Read Romans 12:2
"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."
How are we transformed by the renewal of our mind?
Even though sin is not our master because we have the power of the Holy Spirit on our side, Paul also knew that another force is at work in our lives; it's a force that's seeking to destroy our relationship with Christ, distort the truth, and block spiritual growth. I'm talking, of course, about Satan.
His very name means accuser, and despite what some within the church may think, the Scriptures do not portray him as a mere metaphor or symbol of evil. Satan is a created being who rebelled against God. He is very real, very dangerous, and is at work in the world today, enticing his victims toward evil.
The Bible refers to him as "the deceiver" (Revelation 12:9), "an inciter" (1 Chronicles 21:1) "an accuser" (Zechariah 3:1), "a sinner" (1 John 3:8a), "a murderer and a liar" (John 8:44). Scriptures make it clear that he is pure evil. Satan and his troops are viciously attacking the kingdom of God. His target: our souls.
Satan's number one goal is to separate us from the source of life--Jesus Christ--and he uses three tactics to accomplish this: (1) a strained relationship with our Savior, (2) a clouded mind, and (3) a hardened heart. A compromise here, a shortcut there, and the patterns are set. Before we know it ... well, you get the picture.
Paul added yet another equation to the mix. This is, perhaps, the most encouraging one for all who feel stuck and defeated by the enemy:
Relationship + Truth = Spiritual Growth
Lord Jesus, teach me to set my mind on truth. Protect me from the enemy. Amen.