Where Is Your Mind Set? (Rom. 8:6-8)
Quote:Let the mind of the master be the master of your mind.
Illustration:Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: To choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s way.
Viktor Frankl, concentration camp survivor. Philippians 2:12-18.
1. Have you ever noticed how a person’s mindset determines the life’s outcome? Paul teaches us from this passage that there are basically two kinds of mindsets – a carnal or a spiritual one. So many people suffer needlessly because they allow themselves to fall into a pattern of self-destructive mindsets. We make hundreds of choices everyday which mindset to adopt. Our happiness or sorrow is determined by what we choose control our thoughts. A mindset is the way, state or direction of a person’s thinking. A spiritually minded person allows the indwelling Christ to control their thoughts, desires and behavior. One who has their mind set on the Spirit is directed by the standards of the scriptures. Paul writes, "Now the mind of the flesh (which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit is death (death that compromises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter). But the mind set on Holy Spirit is life and (soulful) peace (both now and forever)." (Rom. 8:6-8) Let us study the contrasts between the carnal and spiritual mindset so we can be more effective in the good fight of faith.
Illustration:In The Anatomy of an Illness: As Perceived by the Patient, Norman Cousins tells of being hospitalized with a rare, crippling disease. When he was diagnosed as incurable, Cousins checked out of the hospital. Aware of the harmful effects that negative emotions can have on the body, Cousins reasoned the reverse was true. So he borrowed a movie projector and prescribed his own treatment, consisting of Marx Brothers films and old "Candid Camera" reruns. It didn’t take long for him to discover that 10 minutes of laughter provided two hours of pain free sleep. Amazingly, his debilitating disease was eventually reversed. After the account of his victory appeared in the New England Journal of Medicine, Cousins received more than 3000 letters from appreciative physicians throughout the world.
Today in the Word, MBI, December 18, 1991.
2. The carnal mind has purposes, aspirations and desires that are hostile to God. The goal of the carnal mindset revolves around temporal things that will one day pass away. It erroneously believes that fleshly concerns will bring one pleasure, satisfaction or fulfillment. Sin is always hostile to God. The very essence of sin is rebellion against God’s character and the rules of His kingdom. When are minds are controlled by the flesh they are in opposition to God’s authority and purposes. A fleshly mindset is governed by selfish passions that drag it into a perversion and anarchy that is at enmity with God. A carnal mindset temporarily or over a long period of time shuts God out of the control room of their life. No wonder secular humanism dominates most of our universities. It is an expression of man’s desire to control the minds and hearts of others. That is a formula for slow suicide. Without God’s goodness there remains nothing but evil. Man is not basically good, as someone would have you to believe. Without the light of God illuminating a person’s mindset there is nothing but darkness. All truth originated from God and He controls all things. Do not allow your mindset to be polluted by the humanistic mindset of those around you. Ask the Lord to help you to be careful to guard against any form of a carnal mindset.
3. The carnal mind caters to the appetites and impulses of one’s carnal nature and cannot please God. It is bad enough that a carnal mindset ruins individual lives, but it inevitably meets with rejection, defeat and Divine hostility. Paul writes, "The mind set on the flesh is death – spiritual death." The result of perverse thinking is mental, emotional and spiritual ruination. Anytime there is a loss of God there is a loss of life’s sustaining power. If you want to have more spiritual energy become more spiritually minded. David wrote, "Fear the Lord you His saints, for to those who fear Him there is no want. The young lions lack and suffer hunger, but they who seek the Lord will not be in want of any good thing." (Psa 34:10) Ask the Lord to help you learn how to hate what is evil and cling to what is good." (Rom. 12:9)
4. The mindset of the spiritually minded person is life and peace because it submits to whatever pleases God. A Spirit directed individual has a craving for God and His purposes. He or she is not satisfied with anything less than God’s best will. One’s spiritual mindset is nourished by intimate moments with God in the scriptures. David wrote, "As the deer pants for the water, so my soul cries after you." (Psalm 42) Jeremiah wrote, "Your words were found and I did eat them and they became the joy and the delight of my heart." (Jer. 15:16) Ask the Lord to help you to seek to submit your thinking to the control of the Holy Spirit in all areas of your activities, relationships and personal concerns.
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