Romans 8:5 - Choices Determine Destiny.
Romans 8:5 - Choices Determine Destiny.
Romans 8:5 (NIV) 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
"Controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit" Rom.
8:5-9a. So many illustrations have been offered to clarify what Paul was
saying here. Some speak of a tug-of-war between the Spirit and the
flesh. Whichever side you choose to pull with will win. Some suggest a
teeter-totter. The sinful nature is on one end, the Holy Spirit on the other.
And you tip the balance. These, and other illustrations, make a
common point. There's a competition between God and man's mortal,
sinful nature. The Spirit urges us to go in one direction and the flesh
urges us to go another. And, each of us can choose. We can choose to
follow the Spirit's leading, to pull with the Spirit, to add our weight
to His side of the teeter-totter. Or we can choose to go the way of
How gracious God is. Even now, He does not say "You must."
That would be Law. Instead He reminds us that, because of Christ, and
in the power the Spirit gives, "You can!" [The 365-Day Devotional
"He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to
your mortal bodies" Rom. 8:9b-11. "You can!" is one of the hardest
things for a Christian to truly believe. We're so used to failure that
down deep many of us are convinced, "Well, I can't!" When that
conviction overwhelms you, remember the nature of God's power. God's power,
exercised by the Holy Spirit, raised Jesus from the dead. That same power,
exercised by the Holy Spirit, is fully capable of taking your
mortality--your deadness--and making you live! And, this same verse says, His
Spirit "lives in you."
Of course "I can't." But because God's Spirit lives in every
true believer (v. 9b), you can!
To approach any spiritual challenge with the confidence that
"I can" isn't presumption, it's faith. Faith that God's Spirit
living in you will give you the power you need, despite your mortality,
to succeed rather than fail.
Actually, this is how you and I add our weight to that inner
tug-of-war, or climb on the Spirit's side of that teeter-totter. We say, "I
can," confident that the Spirit will act in and through us.
And then, we do! [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle
that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between 2
"One is Evil. It is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed,
arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride,
superiority and ego.
The other is God. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity,
humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion,
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his
grandfather, "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed." [source
There are so many forces in the world that aim to control our
minds: the media, trends and advertising, secular philosophy, and
materialism. Yet none of these brings us real life. Through computers,
television, malls, and music, the enemy comes in like a flood to distract
us, capture our minds, and dominate our thoughts. There's also our
own sinful nature, which today's verses say will lead to death if we
give over the controls of our life to it. But the good news is in the
last part of verse 6: "If the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there
is life and peace." Yielding our minds and thoughts to Christ Jesus
will result in a spirit of calmness, a quiet confidence that he is in
control no matter what is happening in the world around us. When the
Spirit controls us, we are able to think about things that please God
and, as this verse describes, he will allow our hearts to experience
life and peace.
LORD, I want your Holy Spirit to control my mind, heart, and
thoughts so that I can experience life and peace. I yield my mind to you
today. Direct my thoughts. Cause me to think about things that please
you. Guard my mind from being controlled by anything that is contrary
to your ways. Thank you for setting me free from sin and death
through the power of your Life-giving Spirit!
Holy Spirit, think through me until your ideas become my
ideas. Amy Carmichael (1867-1951) [Praying Through The Bible By Fuller
re vv. 5, 6]
Despite our weaknesses, with the Spirit's help we can live holy
lives. [The 365-Day Devotional Commentary]
Don't you know that you become the slave of the one you turn
your life over to? If you turn your life over to sin, it will
eventually kill you. If you turn your life over to doing what is right,
you'll receive eternal life. Romans 6:16 (CWR)
LINKS WORTH CHECKING OUT:
Lifting Up Jesus Bible Studies: http://www.liftingupjesus.net/
Grace Notes: http://www.e-gracenotes.org/index.php
Excellent Spiritual Resource Site:
More Spiritual Resources: http://www.aBible.com