“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” (NIV)
There is a war inside of each of us. Though the old flesh always wants to reassert itself, the power of the Spirit can overcome it if we ask in faith for him to control how we think, feel, act, and talk.
“The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:6, NIV84)
The mind is key. The battle first takes place in our head. Whoever controls our mind, controls us. It is crucial we set our minds on what the Spirit desires.
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” (Romans 8:5, NIV)
“Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.” (Colossians 3:2, NIV84)
Paul further wrote, “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” (2 Corinthians 10:5, NIV)
We can reject those thoughts that conflict with the will of God. By the power of the Spirit we can overcome the temptations of the flesh: “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13, NIV)
Furthermore, we learn that “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:24–25, NIV)
This is the power of the cross working in our lives. “May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” (Galatians 6:14, NIV)
By an act of our will, we must choose to be controlled by the Spirit. We initiate that by asking the Spirit to control our mind. We choose to set our mind on the things above, the things the Spirit desires and not on the things of the flesh. By the power of the Spirit we can put to death the misdeeds of the flesh, and bring our thought life into captive obedience to Christ.
May God help us to understand and incorporate these truths in our prayer life, through SOAK, SOW, and FLOW, seeing the reality of these concepts in our daily lives.
A Prayer for Today:
I ask you, Lord, to take control of how I think, feel, act, and talk. Help me to set my mind on the things above, the things of the Spirit, not the flesh. Help me to bring every thought into captive obedience to Christ today. I ask you to control my mind. In Jesus’ name I pray.
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