"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God." Roman 8:5-8
I have prayed over and over again, "God, I just want to please you today." Each and every day, that is part of my prayer to my God who loves me so much. I study His Word to know more about Him. I pray to Him to know more about Him. I enjoy the deep, personal, intimate relationship I have with God through Jesus. However, many times during the day, I find myself gratifying my own selfish desires rather than gratifying the desires of the Spirit within me. Paul said that his flesh and his spirit battle daily. Here in Romans 8:5-8, we see that there are two kinds of people: those who live according to the sinful nature and those who live according to the Spirit. Paul makes it very clear in Romans 8:6, saying, "The mind of the sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace." I don't know about you, but I'll take life and peace anyway over death. Jesus said in John 10:10, "I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full." I thank God for the sacrifice Jesus made when He lived a perfect life, died on the cross, and rose again from the grave! Jesus was victorious over death and sin! And because I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior, I can now embrace victory in my life...victory over death and victory over sin. This doesn't mean that I want ever sin again. This doesn't mean that I am now perfect. Jesus' life, death, and resurrection means that I can be (and I am!!!) forgiven for my past, my present, and my future sins. The Holy Spirit of God lives in me and guides me and directs me toward truth. When I listen to and obey the Holy Spirit's guidance and direction in my life, I can say things and do things that actually please God. Following the guidance and the direction of the Holy Spirit will bring life and peace to me. However, when I make decisions to reject the Holy Spirit's guidance and direction in my life, I am allowing my sinful nature to control me. My sinful nature is selfish and disobedient towards God, and in my sinful nature I cannot please God. My sinful nature results in death. As Christ followers, we need to thank God today for Jesus! We need to thank God today for the Holy Spirit who lives in us and for the life and the peace that we have from Him! We need to pray each day for God to give us the strength and the will to keep in step with the Spirit. We need to pray that our minds will be set on what the Spirit desires so that we can have the full life that Jesus promised us in John 10:10. Believe it! Claim it! Live it!