Unlimited: Set Your Minds on God
Dec 22, 2022 179
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires (Romans 8:5).
The apostle Paul has just told us that those who stand without condemnation as a result of the saving sacrifice of Jesus at Calvary will live according to the Spirit.
I used to be think that this meant that their lives would be fully controlled by the Holy Spirit, and that as a result there would always be closeness to God, and they would experience increasing and continual victory over sin in the flesh. But I was continually disappointed because I didn’t find this to be true in my own life.
If we set our minds on God, then his will for us will be manifested in the way we live.
I hadn’t understood what Paul explained here. If we set our minds on the flesh – on our ourselves and our own performance – we will live according to the flesh. If we set our minds on God, then his will for us will be manifested in the way we live. The Message paraphrase renders Romans 8:5 like this:
Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God! Obsession with self in these matters is a dead end; attention to God leads us out into the open, into a spacious, free life.
Reflect carefully on your own religious experience. Are you focusing more on yourself and your own condition, or on Christ and the Gospel? Are you experiencing frustration or victorious freedom?