Spiritual formation, becoming more like Jesus Christ in thought and deed, requires a renewed mind (Romans 12:2) that avoids worldliness (1 John 2:15-17) and pursues godliness (Matthew 5:1-18). Our sanctification through the Holy Spirit requires an ongoing dependency on God wherein we grow in the knowledge of God, how his Kingdom operates (Matthew 6:33), ourselves (James 1:25), and our place in the church (1 Corinthians 12-14) and broader culture (1 Chronicles 12:32).
To this end, here are some principles and recommendations in how to “take every thought captive to obey Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:3-5)
1. Remain faithful in the reading and study of the Holy Scriptures, which are God’s cognitive revelation of himself and the ways of salvation (2 Timothy 3:15-16). Acquire and use study aids such as one or more study Bibles. I recommend The Apologetics Study Bible, The Reformation Study Bible, The NET Bible, and The NIV Study Bible. Of course, there are many other tools such as commentaries and other helps. The excellent commentaries of John Calvin and Matthew Henry are available on line for no charge.
2. Discern your unique calling as a Christian. No one can do everything, so we must concentrate our energies where we are gifted and in accordance to God’s leading in our day. I highly recommend Os Guinness’s book on this vital topic, The Call. See also John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life.