All throughout Scripture, God creatively uses comparisons and contrasts to teach Christians about who He is, and how we should live. For example, think of the house that is built on solid rock compared to the house built on sinking sand (Matthew 7:24-27). Also, think of a flourishing tree by a stream; while in contrast, picture a dried up bush in the desert (Jeremiah 17:5-8). Both of these passages teach us the benefits as well as the burdens of living a life with or without trusting and obeying God. Where the bible sometimes seems so difficult to understand, these colorful pictures of life are so very elementary to any reader!
I came across another comparison/contrast verse this morning:
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:5)
There is no wiggle room in this verse; what we think about can lead us to death or life. The word mindset is defined as “the established set of attitudes held by someone.” Hmm… what’s my attitude? (I would rather not answer that at times.) What is my mind set on?
The flesh: the worries of this world, the pleasures of this world, successes, failures, plans, hopes, dreams?
Or the Spirit: God Himself, who He is, and also the great things He has done in His word, in His creation, and in me? (Yes, HE is in me, and that is a great thing!)
One of these patterns of thinking is a dead-end road, possibly enjoyable for a moment, but only to be followed by discontent and despair; on the other hand, the Spirit-filled mindset lends itself to a fresh start every day to the God of wonders, who has the best for His children in every circumstance. The fleeting pleasure of the flesh is nothing compared to His eternal love abiding in a submitted soul.
So next time you find yourself confused about the past, or striving in the present, or fearful over the future, change your mindset from the flesh to the Spirit. He loves you and the beautiful truth is: His mind is set on you. He can (and longs to) out-do your best man-made ideas any day, and every day. The question is, do you believe this?
Sinking sand, or solid rock? Dried up bush, or fruitful tree? The flesh, or the Spirit? It’s a mindset.