Sunday, 17 March 2019

The Carnal Mind

Scripture: Romans 8 v 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.
 6  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 
7  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. 
 8  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

The carnal mind is an area that many Christians struggle with, but do not truly understand. At best they compromise by saying God made me like this, I just have to live with it. They do not realise that Jesus conquered this mental stronghold so that we could conquer it too. 

Being carnally minded is death. This is death meaning separated from God. You go through the motions of being a Christian without truly entering in to the full joy and peace of your new life in Christ. Your life is a pretence, in which you only fool yourself.  You excuse yourself by saying I am only human. Christianity is a whole new lifestyle and mindset. It is 100% opposite to the way of the world. 
When you enter into the Body of Christ you are no longer "only human" you are a new creation!

If you have been filled with the Holy Spirit you are dead to this carnal world. There is no way you can be half worldly and half righteous. Jesus did not half die on the Cross. He went all the way to the other side and took the keys of hell and death away from Satan. For you. 

So you need to put your life under a microscope and get rid of complacency and compromise. The pleasures of this world and the sin attached cause you to enter into enmity with God. You seem not to realise the danger and when your real enemy has you hooked again, your protection from God is forfeit. 

So what exactly is the carnal mind? It is where thoughts, ideas, bad memories, fantasies, lusts, covettousness, jealousy, bitterness, fears, pride, selfishnesss, ambition, and self love flourish. You can let a bird land on your head but don't let it make a nest in your hair. Temptation is not sin, for we are all tempted; yielding to those temptations is sin. 

Pornography being sent by people to your mobile or laptop is evil. Don't indulge in it. Delete it and delete those who indulge in such filthiness of the flesh. Tell them why. Pray for them to be set free of sin. Addiction to drugs is a very secret sin but Jesus sees all. Smoking pot or taking recreational drugs is a carnal sin that opens the door to uninhibited behaviour that is enmity against God. He hates it. 

Avoid drunkenness as it causes pain to everyone around you. You may believe you hold your liquor well but your personality changes under the influence of spirits. Brandy, whisky, rum, vodka spirits are controlled by evil spirits that cause much misery through the abuse of alcohol. Jesus said its not what enters in through the mouth that's the problem, its what it triggers in the soul that defiles a man. 

Jesus has the ability to set everyone completely free. You have to want to be free though. All the earnest prayers of believers cannot overcome stubborn self will in a carnal mind. As the Leaning Tower of Pisa said to Big Ben - If you have got the time, I have got the inclination!  You need to make time to overcome your carnal behaviour and allow the Holy Spirit to reign freely in your life. Do you have the inclination, the desire, to live life in the Spirit?  

It's important because those who are "in the flesh" cannot please God.  You need to learn how to put your flesh under control of your spirit.  You need to discipline and tame your flesh by learning Godly habits like reading Bible or praying.  The flesh conjures up every distraction to spiritual exercise.  Turn everything off, phone tv, laptop, and deny the flesh!

Those who overcome carnality find true life and peace in the life of the Spirit. The fruit of the Holy Spirit is love, joy, peace, kindness, patience, self-control, goodness and faith. There is no law or carnal behaviour in those attributes. It is a choice you make daily and if you walk the Jesus way you will not compromise the joy of His fellowship for the carnal indulgences and cheap thrills of fleshly behaviour.  

Christianity is a sacrifice, a putting to death and closing of doors on your old worldly sinful life, and taking responsibility for respecting the Lord Jesus Christ who lives in our hearts. What you do to harm your body and soul you do to the One who dwells in your heart. If you neglect His righteousness for too long you backslide into unbelief and find yourself back at square one.  Or worse.

So make a decision today to fully engage with Jesus Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to remove carnality from your mind and life. Repent of your indifference and the dangers of self-indulgence. Open your stony heart to the love of the Father and quit lying to yourself and others. God is full of kindness and mercy so do not make an enemy of Him. 

Prayer: Father God, I have strayed from Your kingdom and yielded to temptation and I am trapped inside a carnal hell. I call on the name of Jesus to set me free. I repent of every act of sin and compromise that has broken my faith and Your trust. Forgive me, Lord, for betraying You. Cleanse me in the Blood of the Lamb and restore me to Your kingdom. In Jesus' name. Amen.