This may surprise you, but what you allow into your mind and imagination will govern how you live a holy life. In other words, you have to have the mind of a saint, in order to live like a saint. Yes, whatever you allow into your mind will soon get down into your heart and eventually affect your whole life.
The Apostle Paul addressed this in his letter to the saints in Rome, when he wrote:
“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.” Romans 8:5 NKJV.
As I have mentioned before, your relationship with the Holy Spirit is vitally important when it comes to living a holy life. He is the Spirit of Holiness, and there is no one else who can help you more than He can, to keep you set apart from the world and the weaknesses of the flesh. In fact, He will always lead you in the right direction and give you an ever increasing revelation of who you are in Christ.
Now when it comes to the flesh, the Bible is referring to your five physical senses – those things that appeal to your sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch. The Bible makes it very clear that those who are governed by the flesh, through their physical senses, cannot please God. God is a spiritual being, and it is impossible to know God and understand the things of God by using your natural senses, yet many religious people try to do that every day. As a child of God, you cannot follow in their footsteps. Instead, you must learn to set your mind on the Holy Spirit, and He alone will help you know God and understand the things of God. You must be different from the rest of the world. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12 NKJV.
The Holy Spirit has been sent to reveal to you everything that freely belongs to you in Christ!
The Apostle Paul had more to say about being spiritually minded, when he wrote:
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:7 NKJV.
This verse may be confusing to a lot of believers. What does it mean to be carnally minded or to have a carnal mind? The answer is found in the first verse I shared with you. Simply put, to be carnally minded is to set your mind on the things of the flesh. That is, to set your mind on the things which you see, hear, taste and touch – to allow your mind to be governed by these things. Those who are carnally minded are ruled by the desires of the flesh, and these things ultimately lead to death.
On the other hand, those who are spiritually minded have trained themselves to set their minds on the Holy Spirit. They are not moved by the desires of the flesh, instead they ignore them, and they set their minds on the desires of the Holy Spirit. This means that, in the realm of their imagination, He is their only focal point. By always setting your mind on the Spirit, you will enjoy life and peace!
For every saint, there is a constant pull for your attention. You have a choice to make: either to set your mind on the desires of the flesh, or on the desires of the Holy Spirit. For those who are young in the Lord, this can be a great struggle. Even those who are mature in the Lord do not escape this conflict within themselves, they just know how to handle it better. At least, they should know how to handle it better than when they were new in Christ.
The Apostle Paul explained this inner struggle, when he wrote:
“For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” Galatians 5:17 NKJV.
This means that the desires of the flesh are always trying to pull you away from the desires of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will always lead you contrary to the desires of the flesh. As a young believer, the desires that appeal to the five senses can seem very strong and easier to yield to than obeying the Holy Spirit. Learning to faithfully obey the leading of the Holy Spirit is how you become a mature believer.
As you can see, it is absolutely essential to learn how to be spiritually minded at all times. You must learn how to always set your mind on the Holy Spirit, and follow His leading and direction in everything you do each day. The more you practice this, the stronger you will become.
No doubt, you have heard the expression: Practice makes perfect. This also applies to learning how to set your mind on the Holy Spirit – it only comes through practicing it, every day! You need to learn to always look into your spirit and recognize how the Holy Spirit is leading you. By doing this, you will find that you will do things out of your spirit, where the Holy Spirit dwells. Instead of depending on your natural reasoning, based on the things that you see, hear, smell, taste and touch. This is what it means to be spiritually minded! Does that make sense to you?
You can never go wrong by following the leading of the Holy Spirit. He will help you live a holy life that is well pleasing to God. He will always guide you in line with His Word. This is how you can be sure He is the One who’s leading you to do something – He will always lead you in line with God’s Word! By constantly obeying the Holy Spirit, whether you feel a prompting in your spirit, or sense His voice speaking to you, you will learn to recognize when it is He who is telling you to do something and when it isn’t. It all starts by focusing your mind on the Holy Spirit.
You are holy, dear saint!
This is Day Twenty-four of a 31 day devotional on The Life of a Saint