The second definition of renewability is much better than the first. There are some things capable of being renewed: e.g., a renewable membership or renewable subscriptions. However, the word can also mean “relating to or being a commodity or resource, such as solar energy or firewood, that is inexhaustible or replaceable by new growth.” Inexhaustible and replaceable by new growth is exciting to me!
You see, the reality should not be overlooked. Renewal notices only exist because we overlook the need. There are some things that if you really want them (or need them) they need to be renewed. And we all know that! We know that there is a time for renewal. Yet, if you are anything like me, we often receive that ‘final notice’ that should not need be sent. Don’t wait till it is too late!
Paul writes in Romans 12:2 that we are to be “transformed by the renewal of [our] mind.” Therefore, we need to constantly be searching and studying God’s Word. In fact, the specific word used by Paul is ἀνακαινώσει. The emphasis is upon renewability: the act or process of being renewed. According to a noted lexicon, this compound word is not found outside Christian literature. Paul will use the word again when he writes to Titus (3:5). There he speaks of the the renewal that takes place in baptism and “the renewal of the Holy Spirit”. (see Arndt, William, Frederick W. Danker, Walter Bauer, and F. Wilbur Gingrich. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2000.)
Additionally, there is another term in Romans 12:2 that is very important. It is the word transformed (μεταμορφοῦσθε). Here the term means “to change the essential form or nature of something—‘to become, to change, to be changed into, to be transformed.’” (Louw-Nida, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). It is a command (imperative). Thus, we are directed to be continually in the process of change. Isn’t that what growth is all about? That being so, the reality and the need is for our spirituality to have renewability!
Disciplines of Renewability
We need constant spiritual renewal. But the need is not just to get closer to God. The bible directs us to love God. In regard to this, Jesus said that a command “like unto it” is to love our neighbor. Make sure your spiritual disciplines are not isolating you from your brothers and sisters in Christ.
Therefore, I recommend to you an excellent book and a noteworthy review. The book is Practices of Love: Spiritual Disciplines for the Life of the World by Kyle David Bennett. The review appeared in Christianity Today (August 18, 2017), titled “Are We Missing the Point of Spiritual Disciplines?” by Kristen D. Johnson. [https://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2017/september/are-we-missing-point-of-spiritual-disciplines.html]
One comment spoke to me regarding the breadth and depth of spiritual renewability.
For most of us, spiritual disciplines are primarily about our vertical relationship with God. As we do them, according to Bennett, we are often driven most fundamentally by a desire to feel his presence more closely. And we usually practice them first and foremost as individuals, wanting to help our personal relationships with God… In the face of a passage so clearly emphasizing the horizontal dimensions of practices like prayer and fasting (Isaiah 58), Bennett found himself questioning his vertical approach to spiritual disciplines. Likewise, he invites us to consider our own approach—are we, like the Israelites, unwittingly being selfish as we pray, fast, and read Scripture? Have we ignored the horizontal dimensions of these practices?
So, strive to follow the example of Jesus. Continue to desire growth by constantly seeking renewability. Make sure you return from solitude to community and from meditation to communication. Thus, in your ‘disciplines’ pray “our Father” and “in humility consider others better than yourselves” (Philippians 2:3).