Being Spiritually Minded

Romans 8-6 +

For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.  Romans 8:6

The mentality of this world is what Jesus called the “broad way that leads to destruction.” It’s a way of thinking and an approach to life that leads to failure, misery and heartache. The apostle Paul referred to it as the “mind-set of the flesh”— carnal thinking which relies on knowledge gathered by our five senses.

God’s counsel concerning sense knowledge is to come “out of our shell” of limitation and tap into the wisdom of his counsel—to “trust in him with all our hearts” and lean not to our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5). In other words, He wants us to become far more than “natural” men and women, because what He has in mind is to bring us above and beyond that—so that we become all that we were meant to be—supernaturally empowered men and women.

Trying to accomplish anything of lasting value in this world through self-effort will, in the end, prove to be empty and futile. In charting our course through the unexpected twists, turns and setbacks of life, each one of us needs a greater measure of understanding than that which we naturally possess. Wisdom that is beyond ourselves is what’s necessary to be truly successful in any meaningful way. Hopefully you have already come to the realization that the “world” has little to offer beyond trinkets, glitter, empty promises and dead-end roads. But, what you need to know, if you haven’t understood it yet, is that the Lord offers each one of us a higher way, one leads to “life and peace.”

The entrance ramp to this higher road is humility. A person must be teachable, open to counsel from on high, to enter into a higher spiritual dimension. As the Scripture says of the Lord, his ways are higher than ours and so are his thoughts (see Isaiah 55:8,9). If you want access God’s way of thinking you need to open yourself up and allow him to show you his higher ways.

One thing I’ve learned over the years is that God never asks any of us to do what we’re unable to do—unless He provides a means—natural or supernatural—to do it. He wants you to be spiritually minded and He’s made a way for you to do just that!

First of all, you have to be born into his family. His provision for that is the “new birth”—being “born again” (see John 3:3-5). It’s a first, all-important, supernatural step in becoming spiritually minded.

Once you are born into God’s family the Lord gives you a precious gift—his Holy Spirit to lead and counsel you. Yet another provision He’s made is the written Word of God which is crucial to the spiritual growth of every born-again believer. But, if we are to become truly spiritually minded, we need to realize that the Bible isn’t sufficient in and of itself to bring about the necessary transformation in our thinking because, as the apostle Paul wrote, “…the letter kills but the Spirit gives life” (2 Corinthians 3:6). Indeed, it is “… those who are Phil 2-5+led by God’s Spirit [who] are God’s children” (Romans 8:14).

Our aim is to develop a relationship with the One who is the Wonderful Counselor so that we may hear and heed his voice. As the apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi, “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 2:5). Jesus’ thinking can be ours if we are spiritually minded. Let it be so!

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter

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Further scriptures to consider:

That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. (John 3:6, NASB)

For the natural man is not able to take in the things of the Spirit of God: for they seem foolish to him, and he is not able to have knowledge of them, because such knowledge comes only through the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 2:14, BBE)

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. (Romans 8:2)

Be Not Deceived

Sowing and Reaping

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for what a man sows, that also he will reap.” Galatians 6:7

sowing L

One of the basic laws which governs nature and the spiritual realm is a very simple one: the seed you sow determines the harvest you reap. It should be common sense but it’s a truth that eludes many folks, especially those who are “wishin’ and hopin’” that somehow this universal law can be nullified in their case, at least for a time anyway, so that they won’t have to reap the woeful consequences of the bad seed they’ve been sowing.

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One of my hobbies over the years has been growing a garden. I enjoy nurturing the plants and watching them develop and eventually produce fruit. I especially like harvest-time and enjoying the fruit of my labors. For several years I cultivated a bountiful garden from which I was able to harvest large quantities of corn, tomatoes, squash, cantaloupe and much more.

Every year in the early Spring I went to Agway, the local farmer’s supply store, and bought seed. Before I drove there in my pickup truck I always had harvest-time in mind. And because of that, I can tell you that very purposefully I never bought brussels sprout seeds because the entire family detested the way they taste and would never even consider eating them. On the other hand, I always made sure that I got watermelon seeds when I went to Agway because everyone thought that nothing tasted better on a hot summer day than a cool, juicy slice of watermelon.

Like most folks, at least those with any common sense, I would never buy and plant brussels sprout seeds and then expect to be savoring the sweet taste of watermelon when the “dog-days” of summer rolled around. That isn’t how things work and, of course, it’s just plain foolish.

However, when it comes to spiritual matters, it’s pretty clear that some people live in a fantasy world in which they wishfully think there is some way of getting around the spiritual law of sowing and reaping. These are the folks who want to believe that they can do as they please, without regard for God or anyone else, and somehow the Lord will smile on them and they will walk in his blessings. And, of course, just as in the realm of nature, such notions are just plain foolish.

How much sense does it make, for example, that a person who sows bitterness and strife wherever they go will somehow be able to reap a harvest of anything but turmoil and sour relationships? The answer is “none”—it makes no sense. Whether a person chooses to believe it or not, sowing bad seed can only produce a corrupt and evil harvest. The seeds of animosity and conflict can never produce anything that even comes close to resembling the good fruit of peace and harmony. That’s because of the universal law of sowing and reaping which the Lord put into motion at the very beginning.

While Jesus Christ was walking the earth he taught the Golden Rule: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s a very simple idea that any child can understand. Treat people the way you want to be treated. Appreciate their worth and respect their feelings. In your dealings with them, demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit and you will be planting the seeds of goodwill and harmony in your relationships.

The Golden Rule works everywhere but the first place it should be put into practice is in your household. In fact, it’s a key to a good marriage. If you are married, you should always do your best to put yourself in your spouse’s “shoes,” as much as it’s possible anyway, and consider what is best for your spouse in every situation. That kind of consideration will go a long way in strengthening your marriage and will enhance the spiritual atmosphere in your home. Peace and harmony will reign in your household. Does that sound good to you? Then use to the Golden Rule as the guiding principle in your marriage.

reaping

Whatever your circumstance, no matter where live, the law of sowing and reaping is working in your life. If you are under the delusion that you can live in ways that foolishly disregard the basic spiritual laws established by the Living God who created you and all that is, and avoid the consequences of the bad seed you are planting, do yourself a favor before it’s too late and reconsider your ways.

God is merciful and is full of grace. But we must also take into account that He is fair and just as well. The law of sowing and reaping reflects that truth. Our God will not be mocked. The laws He established to govern the universe are there to insure that He is glorified above his creation.

So, just as the law of gravity works whether you believe in it or not, the law of sowing and reaping works as well. It is for your benefit that you live by it, and also that He may be glorified.

May the Lord bless you abundantly as you grow in your understanding of his ways and sow good seed… in faith!

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Until the next time, walk in the Spirit… and be a blessing!

Dr. Peter