because of what God is doing through me now through my story. She took the hardship that she went through and turned it into a force of good and now she has started this huge ministry that rescues young women who are being abused. And she is an incredible force in the world.
And I think that that’s a lot of what God does you know. The pain that I experienced, I see that God has put me in places after restoring and healing me to speak about that to other people. And not just speak about it, but to be a witness of it. This is what healing should do, is that it transforms us. We see this, even in the scriptures. When Jesus rises and He comes back, there’s Thomas of course, and Thomas is doubting. And we know that, you know, Thomas is like, well, I’m not going to believe that Jesus has really risen unless I can put my hand in the wound, in his side and touch his hands where the wounds are. And so Jesus appears to him and says, “Thomas, put your hand in my side and come and see.” The reason Jesus still has scars. You still can see it, but they’re not a sign of the death and destruction that happened. They’re not a sign of sorrow. They’re actually a sign of glory. They’re proof that He Rose and He lets Thomas touch the wounds.
This is what it should be like for us also, is that it’s not that God will take our wounds and our past and our history and just wipe it away as if it never happened. He restores it so that when people will look at our lives and hear the testimony of our lives, they are going to see and experience the glory of God. The I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind and now I see. These are the stories that the world so desperately needs to hear because we are full of ache and full of pain. And people want to know that God is real and that He is a savior and that He really can set us free and bring about healing.
To be able to do that, like I said, we have to welcome that into our own hearts. We have to experience that ourselves. And the place that we can go right now today, is in agreeing with the truth about who God is. This practice isn’t something that just, you know, one day you do it and then the next day, you know, you’re totally set free. It’s a spiritual discipline. Something that we need to practice every day. Something that we need to weave into every moment of every day. To take captive our thoughts, to recognize what is going on in our mind, and to invite the Holy spirit, to truly transform our mind. All the negative patterns of thought that we have, all of the negativity, the anger, the judgment, the blame, the shame, the ways that we negatively view ourselves and that we negatively view others. The judgements that we have on ourselves and others. God can restore all of this. He wants to breathe His peace there and He wants to bring His light.
Prayer For Restoration And Healing
So let’s pray. In the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy spirit, Amen. God, we ask that you would come into our minds, into our thoughts for all the places that we have believed the lies, where the spiritual battle is in our mind. And God we ask that you would come with your truth and that you would bring freedom to us.
Lord, we ask that you would put your armor upon us as we are in this war against the enemy. We ask that you would arm us with your truth and with your light. Then I pray Lord that you would send your Spirit. It says in the Bible that where the Spirit of the Lord is there is freedom. So we ask for your spirit to come and to bring freedom to us in the places where we are struggling with addiction, where we are struggling with sin and specifically where we are struggling to believe in our identity as beloved sons and daughters of you. Where we are struggling to believe that you have a plan for us, God I ask that you would speak your truth and light into those places that you would let hope and faith and love spring up within our hearts and our minds.
And I pray God, that as you restore us and as you set us free, that we would be signs of your glory to the world. That we would be a force of love and peace to the world. We pray all this in your name Jesus, Amen. In the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. May God bless you.
About Heather Khym
Heather Khym has been serving in ministry for over 25 years and has a passion for evangelization, discipleship, and creating an environment for people to have a personal encounter with God. She attended Franciscan University where she studied Theology with a concentration in Catechetics and met her husband Jake. In 2005 they started Life Restoration, a ministry which seeks to help people experience freedom and restoration in Jesus. Currently, Heather leads retreats, speaks, and has a successful podcast called Abiding Together with her dear friends Sister Miriam and Michelle. She lives in British Columbia with Jake and their 3 children.