For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
There is a battle raging within me. On one hillside of my heart, the sinful nature is encamped. This army, hostile to God, desires to be in control. My sin nature was not eradicated or erased when I became a Christian. I no longer live under the penalty of sin, but my propensity to sin remains. This militia fights for selfishness, materialism, the temporal, and pleasure. This force is not foreign. I quite enjoy pleasing, pampering, and pleasuring myself.
On the other hillside is my new nature—my life in Christ—controlled by the Spirit of God that lives within me. This holy force has the power to win every battle…if I relent. Surrendered to the Spirit, I delight in God, but sometimes I choose not to submit. Therein lies the battle and the basis for spiritual growth. Will I give in to my sinful cravings, or will I submit to the control of the Spirit?
This sums up the spiritual life. The Spirit can and will overpower the sinful nature every time. Part of the growth process involves God allowing me to learn dependence upon his Spirit or caving to my own sinful desires. In the flesh, I will never have the victory. But the measure of spiritual growth is when I start chalking up more wins than losses. So…how’s your record?
Father, help me to not yield to my sinful nature. Give me the strength and focus to depend on you. By your strength, please help me have more wins than losses. In Christ’s name. Amen.
Today’s Journey Message: