My prayer is, “Renew a right spirit within me, O Lord.” I desire for You to “rebuild, repair, restore, revive, renovate, or regenerate” as Webster states the meaning of renew.
In Your Word, we hear David cry out for You to renew a steadfast spirit within him; we hear Paul encourage us to renew our minds in Your Word; and we hear Paul talk about our external man perishing while our inner man is transformed by Christ Himself each day.
Renew a Steadfast Spirit
David writes, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right and steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.” ~Psalm 51:10-11 AMP
“David asked that God renew a steadfast [right-thinking] spirit within him. And David requested God not take away His special empowerment through the Spirit to function wisely in the role of king.” [Moody 804]
“The phrase ‘willing spirit’ refers to David’s own spirit. A ‘willing spirit’ is one that is not in bondage but is free and yielded to the Spirit of God, who ministers to and through our own spirit (Romans 8:14-17). It isn’t enough simply to confess sin and experience God’s cleansing; we must also let Him renew us within so that we will conquer sin and not succumb to temptation.” [Wiersbe OT 935]
MacDonald writes David’s reflection, “Looking back, I realize that the trouble all started in my mind. My thought-life was polluted. I entertained evil thoughts until at last I committed the sins. So now I ask that You create in me a clean mind. I know that if the fountain is clean, the stream flowing from it will be clean as well. Yes, Lord, renew my entire inner self so it will be steadfast in guarding against future outbreaks of sin.” [MD 573]
Renew Our Mind
Paul entreats, “Therefore I urge you, [brothers and sisters in Christ], by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:1-2 NASB
“Do not be conformed to this world. The world systems and protocols rooted in power, fame, and human fleshly desires. Paul writes that the world’s systems are not what God has designed for the church.”
“Transformed by the renewing of your mind. Truly to grasp what Paul has written about God (for of Him and through Him and to Him are all things) and what he has challenged the believers to do (present your bodies a living sacrifice) requires a change in perspective, attitude, and thinking.”
“It requires transformation – a re-creating of the old to produce total newness. Before we can truly be a living sacrifice we must see things as God sees them. We must be able to feel His heartbeat for the world, hear His voice clearly, and understand what He requires and desires for us. This new way of thinking is made possible only through the power of the Holy Spirit. We must yield ourselves continually to the Holy Spirit, inviting Him to create us anew into the likeness of Christ Jesus.” [Blackaby]
“Rather than be shaped to look like the world, the Christian’s mind is to be renewed in order to appreciate the importance and benefits of God’s will as revealed in His Word.” [Moody 1765]
Additional Insights on Romans 12
“We give Him our mind. The world wants to control our minds, but God wants to transform our minds. This word transform is the same as transfigure in Matthew 17:2. In our English language it is metamorphosis. It describes a change from within.”
“The world wants to change our mind, so it exerts pressure from without. But the Holy Spirit changes our mind by releasing power from within. If the world control our thinking, we are conformers; if God controls our thinking, we are transformers.”
“God transforms our minds and makes us spiritually minded by using His Word. As we spend time medicating on God’s Word, memorizing it, and making it a part of our inner man, God will gradually make our minds more spiritual.” [Wiersbe NT 441-2]
We are to “be transformed by the renewing of our mind, which means that we [need to] think the way God thinks, as revealed in the Bible. Then we can experience the direct guidance of God in our lives. And we will find that, instead of being distasteful and hard, His will is good and acceptable and perfect.”
“Here, then, are three keys for knowing God’s will. The first is a yielded body, the second a separated life, and the third a transformed mind.” [MD 1728]
“Transformed. Just as Christ, briefly and in a limited way, displayed outwardly His inner, divine nature and glory at the Transfiguration, Christians [need to] outwardly manifest their inner, redeemed natures, not once, but daily (2 Corinthians 3:18; Ephesians 5:18).”
