Romans – 8 Part 1 : Battlefield of the mind. Human Flesh fights against Holy Spirit


   

Before we get into Chapter 8, let’s summarize Romans 1-7 chapters. Paul starts explaining how the entire humanity inherited the sinful nature independent of the culture and race. We fell short of God’s standards. Eternal death (away from the presence of God) was waiting for all of us. We have no hope of nearing the Holy presence of God. Then God sent His only son, Jesus, because He loved the world. He made His Son as the sacrifice for our mistakes. Jesus died for all the mistakes of humanity and presented as the sacrifice for all our mistakes. Through Him, we were made right with God. No amount of self-discipline, good deeds, or following the set of laws can make us free from the past mistakes we have done. It only through the sacrifice of Jesus, we are made right with God. But even after Jesus forgives our sins, our inner man struggles with fleshly desires. Though our past is forgiven our future life go through struggles. We are not able to come out our past habits completely. But Jesus has already conquered the sin. With this context in the background, let’s move on to Romans Chapter 8.

One of my mentors gave this analogy to explain how to have victory over the battlefield of the mind. It is purely an analogy. One man owned two dogs. He called them good and bad dogs. The good dog barked and warned the owner at the right time during the times of danger. The owner loved the good dog as it kept him away from the dangers. But the bad dog gave a confusing signal to its owner. It was even barking at the owner’s family members and wagged its tail for complete strangers. The owner who was equally feeding the good and bad dog wants to listen to the voice of the only good dog. He stopped the food allocated to the bad dog and kept providing enough food to the good dog. Soon he could hear the barking of only the good dog. The bad dog lost its strength and even though it barked the voice is so feeble the owner could not hear it. 

Our mind always battles with two contradicting signals originates from two unique sources. The sources of two signals are the voice of the Holy Spirit and the voice that arises from the desires of the flesh. It’s often confusing to decide which one is the right choice to make, as both voices are so compelling. If we keep feeding our spirit with the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life then the voice of flesh is going to much stronger. But if we feed our spirit with words from scripture, praise, prayer, and starve the flesh, then the voice of the holy spirit is going to be stronger and easier to listen to. 

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. v5 NLT

Our life choices decide who is going to be the master of the mind. God is a gentleman. He does not interfere with our free will. We decide on whom we want to feed (flesh or spirit). When the Holy Spirit is our master of the mind, He will keep convicting, correcting, comforting, and counseling us throughout the day. We will align our minds with the voices of the Holy Spirit. But when the flesh is our master, then we will be unknowingly or knowingly disobeying God’s words.

The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. V7-9 NLT

Our old and sinful man was dead and buried along with Jesus when we asked forgiveness for our past mistakes. The Holy Spirit, who lifted Jesus from the dead, comes into our life as Jesus promised to us. He will give us a new life and resurrect our life as He resurrected Jesus from death.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. v11 NLT

Dear friend, we have a choice to make. As Jesus promised He sent the Holy Spirit to every one of us (John 16:7) when we are made right with God. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead our life, He holds our hands and leads us like a father leads His child. One can become a child to our parents in two ways legally. He can be born to a parent to become a child naturally, or a parent can adopt a child. Though we are born to fleshly desires with a sinful nature, God adopted us and made us His child. He gave us Holy Spirit, who can lead us like a father leads His child. 

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.

The Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. v13,14 NLT

Dear friend, despite our weakness and desire to follow the flesh, God is still at work. Through Holy Spirit keeps convicting and correcting us. Are we ready to listen to His voice and follow Him faithfully? Let’s pray.

Dear Jesus, Thank you for giving us the Holy Spirit to be with me always. Help me to listen to Him. Help me to follow His words and take up the correction in my life seriously. Help me to stop feeding my flesh. Guard my eyes, words, and thoughts. Teach me to make the right choices and strengthen my spiritual man. Give me the wisdom to focus on you. Thank you for everything you have done in my life. Thank you, Holy Spirit, for being with me. In Jesus’s name, Amen.

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