Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Romans 8 {part 2}

A few weeks ago I started to study out Romans 8 with ya'll. We did versus 1-4, so now let's start on 5-8:

For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

I think these verses are really clear. When we do things that are to please our own flesh we CAN NOT please the Lord. I know I'm guilty of this, and I think if we're honest, we all are. Sometimes I'd rather eat ice cream and watch tv, instead of correcting my daughter for the millionth time about not climbing on the furniture. While eating ice cream isn't bad, neglecting my duties as a mom is. 

But have you ever looked at it this way? If I correct and train my children because I want to be seen as a good mom, that is NOT pleasing to the Lord. If our motivation is so that our kid isn't "that kid" then we are in the wrong. Verse 8 makes that clear, "so then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

In verse 7 we see that the issue with having a carnal mind, or a flesh driven mind, is that it's "not subject to the law of God" and that it CAN'T BE! It's not even really a choice once you make that first step away from the Lord and towards your flesh. Making that first step is like a snow ball affect. You wake up in the morning, and you choose not to get alone with the Lord. You "don't have time" for even a quick prayer of thanks. Then, not even 5 minutes into breakfast your kid acts up and you snap. You say something in a way that as soon as it escapes your lips you wish you could take back. Now you're frustrated and instead of apologizing you sit sulking. Then when it's time to clean up a plate breaks.... Do you see where I'm going? If you yielded your choice to the Spirit the first time things would have played out very differently. 

When you yield to the Spirit then your mind will be focused on the things of the Spirit {v. 5}. Many of the issues we face stem from an area in our lives where we are not (or did not) following after God. A great example of this is tension in a marriage. I'll use myself as an example for this, I know that most times when my husband and I are arguing about something I'm probably wanting my way. Well me wanting things to go my way is not scriptural. Of course if I have objection to something I should speak up. But if we're arguing, then I'm probably being stubborn and not yielding to the Spirit. Maybe for you it's different, but generally problems stem from breaking one of God's principles. Verse 6 makes it so clear, "to be carnally minded is death". While yes that means physical death, it can also be applied to relationships and happiness. If being spiritually minded brings peace then obviously being carnally minded will bring confusion and frustration. So while doing things that please your flesh may feel good in the moment it can't lead to anything good. 

These verses are hard to swallow because we all want to do what we want. It's our natural inclination. But really it's not what's best. Ultimately we must die to ourselves daily....

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20

And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. -Luke 9:23

Go here for Part 1

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