The Direction of the Mind
Remember the old cartoons on Saturday mornings and some character saying “Which way did he go? Which way did he go?” Was that Bugs Bunny? You may remember.
“Which way will you go?” is the question for today. There are definite paths our minds can go. The direction your mind is leading you is of incredible importance.
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? 25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. Romans 7:23-25
There are two paths at the intersection of life that each person faces every day. One path is going the direction God maps out in the Bible. The other path is heading in the direction the world/flesh draws up – away from the direction of God.
The Apostle Paul was not exempt from this decision making battle between his natural man (The Flesh) and the Spiritual Mind that was given him when he became a Christian and received the new nature (Spiritual Mind) from the Lord. The spiritual side of Paul was constantly in a war with the carnal or fleshly side of Paul. We have the same sin nature and the same spiritual nature he had.
Lewis Sperry Chafer was clearly right when he stated, “Nothing could be more misdirected than a self-directed life.”
There are two possible responses when confronted with the choice of “Which way to go?” There is no middle ground in between these two paths. Some believe they can strike out on their own and make their own path back to the Lord, but the terrain is tough and not navigable. It is better to get on God’s path, or when prompted by the Lord, jump back on his path.
Path One: A Reacting Mind. This “Reacting Mind” reacts to the desires of the flesh. Its primary power comes from the engine of lust. The body can lust for good things such as air, food, water, and even sex. When moderation or the boundaries are broken for these blessings, it becomes sin. For example, sex within the boundary of marriage is wholesome, fulfilling, and terrific! Sex outside of the protection marriage becomes enslaving, and may even cause feelings of guilt and depression.
The Reacting Mind does what it feels like it wants to do. It is captive to the flesh of the person and to the influences of the world around him. Have you even been in a car when the driver “jerks the wheel” in attempt to not miss an off ramp off the highway? That fast reaction is caused by not anticipating, or looking far enough ahead. The reacting mind is many times impulsive too.
Path Two: The Ruled Mind. The Ruled Mind responds to the leading of the Spirit of God. It is not controlled by lust, but by love. This mind is submissive to the Word of God. While the Ruled Mind knows it is in a fast paced battle, it is active and fore-thinking to avoid sin, watch out for an arrogant spirit, and to steer clear of pride each day.
The Ruled Mind is determined to live out the Word of God each day in all its decisions and determinations. This mind is thinking of “how to please Jesus” instead of “how to please self.” Instead of reacting in tough situations, it is ruled by the patient Spirit of God and calmly makes the right decision.
Ask the Lord to help you have a mind ruled by the Spirit of God and the Word of God.