By: John McCann« Back to Devotions Page
I just dropped my kids off at school. As I drive to my office I ponder my past weekend, the coming morning and my connection to God. The weekend was good. Went to church, taught the Courageous Bible study group, hit a birthday party and had our pastor over for Sunday brunch. It was good.
But now, on the way to the office my internal dialogue starts to turn. I think, I want to spend time with God, but excuse – excuse – excuse. I start to think, ok what I will study. Where will I start? Oh who’s kidding who? I don’t have a real connection with God. Why do I even try? As a matter of fact, why do I even need to try?. I conclude that my spiritual life is basically dead. Like a friendship that has grown apart. So, I open up Facebook. and look at everyone else’s life to see what I am missing out on and becoming more and more downtrodden with each click. The conclusion I reach is: my life sucks and my Spiritual life is dead. After several mind games, I force myself to focus on God, just for 5 minutes. As I do that, God sends me this…
New King James Version (NKJV)
5 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. 6 For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. 8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His. 10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.
Umm. Thanks. Was that dead center between my selfish eyes or what? Oh, I am looking OK on the outside, but where is my mind? Oh yes, verse 13, “For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live” shoots that whole “My life sucks and my spiritual life is dead” statement right down, does it not? Makes me reevaluate where it is my mind is actually focused. I am the weakest when I am focused on myself and the strongest when focused on God. What about you? Are you living according to the flesh? Are you focusing on what the world focuses on?
1 John 2:16
New King James Version (NKJV)
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.
If we focus on the things of the world we get what the world offers: depression, regret, confusion, emptiness, false happiness and death – spiritual, emotional, mental, and possibly physical.
When we focus on God we get what He offers: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
A few questions:
How are you setting your mind on the things of the world?
What must you die to?
What does it mean to be led by the Spirit?
How does the Holy Spirit put to death your sinful habits?
Holy, Heavenly Father, Great healer and master physiologist, and psychologist, thank you for freeing me from my sin-filled life of destruction. Thank you for sending your Holy Spirit to live in me by filling me with your presence and renewing me from the inside out. Please strengthen this body with your power and let it live a life designed by you and not of this world. Sharpen my inner ear to your voice and put to death my selfish will. Please dwell in me and fill me now, I pray. Amen.