"For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God's Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him." (Romans 8:5-8, AMP)
Quite often the people that tempt our flesh the most is the person we see in the mirror everyday. As Christians, we should have an honest evaluation of ourselves daily. We should grieve over our own spiritual shortcomings. Not as a way to walk in condemnation but as a way to carry ourselves as imitators of Christ. True character is often revealed when life's circumstances do not go our way. How do we respond during these troubling times? Are we reactive in our flesh? Always acting on impulse? Or are we proactive in tackling obstacles in a Christ-like manner?
Daily we battle with two mindsets...that of the flesh and that of the Spirit. The mindset of the flesh leads to death whereas the mindset of the Spirit leads to life and peace.
We can do a self evaluation of our daily walks with Christ by assessing these characteristics and see where we fall on the richter scale, so to speak.
The sinful nature focuses on pleasing the flesh, is hostile towards God, does not follow the leading of the Holy Spirit, is in rebellion against God, does not abide by the law of God, and cannot please God.
The spiritual nature focuses on the leading of the Holy Spirit, pursues peace, abides by God's law, is one with Christ, and gives everlasting life.
Although abiding by the Law cannot save us from sin, Christians can live a victorious life where we achieve victory over our carnal nature. The struggle against our flesh will continue throughout our life here on Earth. The question is, are we being led by our flesh or by God's Spirit? Catering to the flesh is unacceptable to God...that's a strong statement!
So let's take some time today and look in the mirror and have an honest evaluation of ourselves. There is no condemnation for those that are in Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1)...but oh what joy, peace, and life awaits those that desire to be led by God's Spirit!
Christina is the founder of Relentless Love Ministries and lives in Linton. She is an active speaker, guest lecturer, and published author. For more information, questions, or comments, email email@example.com.