“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. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 5:5-8)
Our flesh is in complete opposition to God. Our flesh is hostile to God. Our flesh cannot ever be in agreement with God. The Spirit and the flesh can never be on the same side. We have to constantly war against our flesh. Often times, Christians are so distracted praying for everything else (praying for others is a good thing) instead of praying for obedience and spiritual strength for ourselves. We rarely pay attention to where the battle starts. It starts within us. The number one enemy that we face is not Satan, it is the flesh!
Hope is not lost though. God has already provided His children with a remedy to the flesh… The Holy Spirit. Once we became born again, the Holy Spirit came to dwell in us.
“You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him.” (Romans 8:9 )
The Holy Spirit is always around, guiding us, teaching us, protecting us. Have we ever read The Word and wondered why the verses seemed to lift off from the page and imprint themselves in our heart? That, my brothers and sisters is the work of the Holy Spirit!
Another example, when we have made a decision and it just doesn’t sit right with us? That is the Holy Spirit letting us know that our decision doesn’t line up with what God’s will is.
For our Christian life to be as God has intended we must live and abide in the Holy Spirit. Gone are the days when we just rushed into things without a second thought. We now have clear direction. We now know our purpose even though we do not yet know the plan. Our purpose, our very reason for existence, is to emulate our Savior Jesus Christ. Doing so brings glory to God. So what does emulating Jesus look like?
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19 )
“… but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”
(1 Timothy 4:12 )
“But as for you, O man of God, flee these things. Pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, steadfastness, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:11-12)
“and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also.” (2 Timothy 2:2 )
Be free in the Holy Spirit. Release yourselves from the bondage that living by your feelings creates. Constantly fight the good fight and put your flesh to death. Your weapon is the Holy Spirit. You are no longer a slave to emotions nor to circumstances. We are not dead! “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” (Romans 8:11)
Set your mind on spiritual things. Let God handle the rest… Amen