Pastor Chris Delmadge
A Spirit-Governed Mind
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” – Romans 8:6 (NIV)
Recently, I have been spending a great deal of time focusing on why it is important for me to live a life filled with the presence of the Holy Spirit. I used to think that living a Spirit-filled life was my ticket into heaven. It was my guarantee that I had a reserved seat on that beautiful bus ride to glory. But, as I grew more and more in my knowledge of who God is, I began to realize that having the Holy Spirit actively engaged in my life
(my decisions, my priorities, my likes and dislikes) resulted in a greater season of health and prosperity. Now, don’t get me wrong…it is not like I won the Mega Million Jackpot, but instead, my sense of well-being improved. My relationship with my wife and children improved significantly. My dietary habits and opportunities for rest and health were more intentional. My spending proclivities were more disciplined, and I began to notice a greater sense of purpose.
In Romans 8:6, Paul writes to the church in Rome, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” As I study this verse of scripture, there are a couple of thoughts that jump out at me. Paul mentions the fact that the mind will be governed by either your flesh or the Holy Spirit. This is very important to note. The word “mind” in Greek is phronema, and it is the source of one’s way of thinking. It is the place of harmony between what you think and how you feel about someone or something. Phronema goes beyond the concept of logic, but instead, speaks more towards how you process information to form an opinion. In other words, if your flesh, or “natural man”, is solely responsible for how you form your opinions, then the end result will always be death.
Something that is dead is void of life. If every conversation that you have with your spouse or child ends in an argument, then there is a void of life. If every choice to begin something new, ends in procrastination or a failure to execute, then there is a void of life. If the only way for you to enjoy yourself is to live a life that reflects a questionable gray area of righteousness, then there is a void of life. Jesus stated that He came so that we might “…have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10 NASB). As believers, we are supposed to experience life to the fullest. But, if my ability to form opinions is governed by my natural state, then the result is death. What informs your opinion about relationships, pleasure, finances, government, justice, or freedom? What is your determining factor as to what is acceptable or not? If it is based on your “natural” way of thinking, then the end result will be negativity, anger, bitterness, remorse, unfulfillment, and death.
Instead of living a life that is focused on things falling apart, scripture gives us the option of having our phronemagoverned by the Holy Spirit. In the second part of Romans 8:6, Paul states, “…the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” Scripture does not only mention life, but adds the extra benefit of peace. Now this promise does not guarantee a problem-less life. Instead, you will be able to navigate the issues of life by the leading of the Holy Spirit. The end result of every issue will be LIFE and PEACE. By faith, we stand on the Word of God and declare that a life led by the Holy Spirit MUST result in LIFE and PEACE.
Perhaps you find yourself in a difficult season as you read this devotional today, and you are wondering what the next move is going to be. Be encouraged today. Ask yourself these important questions, “Who is governing my opinions?” “Is it my natural self…or is it the Holy Spirit?” I can assure you, that if you submit yourself, which includes the way you think, to the leading of the Holy Spirit, you will begin to experience life and peace…even in the midst of chaos and grief. My God is not one to break His promises. Stand on His Word today, and by faith, see the power of God at work in your life.
The mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.
Now that’s Good Word!