Seeking Christ in this crazy distracting world can prove to be an extremely difficult challenge.
I know that for me I allow these distractions to lure me in and pull me away from what truly matters. My time becomes devoted to me, me, and more me. Hobbies and desires, good and bad, take over my day and only when I hit the pillow do I realize Jesus and me didn’t spend very much time together.
This problem does not always stem from the fact that I neglected to read my Bible, but that I did not allow it’s truth to penetrate my heart on that particular day. As a result it becomes much harder to live for Jesus in every single moment.
A verse that particularly speaks to me regarding this problem is Romans 8:6.
“For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.”
In order to fully understand where the author, Paul, is coming from when he says this, we need to understand the full context of this passage. This verse comes from a passage talking about life in the Spirit. The verses explains that Christ fulfilled what the law could not do for us.
The law told us what a life according to God’s perfect standard looks like, but as hopelessly fallen human beings we could never live up to this standard. Yet, Jesus came and became a living, breathing, perfect example of this standard.
Jesus did not live His life according to the flesh. He lived according to the Spirit.
And if we live according to the Spirit, by God’s grace, we live fuller, more joyful, peace filled lives.
“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.” Romans 8:5-6 (emphasis added)
This all sounds great, but you may be wondering, what exactly are the things of the flesh and the things of the Spirit?
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:16-26
Looking at this list feels a little daunting. If you’re like me you see the fruits of the spirit and wonder ‘how in the world am I supposed to be filled with love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control everyday?’
Over the past few years I’ve learned that I’m not going live out these fruits perfectly everyday. But that is not what matters, what matters is that we are pursuing God with our all of heart, soul, and mind. Loving Him like this only comes from accepting the grace and mercy He has extended to us through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. As a result His Holy Spirit comes to live inside of us. The Holy Spirit allows us to live differently, allows us to live a life in the Spirit.
By allowing the Holy Spirit to work inside of us and intentionally pursuing Him more and more everyday, our lives bear the fruits of the Spirit.
This is what is looks like to live in the Spirit.
All images credited to Pinterest.