“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Romans 8:5-6)
Our minds are powerful entities. They can do amazing things but they can also be dangerous. We are capable of dreaming big dreams, creating beautiful pieces of art, writing songs, planning out amazing events and adventures, and we are even capable of doing those dreaded math problems. But, we are also capable of convincing ourselves of things that are not true, viewing ourselves or others in a negative way, creating negative scenarios in our heads, convincing ourselves how other people perceive us, and even scheming against others. I truly believe our minds can convince ourselves of anything positive or negative. Our minds are also private places. If we do not choose to share what is in our minds, no one will know what we are thinking except, the Lord of course! We have to be very careful with how we feed our mind and how we exercise it.
While you have probably heard most of this before, my point today is actually encouraging. The scripture above in Romans 8:5-6 does warn us about having a mind of the flesh, but it also gives us encouragement for those whose minds are set on what the Spirit desires. It says that those who have their minds set on what the Spirit desires, has a mind governed by the Spirit and it brings us life and peace. Isn't peace and life what we are all seeking? So therefore, instead of condemning our minds for thinking negative thoughts or being a negative person, why don’t we start to desire what the Spirit desires? What are those things? Well luckily the Bible gives us a clear answer in Philippians 4:8. “Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.”
We have control over our minds. No one else does. Even God gave us free will to allow us to decide for ourselves if we want to follow Him. If we have chosen to follow Him, we should seek to desire what He desires. If we do, we allow our minds to be governed by Him. It is something we must practice. It does not automatically occur when we are saved. We must submit our minds daily to the Spirit and train our minds to dwell on things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, and praiseworthy. Instead of beating ourselves up over every time we have a negative thought or think unkindly towards ourselves or others, let’s ask God to help us desire what He desires. Ask Him to help you dwell on the characteristics from Philippians 4:8. Then practice dwelling on those things! I struggle so much with the thoughts in my mind. I am capable of thinking up scenarios out of my control and then I stress out and get overwhelmed. I am capable of convincing myself of things that I think people are thinking about me. I am also capable of worrying about things that do not even matter. But I am through beating myself up about these things. I am ready to change my thoughts by having a mind that is set on what the Spirit desires. Who is with me!?