How Does God Renew Our Thoughts, and Why Are They Important?

How Does God Renew Our Thoughts, and Why Are They Important?

In this four-part series, I’m sharing how we can turn all parts of our hearts—our thoughts, words, and actions—to the Light of Christ. Here’s a link to Open Our Hearts PART 1. Today in Part 2, we’ll talk about our thoughts.

A problem with my thoughts

Recently, I flipped the switch to turn off my ceiling fan and wondered if the control still worked. The fan blades continued to spin for several minutes before stopping. My mind is like this sometimes. When I try to turn off my brain to relax or pray, it continues to whirl and buzz. Sound familiar?   

Although our brains constantly monitor involuntary functions like heart rate and digestion, they flip into action automatically when we see, hear, smell, taste, touch, or remember.

The brain’s ON switch is prompt. I wonder why the OFF switch is so reluctant. My brain’s accelerator works well, but sometimes its brakes fail. Like the fan, it continues to whirl.

Our minds, always teeming with ideas, generate lots of thoughts. Throughout our waking hours, our efficient brains capture ideas from novels, TV news, conversations, advertisements, magazine articles, social media videos, and other sensory stimuli. 

Sometimes our minds settle on peaceful, biblical thoughts, but at other times they spin off into prideful, critical, or ungodly ideas. They whoosh from what-if scenarios to worrisome thoughts—thoughts of “I should have,” “If he would only,” or “Something bad is going to happen.”

We’re powerless to capture spinning thoughts, and sometimes we can’t even slow them down long enough to rest or pray. How can we honor God with our thoughts and become more like Jesus? The Bible teaches us our thoughts aren’t like God’s thoughts at all.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Isaiah 55:8-9 ESV

Human effort to harness these thoughts and steer them in the right direction results in short-lived success at best. But as always, God provides a solution to our dilemma.

God’s solution

He promises to transform believers—to make us more like Jesus—by renewing our minds. This truth shines a spotlight on the significance of our thoughts. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect” (Romans 12:2 ESV).

God uses the power of His Word as the primary tool to renew our minds. As we study and learn, we can better “discern the will of God” and learn “what is good and acceptable and perfect.”

Our thoughts will align with His more and more as we listen to a godly pastor, study the Bible individually, and participate in group study. Bible study helps us apply the brakes to those rapid-fire thoughts and reminds us to turn our attention to the Light of the World. When He directs our thoughts, we can relax and pray.

The more we immerse our minds in Scripture, the more the Holy Spirit infuses our thoughts with biblical truth and renews our minds.

The more we immerse our minds in Scripture, the more the Holy Spirit infuses our thoughts with biblical truth and renews our minds. Click To Tweet

Like me, maybe you need help focusing your mind. A familiar verse in Philippians 4 offers the guidance we need.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8 ESV

Imagine how concentrating on thoughts like these could brighten your day. Read the verse again. Do the words help you take a deep breath and smile?

Let’s meditate on this verse and ask God to renew our minds as we turn our thoughts to the Light of His presence and transforming power.  


If you sometimes struggle as I do to calm your mind for rest or prayer, what do you do? How do you fill your mind with Truth? I look forward to your comments.

Next time we’ll talk about turning our WORDS to the Light.

Please feel free to share this post!

27 thoughts on “How Does God Renew Our Thoughts, and Why Are They Important?

  1. Thanks, Jeannie. I can definitely identify with whirling thoughts!

    Often the Scripture that comes to mind for me is: “…take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5).

    That reminds me that it is an act of the will, which doesn’t come naturally but is possible with His help.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Glenda, I’d planned to include 2 Corinthians 10:5, but I found so many applicable verses, my post became too long. I appreciate you mentioning it here because God’s direct instruction to “take every thought captive” not only helps us refuse evil thoughts, but also turns our minds to His Truth. Thank you!

  2. Excellent post, Jeannie. The verses you cited are post-it note friendly for my car and places in my house. Thoughts are the source of attitudes, words and behavior-good and not so good. Thank you for guiding our perspective to life giving thoughts.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I like your idea to post these verses, Marilyn. As you stated, our thoughts result in “attitudes, words and behavior-good and not so good.” Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. There’s often a party going on in my mind and it’s not always fun. It often tends to get louder when I start praying or just sitting still to listen to God.
    Thank you for the reminder…
    “The more we immerse our minds in Scripture, the more the Holy Spirit infuses our thoughts with biblical truth and renews our minds.”
    This is the true way to capture our thoughts and diffuse those thoughts that are not of God.
    Thank you also for the reminder of Philippians 4:8.
    So good, thanks Miss Jeannie for your wonderful insight in your writings.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m thankful for God’s Word which fill our minds with Truth.

  4. I often struggle to calm my mind. One thing that works for me is being outside in nature, listening to nothing else but the rhythms of God’s natural world. Listening to Christian or classical music also helps.

