So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. Romans 8:6 (NLT)
Take a moment and pay attention to the kind of topics you were thinking about for the last ten minutes. Did you think thoughts that inspire and encourage? Or, were they thoughts of despair, and doubt? Did you think uplifting and positive thoughts, or were you looking at the downside of your situation? Are you thinking of ways to please God or are you trying to get out of obeying the Word of God? Paul continued and clarified his train of thought in this way:
For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. Romans 8:7–9 (NLT)
It is impossible to be at peace when you are at war with God’s will for your life. Daily, Holy Spirit teaches us to obey God’s will and to become more like Him. Our sinful human natures are selfish and want to dethrone God in our thoughts, words, and actions. Elsewhere, Paul contrasted what our sinful natures produce and what Holy Spirit produces:
When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God. But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things! Those who belong to Christ Jesus have nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to his cross and crucified them there. Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. Let us not become conceited, or provoke one another, or be jealous of one another. Galatians 5:19–26 (NLT)
Let’s ask the Holy Spirit to produce the right kind of thinking in us by taking control of our thoughts. When Holy Spirit controls our minds, the results are peaceful, joyful, and enduring.
- Listen to your thoughts and listen to what you say today. Do you need to make some adjustments with the Holy Spirit’s help?
- Let’s not think thoughts that are self-serving and detrimental to others. Instead, let’s think about the good things that will produce encouraging words and great attitudes.
- Ask Holy Spirit to help you set your mind on things above, and not just the stuff of our world, which will pass away (Colossians 3:2 NLT).
Excerpted from The Art of Peace: 21 Days To A More Peaceful You by Iann Schonken: