The Trumpet Sounds: ‘Spiritual Renewal’

By Barry Pettit - Religion Columnist

Renewal. It’s a word we use when we are tired or even bored with the conditions of our lives. Webster’s defines renewal as “the state of being made new, fresh, or strong again: the state of being renewed.”

I believe no matter who you are, there are times in your life when you need renewal. Sometimes we go through wilderness periods in our spiritual lives where we need a time of spiritual renewal more than ever. Life can resemble a wilderness at times where we feel lost, discouraged, and weary. During wilderness seasons we can encounter spiritual dryness, a state of feeling depleted or empty. Spiritual dryness affects not only your spirit but also your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. You may feel as if your spiritual life is stuck in a rut. You might notice your devotional life becoming less regular. Maybe you feel as if you are just going through the motions on Sunday morning. Bible reading and prayer feel routine and stale. Your excitement and passion for God and life has waned. You feel confused, lost and weary. Maybe you have lost hope and slipped into depression or anxiety. God might feel distant and quiet. Maybe you are battling spiritual warfare.

No matter what your battle is, I want you to know that spiritual renewal begins in the mind. Many Christians today are caught up in major battles in their mind. The promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 sounds great, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” However, when we come to Christ the old way of thinking doesn’t completely go away all at once. Many still struggle with temptations in their mind, bitterness, depression, fear, hopelessness, frustrations, problems, and putting it bluntly – evil thoughts.

To be a successful Christian means to follow Jesus, to obey His teachings, to love others, to grow spiritually. But this battle still rages in the mind. Romans 12:2 goes to the heart of the problem and offers God’s solution -“Do not conform any longer 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.”

The Greek word for “renewing” is in the present tense continual form which means to continue to renew your mind over and over again. Spiritual renewal takes place by a continuous renewing of the mind!

One person said it this way, “Watch your thoughts, they become words; watch your words, they become actions; watch your actions, they become habits; watch your habits, they become character; and watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Are you needing spiritual renewal? Do you feel like you’re in a wilderness time in your life? The good news is this Sunday is National Back to Church Sunday! South Side will be having a great day with special guest speakers and musicians, “Tommy & John Thomas Oaks.” They travel the nation speaking and sharing with thousands the message of Christ. I encourage you to come for worship at 10:45 for an inspirational message given by Tommy on spiritual renewal!

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By Barry Pettit

Religion Columnist