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, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:5-8 [NKJV]
At our Newly Marrieds Life Group last night we covered our homework and study of Romans 8. For the last 10 days or so the Lord has been reminding me of Romans 8 and through my listening and reading has been making it evident that I need to do a little more study on Spiritual Warfare. What I realized is that there are links between these two.
As I have stated in other posts; I can tell when God is trying to get my attention because He keeps bringing the same thing in front of me over and over again…that has been the case with Romans 8 and Spiritual Warfare. So, I am listening Lord and will be spending the next several quiet times in a departure from Luke and doing a deeper study to pray and find in God’s Word how these two things are linked and more importantly, how I need to apply that learning to my life.
To set the mind on the flesh or on the Spirit refers to an established orientation that determines one’s aspirations and behavior.
What does it mean to “Live according to the flesh?” The flesh is not the body in contrast to the soul. It is a force field (like an electromagnetic force field) where the power of sin surrounds a human’s existence, aligns it in a direction that is diametrically opposed to God’s will, and produces the self-absorption, self-indulgence, self-reliance and venal disregard of others that stubbornly defies God.
What does it mean to “Live by the Spirit?” The Spirit creates a force field that mediates Christ’s presence, aligns believers’ innermost commitments with God’s will, empowers them to carry it out and sets up a shield to defend against an invasion by sin. While righteous living springs forth naturally as the fruit of the Spirit, walking according to the Spirit is not something that arises involuntarily. Because the flesh is so prone to sin in this terrestrial realm, living according to the Spirit requires determination on the believer’s part.
I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.Galatians 5:16
This right here is the focus I need. Walking according to the Spirit is *not* involuntary. Just being a believer does not mean I automatically get this function in autopilot. I must make the deliberate choice everyday, every hour, and every minute to “walk in the Spirit” so that I might acquire the force field of strength that helps me turn from the desires of the flesh.