“Renewing of your mind. That kind of transformation can occur only as the Holy Spirit changes our thinking through consistent study and meditation on Scripture. The renewed mind is one saturated with and controlled by the Word of God.” [MA 1545]
Renew in Christ Himself
Paul reflects on persecution and suffering, “We are pressed on every side, yet not crushed; perplexed, yet not to despair; pursued, yet not forsaken; struck down, yet not destroyed; always carrying in the body the putting to death of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body.” 2 Corinthians 4:8-10 WEB
“Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day. 2 Corinthians 4:16 AMPC
“For our light affliction, which is for the moment, works for us more and more exceedingly an eternal weight of glory, while we don’t look at the things which are seen but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 WEB
Renew Insights on 2 Corinthians 4
“Paul stated he experienced that even though his outer man (that aspect of his current humanity that others say) was being destroyed by suffering, his inner man (that aspect of his humanity that was planted at conversion and unseen by others) was constantly growing through the nourishment of the Holy Spirit.” [Moody 1814]
“We faint not was Paul’s confident testimony. What does it matter if the ‘outward person’ is perishing, so long as the ‘inward person’ is experiencing daily spiritual renewal? Paul was not suggesting that the body is not important, or that we should ignore its warnings and needs.”
Instead, he was encouraging us to “live a day at a time. God provides for us ‘day aby day’ as we pray to Him. He gives us the strength that we need according to our daily requirements. When we learn to live a day at a time, confident of God’s care, it takes a great deal of pressure off of our lives. Yard by yard, life is hard! Inch by inch, life’s a cinch!” [Wiersbe NT 514]
“Paul had been explaining his willingness to undergo all kinds of suffering and danger because he had before him the certain hope of resurrection. Therefore he did not lose heart. Although on the one hand, the process of physical decay was going on constantly, yet on the other hand there was a spiritual renewal which enabled him to go on in spite of every adverse circumstance.” [MD 1855]
“Inward man. The soul of every believer i.e., the new creation – the eternal part of the believer. Being renewed. The growth and maturing process of the believer is constantly occurring. While the physical body is decaying, the inner self of the believer continues to grow and mature into Christlikeness.” [MA 1627]
Lord, we cry out in agreement with David for You to renew a steadfast spirit within us. And we stand in agreement with Paul about renewing our minds in Your Word. We choose not to focus on our external man that is passing away, but instead, we determine for our inner man to be transformed by Christ Himself by spending time with You each day- in Your sweet Presence, in Your wonderful Word, in prayer, in praise and worship.
The Great I AM – 8 Truths of JESUS The Great I AM – 8 Truths of Jesus – Strength with Dignity
Cultivating Hope in Our Hearts with 15 Psalms Cultivating Hope in Our Hearts with 15 Psalms – Strength with Dignity
Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright 2015 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, CA 90631.
Amplified Bible, Classis Edition (AMPC) Copyright 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Blackaby, Henry, Richard, Thomas, Melvin and Norman. Encounters with God – The Book of Romans. Thomas Nelson, 2007. [Kindle Edition]
MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Bible Commentary. [MA] Thomas Nelson, 2005, pages 1545 and 1627.
MacDonald, William. The Believer’s Bible Commentary. [MD] Thomas Nelson, 2016, pages 573, 1728, and 1855.
New American Standard Bible 1995 (NASB 1995), copyright 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation.
The Moody Bible Commentary. General Editors: Michael Rydelnik and Michael Van Laningham. Moody Publishers, 2014, pages 804, 1765, and 1814.
Webster’s 1828 Dictionary. Published in 1828 by G. & C. Merriam Company. Copyright by Rosalie J. Slater of the Foundation for American Christian Education 1967 and 1995. Eighteenth printing, 2006.
Wiersbe, Warren B. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: The Complete New Testament. [WBC NT] Published by David C. Cook, 2007, pages 441-442, and 514.
Wiersbe, Warren B. The Wiersbe Bible Commentary: The Complete Old Testament. [WBC OT] Published by David C. Cook, 2007, page 935.
World English Bible (WEB) by Public Domain. The name “World English Bible” is trademarked.
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