Romans 8:5-6 (NLT) Life in the Spirit
Intro: Our passage today is a continuation of Paul’s letter to the Romans and to future believers. He takes time to explain about two different human mindsets in life: 1) people who think and act based on the desires of their flesh or sinful natures [desires that run contrary to God’s plan for the redeemed], and 2) people who think and act based on the guidance of the Holy Spirit [living in agreement with God’s plan for the redeemed]. We are “controlled” by one or the other. To belong to Christ [the Word of God] is to embrace the work of the Spirit that lifts us out of dead living into a life of peace. To continue living in the flesh is to resurrect the sinful nature God has already condemned to death.
Romans 8:5-6 Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.
Do you take time each day to center your life in Christ? As believers, we all want to enjoy the peace that passes all understanding, but how do we stay there? (Phil 4:7). Wisdom will lead us to take notice of our thoughts, because we can very quickly find ourselves distanced from peace. We know if we have found ourselves overly worried or dissatisfied with life we have wandered away from our control Center. It is so very easy to do, my friends. In those moments, the temptation is a default to our flesh. Life brings all kinds of challenges and the enemy of every soul knows when we are approaching our limit of self-control.
We need the strength of God for our moments of weakness. Before we get to the point of acting in our flesh, we need to pause, pray, and petition the Holy Spirit to bring the strength we need to remain in peace. Then, we need to take dominion over every thought and take it captive to obey Christ (2 Cor 10:5). How will you spiritually capture your thoughts? Accept your humanity and admit you need the work of the Spirit as your Helper. Spend time in the Word of God, because it renews your thoughts with the Truth. Respond wisely to the issues rather than react fearfully or disobediently. Talk about God’s goodness in your conversations rather than your problems, because greater is He who is in you than anything going on in this world (1 John 4:4).
Prayer: Lord, thank you for your Word that guards my heart against living in my sinful nature. Help me to be led by your Spirit every day, because then I will not carry out the desires of my flesh. I pray for your children worldwide to be filled with the peace and wholeness you impart. Maybe then, those who live by their flesh will want you Lord! In Jesus’ name. Amen.