The Bible says we can either have a spiritual mind or a carnal mind. The choice is up to us!
It may surprise you how much the Bible has to say about our minds. Out of our minds flow good thoughts or evil thoughts, and that determines what we do in our lives. Jesus said:
“For out of the heart proceed EVIL THOUGHTS, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies.” (Matthew 15:19 NKJV, emphasis mine.)
Notice that all of these sins start with evil thoughts. It is our thoughts that determine whether we are a spiritual saint or a carnal saint!
A spiritual saint is a believer who has his or her mind set upon the things of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, a carnal saint sets his or her mind on the things of the flesh.
Our flesh is comprised of our five physical senses. The carnal mind is therefore, controlled by the things that appeal to what we see, hear, smell, taste or touch.
Those who are spiritually minded walk according to the guidance and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. This is why the Apostle Paul wrote:
“I say then: Walk in the Spirit and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16 NKJV)
If we focus our minds solely on following the leading of the Holy Spirit and ignore what our physical senses are telling us, then we will not yield to the desires of the flesh. Does that make sense to you?
The Apostle Paul explained it this way:
“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)
The Apostle Paul went on to write:
“For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6 NKJV)
If we go back to setting our minds on the desires of the flesh, it can ultimately lead to death. However, if we focus our minds on the things of the Holy Spirit, it will fill us with life and peace!
As a saint, we have one of two choices: We can either set our minds on the desires of the flesh, or set our minds on the desires of the Holy Spirit. When we become sensitive to the Holy Spirit, and follow His leadership, we will find ourselves doing those things that are pleasing to God. In direct contrast, if we follow the desires of our flesh, those things which appeal to our physical senses, then we will find ourselves constantly falling back into old sins. This is why many new believers, and even some older believers, find themselves struggling to get free from the same old sins. The writer of Hebrews wrote:
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, AND THE SIN WHICH SO EASILY ENSNARES US, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.” (Hebrews 12:1 NKJV, emphasis mine.)
We need to see the sins of the Old Man* as being dead and shake them off forever. When we pursue the life of the New Man*, we will walk by the direction of the Holy Spirit. It all starts in our minds!
The Apostle Paul made it very clear that those who focus their minds on the flesh will do the deeds of the flesh:
“For the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries,and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Galatians 5:19-21 NKJV)
These works of the flesh are part of the Old Man*, and we should consider ourselves dead to all of these things. It is when we start to entertain thoughts of things that we used to do before we were saved, that we find ourselves slipping back into sin. This is why we must set our minds on the Holy Spirit, who will always lead us in line with God’s Word. The result is that we will walk in the fruit of the Spirit, which is the nature of God in us, His children.
The Apostle Paul wrote:
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such there is no law.” (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)
As a saint, we need to see ourselves walking in all of these things, because this is who we are in Christ. The image we have of ourselves in our minds will govern everything we do. This is why we need to focus our minds on who we are in Christ, not on the way we used to be, when we were living like the world.
You are holy, dear saint!
*Note: The Old Man represents who we were before we came to Christ. The New Man is who were are in Christ (see Romans 6:6, Ephesians 4:22-23, and Colossians 3:9-10.)
[All Scripture quotations have been taken from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, copyright 1982, Thomas Nelson Inc.]