For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after 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, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. – Rom 8:5-8 KJV (Emphasis Mine)
As a child, were you ever told to mind? If you were, you knew exactly what that meant. It meant you’d better obey whatever adult was instructing you or else!
Have you ever told someone to mind their own business? Or are you usually on the receiving end of that comment? 🙂
The thing I want to point out is the use of the word mind. It doesn’t always refer to the physical brain. The word mind can be used as a noun or a verb. When used as a verb, it can mean the following: 1) to pay attention to; 2) to obey; 3) to look after or take care of.
Now consider the passages from Romans 8 above. Notice the use of the words mind and minded. What are we to gather from these texts?
1. YOU WILL MIND ONLY ONE OF TWO THINGS: FLESH OR SPIRIT!
What do you find yourself thinking about and tending to most? Spiritual things? God’s Word, His Will, your own spiritual growth? Or do you find carnal things consuming your attention? If your heart’s desire is only toward physical things, then you are carnal. On the other hand, if your are consumed with the things of God, then you are considered spiritual.
2. MINDING THE FLESH LEADS TO DEATH!
“For to be carnally minded is death…” Rom. 8:6
But why? All of mankind is under the curse of sin. God told Adam & Eve if they disobeyed Him they would die. Not an immediate physical death, but an eternal death. Our flesh cannot be rehabbed or remodeled.
For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; – Rom 3:23 KJV
For the wages of sin [is] death; but the gift of God [is] eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. – Rom 6:23 KJV
3. MINDING THE SPIRIT IS LIFE & PEACE!
If we are going to follow Christ we must FOLLOW Christ. That means dying to self – just as He did. That means laying aside our own ambitions for a Heavenly calling – just as He did. But remember, it also leads to resurrection life!
4. THE FLESH CANNOT PLEASE GOD!
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. – Rom 8:8 KJV
WOW! That’s quite a definitive statement. Good thing God made it and not me! The natural default for the flesh is to disobey God. That’s one reason for the cross. As we reckon ourselves crucified with Christ, we rob our old flesh of its power. In its place is the new man – born again, and made a new creature by Jesus Christ.
5. THE GAUGE OF SPIRITUAL MATURITY – WHAT DO YOU MIND?
Is it the flesh or Spirit? If you’re “after the Spirit” then you will mind those things. Do you dwell primarily upon the things of self or the things of Christ? What do you find yourself daydreaming about? What do you go to bed or wake up thinking about? Is it spiritual matters?
Begin to take personal inventory of your thought life. What consumes your emotions, your energy, and your thoughts? Are you focused on your spiritual development as much as you are the less important areas of life?
What are you minding?
Leave me your thoughts in the comments section below.
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