For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. Romans 8:5
This verse is in the middle of a section where Paul is unfolding the key to new life in Christ. In Romans 8 he mentions the Spirit some twenty six times. Don’t miss it: the Holy Spirit has taken over and He needs to be large and in charge in our lives. As you read Romans 8, you’ll see there is a contrast and a tension between the flesh and the Spirit in our lives.
You would think that once we meet Jesus and taste the wonderful goodness of a life that doesn’t need to sin anymore, that would be the end of the struggle with “me.” So long self. But no, our flesh keeps cropping up and we need to daily put it to death. If our minds are set on the Holy Spirit, we will be victorious. We will walk in the Spirit, as Paul puts it in Galatians 5:16.
Why is it so difficult then to stay in that Spirit walking zone? The Holy Spirit gives us the power to live out the Christian life. Through Him we get guidance, power, love and overall victory. He is that river of living water that gushes from our inmost being, that gives us joy and hope and makes us able to comprehend and experience God’s love for us. But then someone cuts us off in traffic, or a crabby person invades our agenda.
Is there hope? Yes. Through daily purposing to walk in the Spirit, meeting God in His word and connecting with Him through prayer we set our minds on the things of the Spirit. When we pray, we actually listen for an answer. When we encounter something during the day, we pray “God, what should I do?” and then we listen again. We earnestly seek to walk according to God’s ways, keeping His commands and following the nudges when we go astray. There is victory.
The problem seems to come when I stop getting up in time to have that quiet time with God in the morning. I sleep a little longer and run out of the door, calling out prayers on the fly. If my schedule is too full or I am distracted by silly things that suck up my time, I am in the flesh zone. So many things are out there waiting to pull me away, whether it is television, surfing on the Net, or just dilly dallying. Don’t let it happen.
The mind that is set on the Spirit is life and peace. Grab a hold of this life and don’t let go.