For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. – Romans 8:5-10 (ESV)
Today’s devotion really sets the tone and the direction for the rest of the devotionals you’ll receive throughout this series but first, a question:
When was the last time you set your mind to do something new or different?
I don’t mean in a casual or flippant way. Like I’m talking about really setting your mind on something.
It could be anything. Maybe it was when you were attempting to accomplish an athletic feat such as a race or physical fitness test. Maybe it was when you had to learn a new skill for work or school in order to move to the next level of your development. Or maybe it was when you were aiming to accomplish something that you never thought was possible such as graduating from a higher learning institution or purchasing your first home.
Do you remember what kind of focus that required from you? Scratch that. It probably required way more than focus. It required things like discipline, tenacity, and even a measure of faith!
You had to maintain laser-sharp commitment to see that vision come to fruition. You had to eliminate distractions so you could keep your concentration on what you were pursuing. There were times you had to say “No” to certain things so you could continue saying “Yes” to the main things. And more than likely, you faced pressures––whether internal or external––to slow down, give up, or pivot to something altogether different.
But you stayed the course and you achieved what you set your mind to do.
I bring this up because I want you to see that you can set your mind to something and fulfill it!
And I want you to recall that experience as you make the commitment to set your mind on “the things of the Spirit” as the Apostle Paul spoke of in Romans 8:5.
You see, activating your awareness to the Holy Spirit and abiding in His presence does not happen by accident.
The good news is you have a choice.
You can choose to set your mind and heart on the things of the flesh… What do I want? What do I need? What makes me happy? What satisfies my desires?
Or you can choose to set your mind and heart on the things of the Spirit… What pleases the Holy Spirit? What would the Holy Spirit want me to do in this circumstance? How can I display the Holy Spirit’s power to others through this situation?
And I want you to think about these two choices over the next 24-36 hours or so. More specifically, I want you to think about which option you will choose.
Will you choose to set your mind on the things of the flesh? Or will you choose to set your mind on the things of the Spirit?
Activating your awareness to the Holy Spirit and abiding in His presence happens when you make intentional, deliberate, and purposeful decisions. And the first decision you need to make in this process is the decision that you will set your mind on the things of the Spirit. This is the foundation for walking in the Spirit, so I would encourage you to read Romans 8:5-10 another 2-3 times between today and tomorrow to let the truth of these verses sink in as you contemplate your decision.
Questions, Reflection, and Prayer:
- What does it look like to set your mind on the things of the Spirit?
- What obstacles or challenges keep me from setting my mind on the Spirit?
- If I set my mind on the Spirit, my life would be different because ___________________.
- Holy Spirit: Help me to set my mind on you. I pray you meet me where I’m at and you guide me forward. I want to see you and I want to be close to you. I want to be aware of how you’re working, and I want to abide wholly in your presence. Open my eyes and my heart to your power and your potential in my life. Amen.