For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6)
We have been discussing the nature of man and in the last post began talking about the believer’s position in Christ.
If we understood who we were in Christ and were focused on that we would find ourselves winning every single time. Paul tells us that spiritual mindedness equals life and peace. He does not place any conditions on that.
Placing our focus on the things of God will never produce death in our lives.
Our society has mastered the art of dodging responsibility.
“I was abused when I was a child and just can’t do any better!”
“I’m just a product of my environment and can’t overcome these feelings that plague me!”
Let me pause to tell you a story about a homeless alcoholic I met while ministering in a street mission. Our meeting was at the end of a Wednesday night service. I was locking up the chapel and saw this man standing by the exit looking extremely agitated. He had one hand in his bag and I did not know if he had a knife, gun, or something else in the bag.
There was no other exit so I approached the man. He shouted at me and I felt dread in the pit of my stomach at not knowing where this was going. I stopped just in front of the man and he preceded to tell me what had happened to him over the previous few months.
The man attended chapel service several months before our meeting. I quoted from Romans 1:16 which tells us that the Gospel is the power of God. This irritated the man and he left service planning to prove me wrong.
He went straight to a liquor store, purchased a bottle of alcohol, and sat on the sidewalk to drink. The mission had given him a Bible so he pulled it out. It fell open to the first chapter of Philippians so he read the first verse, took a drink, and proclaimed that there was no power in the Bible!
For reasons I can only contribute to the Holy Spirit he read verse two and took another drink. I knew nothing about what was happening but the man told me he continued to read a verse, take a drink, and proclaim there was no power in the Bible. He said it made him happy to prove me wrong!
From our conversation I learned that this went on over the previous few months. Day after day he would read a verse, take a drink, and then proclaim the Bible to be powerless. When he reached the end of Philippians he would go back to chapter one and start over. He told me that he never looked at another book.
The night before our encounter in the chapel he tried to repeat the routine but something changed. Suddenly he found himself becoming violently ill whenever he tried to take a drink of alcohol! The Word of God had taken root and delivered him but he was not happy about it.
To be carnally minded produces death but to be spiritually minded will produce life. Jesus tells us in Mark 4 that the Word is seed. We have to plant it continuously in our heart. If we do not allow ourselves to become discouraged it will take root and bring deliverance just as it did with the homeless man in the story.
What Jesus has done for us is infinitely greater than what any man or woman could ever do for us, or against us.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:17)
Paul said that the sufferings we experience in this life are “not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us”. I want you to notice that he tells us that this glory is “in us”. It will be revealed when we get to heaven but it is already in our spirit.
It is not even worth mentioning the abuse or suffering we have experienced at the hands of another person compared to what Jesus has done for us. When I say this it is inevitable that someone will bring up past abuses or bondages.
I was the “clumsy” kid in our neighborhood. We had a neighbor who would tie me to trees and leave me to find a way out. Groups of kids on the playground would jump me and beat me at recess. Teachers would send me to the library in elementary school because they felt I was not smart enough to learn the subject being taught. My childhood led to all kinds of self image issues that led me into a very bad relationship. There were days that I was hit with a broomstick for being such an idiot.
My past is not something I can change and it is not something that I’m bringing up for you to feel sorry for me. This hindered me until God brought my wife into my life and through her began to teach me who I was spiritually. I spent many an hour meditating on Romans 8:6 seeking God to find out what it meant to be spiritually minded. In the end I found out it simply means that our attention is focused more on the things of God and what He has accomplished in our lives than on our own perceived failures or past abuses!
God has an amazing plan for each of our lives. Our minds are like a pair of binoculars in that the things we focus on will be magnified. The problem for most Christians is that they are so focused on the natural realm and their problems that the things of God are minute in comparison.
Being spiritually minded does not mean we are denial about our problems and past abuses. My goal in these posts is to turn things around so that my readers will be able to see into the spirit realm and who they are in Christ Jesus.
Let me close this post with a few Scriptures that tell us some of the things that we have been made in the spirit through Jesus. This list is just a few verses to get you started on a study through Scripture.
Ephesians 1:3 I have been blessed by the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.
Ephesians 1:4 I was chosen in Him before the foundation of the world to be holy and without blame before Him in love.
Ephesians 1:5 I was predestinated to be adopted by Jesus Christ to Himself according to the good pleasure of His will.
Ephesians 1:6 I was made accepted in the beloved in His grace.
Ephesians 1:7 I have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace
Ephesians 1:8 He has abounded to me in all wisdom and prudence.
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