    Philippines 4:8 is a lovely, calming verse and a good one to call on.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Candyce, like you, I find nature and music (classical and Christian) calming. They work like a balm to our busy minds and calm our thoughts. Christian music fills our minds with God’s truths and directs our thoughts. I appreciate you reading and sharing.

  5. Excellent message. Thank you Jeannie. Have a blessed day! 🙂

  6. Jeannie, I can definitely identify with the “whirling” brain that is sometimes slow to settle down. Sometimes my mouth is that way, too, and I say something that should have been left unsaid. Thankfully, our Father continues to mold and shape us into a better person, what He knows we can be. I’ve found that a walk in nature helps me find peace when my mind is turbulent. Thank you for this inspiring message.

  7. Katherine, I have the same two “whirling” issues. 😉 Walks in nature are calming to me, also. Breathing fresh air and looking at the blues and greens God created bring peace. He cares for us in so many ways.

  8. Jeannie, you’ve reminded us of some excellent verses to apply to runaway thoughts. God wants to transform all of us from the inside out. When my mind jumps on a merry-go-round of its own, I like to meditate on a verse that brings me into God’s presence. I look forward to the rest of your series.

  9. Thank you, Annie. I like your choice of the merry-go-round to describe our whirling thoughts. Your strategy to meditate on a verse that brings us into God’s presence is excellent. He calms our hearts and renews our thoughts.

  10. I do struggle with this issue at times especially at night. When it happens, I recite memorized verses like Philippians 4:8 to help my focus my mind on Christ. Or, I pray for all my family members by name and other people God brings to my mind. Thank you Jeannie for the wonderful message

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Yvonne, thank you for sharing practical strategies you use to focus your mind on Christ. Memorizing Scripture is valuable because the Holy Spirit brings portions to mind when we need them. I appreciate your contributions so much.

  11. Faulty brain brakes here, too! This is something God has lovingly touched in my life; He’s leading me to notice triggers for unhindered thinking. Praying for His intervention – followed by choosing to follow His lead – is helping me recognize the issues. For me, it’s the very real choice to stop the noise by praising God for the ability to recognize the trigger and receive His peace.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      I think many of us suffer from “faulty brain brakes,” Charla. Your journey with focusing your thoughts offers wise counsel for us. You “pray for intervention, choose to follow His lead, and notice triggers.” Then you praise Him for the result of His work and benefit from His peace. Charla, you added a deeper and valuable dimension to this topic. Thank you so much.

  12. While “taking every thought captive” is a great goal, it’s not easily done for long in our own power. Great thoughts here Ms. Jeannie. My Ms. Diane struggles with that very same challenge. Many nights, she simply can’t turn her mind off. I’ve struggled some with that too, especially when the stresses of this life seem to be overwhelming me. We must remember that we don’t have to rely on our own power, do we my friend? Loved this post ma’am.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thank you , J. D. You’re right we cannot take our thoughts captive without God’s power. He helps us recognize errant or whirling thoughts and gives us the ability to focus on Him. Then, as Charla said in her comments, we can thank Him for His work in us. Mighty work.

  13. Jeannie, I too have whirling thoughts that are hard to calm. Taking my thoughts captive and replacing them with scripture works for me. At times I let my thoughts whirl too long before obeying 2 Corinthians 10:5. Amen to the more we immserse our minds in Scripture, the more the Holy Spirit infuses our thoughts with biblical truth and renews our minds. Thanks for sharing.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Thank you, Lisa, for joining our conversation. I’m glad you mentioned replacing our thoughts with Scripture. That’s a beneficial process whether our minds are peaceful or churning. Scripture meditation helps us hear God’s voice and keeps our focus on Him. I appreciate you reading and sharing.

  14. Uggggg. I am intimately acquainted with whirling thoughts at night. I often go through the alphabet naming the attributes of God. I don’t always fall asleep but I have a sweet time of worship. Great post Jeannie!

  15. I’m very prone to the same problems, Jeannie, and I love the verse in Philippians that is so helpful in those times.

  16. What powerful words .As women we hold so many titles,wife,mother,friend just to name a few.Always trying to be the absolute best version of ourselves at each.When I get twisted in thought and stress I take a moment of pause to thank him for my many blessings and ask for Grace .Thank you so much for sharing your blog with me today I so enjoyed talking with you and you are a blessing.

    • Post Author Jeannie Waters

      Brandy, your conversation was a blessing to me, and now I’m blessed again by your words. I’m thankful the post was meaningful for you. Like you, I find it easy to let my many roles and tasks add stress and affect my thoughts in negative ways. God’s Word and His grace bless us daily. Thank you so very much for reading and leaving a comment.

  17. Jeannie, your analogy of accelerator and brake is right on target. My whirling brain tends to focus on my wrongs during the day and stretches into previous mistakes I’ve made. My solution is prayer.

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