A word that is translated mind in the New Testament is the Greek word “dianoia”. This word is interesting because it adds another dimension to how thinking works as a believer. The usual word for mind is nous which refers to your “thinker.”
The word dianoia can really be broken up into two parts: dia (through) and noia (thoughts), i.e through thoughts or deep thoughts. The inference here is that the deep thoughts of God flow from your spirit into your mind. These “through thoughts” flow through your spirit and into your minds.
Paul talks about this in Ephesians 4:17 when he says, “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind [nous], having their understanding [dianoia] darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart …..and be renewed in the spirit of your mind [nous].”
Here Paul is unpacking for us the mechanism we have been discussing. He is telling us that we should not walk as those who do not know the Lord. Their thinking is futile because their “deep thoughts” mechanism does not work. That is why they are alienated from the life of God that would be in their spirit. But since they are not believers they have no life to access. As a result, their hearts are blind and they cannot see.
YOU CAN HEAR GOD’S VOICE
You are not like that. Your spirit has been made alive to God and, therefore, your “through thoughts” mechanism is working correctly and enlightens your thinking. These thoughts from God create understanding and cause your heart to see. This is how we hear God’s voice.
Paul goes on to say that if you are a believer who is living like an unbeliever there is a solution for you: be renewed in the spirit of your mind — access the spirit-mind connection. Paul is encouraging you to allow the deep thoughts of God to flow from your spirit into your mind and this will cause your heart to see all that He has for you. These wonderful things that God has prepared beforehand for you to walk in can only be understood through spiritual revelation and not through intellectual pursuit.
It gets even better. God gives us these deep thoughts so that we can know Him. The apostle John confirms this idea when he says, “We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding [dianoia], so that we may know him who is true” (1 John 5:20 NIV).
John is making it clear that dianoia - God’s deep thoughts — are given to us by Jesus so that we can know Him and access eternal life.
ALLOWING GOD’S THOUGHTS IN YOUR MIND
The more you allow God’s thoughts to flow into your mind, the more powerful your mind becomes. My spiritual father, David Griffiths, believed that when we live by the Spirit, our IQ goes up. These thoughts include wisdom, understanding, creativity, innovation, and thoughts that produce life in others. What an incredible capability that God has so freely given us. Perhaps you have not been aware of this magnificent capability that God has built into the core of your being. Now you can see and understand why the Scriptures say you should not be worldly in your thinking — futile in your thinking. As believers, we do not look to the world to shape our thinking because, by its very nature, it is futile at its core. Our thinking is informed and shaped by the eternal Creator Himself. What kind of life would you live if, from today on, you accessed His thoughts and your mind was being continually renewed to think like Jesus?