Scripture Reading: Romans 8:5-8
“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. To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5,6)
As believers we can choose what we allow our minds to dwell on. We have been freed from our bondage to sin and therefore we have choices to make. We can set our minds on the things of the flesh or we can set our minds on the things of the Spirit. We have the ability to choose which will fill our thoughts. These thoughts inevitably lead to action on our part. If we let our minds dwell on the things of the flesh, we put ourselves in danger of acting out our thoughts. This is why we so easily fall into sin. However, if we train our minds to dwell on the things of the Spirit, the Spirit will direct our actions as we yield to His control over our lives.
If we set our minds on the things of the flesh, we can easily begin to do the works of the flesh — “Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these” (Galatians 5:20,21). Now wonder we are told that “to set the mind on the flesh is death.”
On the other hand, if we set our minds on the things of the Spirit, the Spirit within us will produce spiritual fruit — “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, foolishness, gentleness, self-control” (Galatians 5:22,23). This is why we are told, “to set the mind on the the things of the Spirit is life and peace.” As we set our minds on the things of the Spirit and yield to His will for our lives, we will honor God in all that we do.
These words from Philippians help us learn how to set our minds on the things of the Spirit — “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable. If there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise think about these things” (Philippians 4:8). When we catch ourselves setting our minds on the things of the flesh, we must immediately change the direction of our thoughts. We have the ability to do so because we have been set free from our bondage to sin and have the Spirit of Christ living in us who empowers us to do so.
O Holy Spirit, I am so grateful for Your presence within me. I know You are there and that You will never leave me. I also know that when I set my mind of the things You desire for me, I will honor You and I will desire to do the things that please You. Give me grace and power today to let my mind dwell on those things that are true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, and commendable.
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