Monday, 21 December 2020

The Carnal Mind


Scripture: Romans 8 v 6 - 8:  "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."

1 Corinthians 2 v 12 - 14: "Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.
13  Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual.
14  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

Our soul consists of our will, our emotions and our mind, and is the part of us that still needs to be brought under the power of God. It grew to dominate our spirit, and misinform it, when we were independent of His will for us.  We need to bring our souls and flesh under the control of our spirit.

Our soul promotes carnality of the flesh, and encourages it to be sinful. We cannot kill the soul but we must tame it and transform it through obedience to Jesus Christ. This is a lifelong battle which changes our character from our unsaved wild ways to moral and righteous Christian behaviour.

Our carnal mind stores everything in its memory banks either conscious or subconscious. It gravitates to fleshly pleasures and clings fiercely to them. Our enemy had full control over our soul before Jesus came into our hearts to spoil his evil fun.

The Blood of Jesus cleanses us of all sin and gives us a clean slate and a fresh start to live a life of moral goodness but we still have to overcome the pleasures of sin in our memories. The carnal mind does not give up its pleasures easily so the battle for the mind is now on.  

James 4 v 6 - 8: "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
7  Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
8  Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded."

We need to actively resist temptation, and refuse to yield to the enticement of our enemy.  He loves to accuse us day and night before the Throne of God.  Deny him the opportunity!  Say NO to Satan and resist all his plans to compromise you.  Do not just timely give in to him without a word of protest.  Exert your free will against him.

Before Jesus came into our hearts, guilty pleasures were the norm. Now those old pleasures are tainted and we feel bad because we know that God is not pleased with us for indulging in things He hates.

Romans 12 v 2: "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind..."

The method of this transformation of the mind is to read, follow and obey the Word of God. As you meditate on the scriptures they become a mirror for your actual state of mind. The Holy Spirit will guide you by first showing you the things that are wrong. He will be there to help you make the changes and strengthen you as you grow in grace.

Some may be ignorant of what makes our minds carnal. Its a long list so I will abbreviate where I can. All bad thoughts of a sexual nature eg fantasy lust; porn; unclean jokes and speech; ogling.  Any involvement in the occult or witchcraft has heavy consequences.  Theft, fraud and coveting others goods is very carnal and wrong.  When these thoughts progress to sinful behaviour you will grieve  the Holy Spirit.  This is a serious problem and contributes to backsliding.

It is carnal to gossip, slander, undermine and curse people. In Matthew 15 v 19 Jesus says "For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies; these are things which defile a man."

Counteract these with what Paul says in Philippians 4 v 8 - If you are thinking good, lovely and pure thoughts about people you will not give your carnal mind time to get lustful, angry, murderous thoughts, or to fill it with worldly activities. Then the transformation will be complete and the enemy of your soul will have a hard time leading you astray.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, You want us to be pure, kind and gentle people who are disciplined in mind and body to manifest the nature of Jesus. Help us to achieve this by studying Your Word and applying it to our lives. In Jesus' name. Amen.