Posts Tagged flesh

Life and Peace

Romans 8: 6        NIV

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.

I am sure we all want life and peace. Jesus said he came to the earth to give us abundant life (John 10: 10) and I certainly do not want to frustrate his purpose in my life. I am equally convinced that you want the peace of Christ flowing through your life along with the abundant life he brings. I wish, sometimes, there was nothing I had to do to position myself for all the blessings of the Father. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

Our Father has blessed us with every blessing in the heavenly realm (Ephesians 1: 3). How, though, do we have all that blessing manifest upon us routinely? As to peace and life, Paul answers that question for us today in this verse from Romans. Our minds must dwell on the things of the Spirit rather than on the things of the body or of the world.

You’ve all heard this verse before, but I wonder how well we hear it. This makes sense, of course, but it is much easier said, and agreed upon, than actually done. The world and all its pleasures are before us daily. We live in the world and must interact with it. It can be a challenge to live in the world and yet not be part of it. It is hard to interact with the world all day and at the same time keep our minds on the Spirit. None the less, that is the way to peace and life.

One hears a great deal of talk these days about intentionality. It means to be purposeful about the minutes of our day rather than blowing about with the wind. It means to make some determined choices and let those guide our day rather than just bumping along from one stimulus to another.

If, when we awaken in the morning, we immediately turn our thoughts and hearts to the Lord, it is much easier to stay in that place with him and with the Spirit all day. You can actually stay linked with the Spirit all day, even when you have to go to work, do the shopping, pick up the kids, etc. All the tasks of life are easier when you stay connected with God’s Spirit.

Notice that the mind is governed, or ruled, either by the flesh or the Spirit. What are the things of the flesh that attract us? Well, it is all the things of the world, isn’t it and things our body wants. It could be sleep, food, television, wine, social activity and more. None of these things are bad, are they? God is not trying to deny us these things, but it can be a question of priority. Are these things which gratify the flesh the focus of our attention? Are they more important to us than the things of the Spirit? The verse says that when our minds are ruled by these things, it is death. When our minds are governed by the Spirit, we are always led to life and peace. That sounds nice. So, we need to learn the skill of focusing our minds on the things of the Spirit and then staying connected there even as we travel through the world. The Spirit will always lead us into blessing. He will always show us the way of peace and life. We have only to fix our minds on him and he will bring us love, joy, peace, life and the blessing of God. That is a good plan. So what are you thinking about today?

That’s Life

Romans 8: 5 – 6

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.

I hope you have been enjoying this abbreviated look at the life Christ bought for us and I hope you have a bigger idea of what your life now is supposed to be like. It is a Deuteronomy 28 and beyond lifestyle and it is all yours in Christ. Once you die to your old ways and thoughts, you can move into the new life in Christ.

The Greek word used here and translated as “life” is zoe. There are other Greek words which also are translated as life. The use of this particular word is significant, though. Zoe, means the God kind of life. Vine’s Expository Dictionary says this is “life in the absolute sense, life as God has it, that which the Father has in Himself.” We have become partakers of God’s life through belief in Jesus as the Messiah.

We had one kind of life before Christ. We can continue to live in that kind of life even after salvation if we so choose but for those who decide to crucify the flesh, there is newness of life and that is this zoe, or God life. The life force of God is available to those who decide to give up self and live to Christ.

I don’t think we are even beginning to understand this life of God and the impact it can have on us when it becomes resident in us. I know I cannot fully appreciate it yet because I still worship self too much. I still think my old way at times, react in old ways and have my wants and desires enthroned in the temple of Ivey instead of making Jesus the absolute center of my world.

What happens in a life that truly is abandoned to God? What could our lives really be if we could learn to crucify our self-centeredness? I don’t know but I believe we could live way beyond anything we are currently experiencing, beyond what we can imagine. I don’t think it would be life as we know it. It is easy to think that if we have God’s actual life force at work in us then nothing would, or even could, be impossible.

I hope this week’s verses have caused you to ponder the possibilities. As Christians, where are we now? Where could we be? What could life hold for us and those we may impact if we could wrap our heads, or better, our spirits around the concepts found in these verses? What would it mean to your personal existence if the life of God filled you to overflowing? I want that for you, for all of us. I would also love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Post a note or send a reply. I pray zoe for you.

Divinely Powerful

2 Corinthians 10: 3 – 4

For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses.

How easy it is to forget that, although we are in this world, we are not to war according to the world. But wouldn’t we really rather have divinely appointed weapons anyway? Paul is reminding his readers that we are not to walk according to the flesh and we are not to fight our battles in the flesh or as we learned to do. We are to learn a new way to wage war. That is in the Spirit. We wage war in the Spirit through prayer and by speaking the Word of God. Every time we speak a verse of the Bible over a situation, we are waging Spiritual war.

If you have a mountainous challenge before you right now, set your heart and mind to use your most powerful arsenal, use the divinely appointed weapons of the Spirit. They are prayer, God’s word and love. We do not want to hear that last one but it is the nuclear bomb of spiritual weaponry. You are allowed to use this bomb. Whatever challenge or enemies you are facing today, remember to pull out the big guns. Don’t fight your battles in the flesh. Use the weapons that God Almighty has provided you.