Monday, December 1, 2014

It's a Mind Issue

"For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.  For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh CANNOT please God."
Romans 8:5-8

What occupies your mind?

It's as simple as that.  Your actions and your feelings are controlled by your mind, so what is on your mind?

In Philippians 2:12, Paul urges the church to work out their salvation with fear and trembling.  He is not telling you to save yourself, but he is telling you not to take your salvation for granted.  I have had many ask me, how do I know if I am truly saved? That "fear and trembling" thing is pretty sobering, isn't it?

Well, according to our verses above, if we are in the Spirit, our mind will be set on the things of the Spirit.  That's a great test.  During the day in your mind are you worrying about life, arguing with your spouse, fuming about your children, complaining about your boss, longing for what you don't have, imagining what you shouldn't, cussing out rude drivers or stressing about the holidays?  

Or are you meditating on scripture, asking the Lord how you can please and serve Him today, longing for heaven and confessing your sin?  Are you choosing to forgive, laying down your rights for others, seeking out ways to show Christ to your children and discussing how to apply what you learned at church to your daily walk?

Can you see the difference in the mindsets of these two examples?

It is a dangerous place to be "according to the Spirit" but setting your "mind on the flesh."  Is that even possible?  According to our passage above, the mind set on the flesh is death, hostile to God, unwilling and unable to submit to God's commands and unable to please God.  Is that the picture of someone who has traded places with Jesus and received His gift of eternal life?

So as we head into December, this is a great time to check our minds.  With all the holiday lights, music and craziness surrounding us, let us choose to set our minds on the things above, not on the things that are on the earth.  For we have died with Christ and now our lives are hidden with Christ in God - it is not us who live, but Christ who lives in us.  If we truly believe this, then what should we be thinking about and how will our thoughts change our actions and feelings?

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