June 14, 2018

What Consumes Your Mind Could Ultimately Control Your Life. Think Wisely!

Romans 8:5–8

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For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

In Context:

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. 12 So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. 13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

What Consumes Your Mind Could Ultimately Control Your Life. Think Wisely!



Bio | Lauren Smith

Hello, everyone! By the time y'all read this, I should have completed all sections of the CPA exam and be exploring the great 14ers in Colorado before I become a professional bean counter at a public accounting firm in Dallas this fall.

When I am not crunching numbers, I can be found serving at Watermark's membership classes, writing cards for the Notes Ministry, and hanging out with my awesome community group sisters! Also, I LOVE running, competing in elite Spartan races, hiking and camping, getting lost in a good book, and spending time with God daily!

Special shout-out: Happy Birthday, Grandpa!

Central Truth

There are so many things people use to try to fill their void: money, sex, alcohol, food, drugs, etc. Whatever feelings of “life” these things might bring are only temporary, however, and they are ultimately unfulfilling. But accepting and trusting Jesus as your Lord and Savior will bring you life and peace.

Devotional | Romans 8:5–8

When I first joined Watermark, Romans 8:6 was the first verse I memorized with my community-group accountability partner. This verse spoke to me, and I really appreciated God’s bluntness. “To set the...

When I first joined Watermark, Romans 8:6 was the first verse I memorized with my community-group accountability partner. This verse spoke to me, and I really appreciated God’s bluntness. “To set the mind on the flesh is death.” DEATH! I have hypochondriacal tendencies; so the word death got my attention quickly.

I was raised in a Christian home, and I had a beaming love for the Lord as a child and accepted Jesus as my Savior when I was little. As I grew older I desired immaterial things, such as being accepted, beautiful, and loved by men. Once I started to date someone, I moved God to the back burner because I desired to be loved by men more. The first part of Romans 8:6 states, “For to set the mind on the flesh is death”; and, boy, did I slowly start dying in my sins. Physical and major emotional/mental abuse, unhealthy relationships, experimenting with drugs, and negative thoughts about my appearance left me anxiety-stricken and frozen with fear. Setting my mind on my fleshly desires caused me to fear death tremendously. 

The second part of Romans 8:6 states, “[B]ut to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace”; and I very quickly found comfort when I dug into my Bible and received biblical counsel because I was filled with God's Word. Reading my Bible reassured me of God's love for me, and I was filled with life and peace, free from my sins and anxiety.

Whatever your current sinful nature is, it does not have to define who you are or to control you permanently. I am praying for you to find life through Jesus and your mind to be filled with peace—free from past hurts, free from addiction, free from depression, free from feelings of unworthiness, free from anxiety. Romans 6:22 says, “But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life." How great is that?!

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Discussion Questions

1. What are some of your current sin patterns?

2. How are those sins affecting your mind, health, and family?

3. Take some time to reflect and pray for guidance, and read Proverbs 3:5-6. How does God want you to combat the sins you thought of?

4. Plug: Check out re:gen, a biblically based, 12-step discipleship ministry for healing, recovery, and freedom from any type of struggle.

5. Challenge: I would love to challenge you to memorize a verse from the Bible. Pick a verse that speaks to you and memorize it so you can turn to it when you are struggling with your sin patterns. My verse is Psalm 4:8, “In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.” If you see me running around, please ask me to recite my verse. I need some accountability!

5 Comments available

greg jones 3 months ago

Love this devotional today. Verse 7 says, “for the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God.” Here’s what I find sneaky in my mind concerning the life and death Paul’s talking about. Death is passive to death, my flesh is passive to my flesh. In my mind those two things don’t say “here we are over here, this is us being hostile to God”. So when the heading of the devotional says, “What consumes your mind could ultimately control your life. Think wisely!”, I don’t want to just feel good for reading it. I find myself doing that sometimes. I find myself using this thought to check a box in my mind, ‘got to read my devotional today, not to is hostile to God’. Today I’m seeing passive as hostile.

Thank you for the call to think wisely!

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

Psalm 4 is an interesting example… things don’t always go the way expected.

In Psalms 1 Blessed is ‘the man’ who walks in your ways (truest of Jesus) In Psalm 2 Kiss the son, lest he be angry… Blessed are all who trust in Him… but in Psalm 3, David is on the run from his son and despite the opposition and danger and in Psalm 4 (with starts with soothing harp music) finds rest and sleep and his enemy teeth are broken (Ahithropal, the adviser of the opposition, hangs himself) Psalm 4 being an evening psalm and Psalm 5 a morning, and as in Genesis evening precedes morning, the morning psalm starting with flute music in the title which seems appropriate to morning… the son of man reigning in Psalm 8

Psalm 1 through 8 point to the incarnation humiliation opposition sufferings vindication and glorification of ‘the Son’, Jesus

Michael Scaman 3 months ago

In one way, the mind set on the spirit, is where Paul counted his human works as nothing and pressed on for the prize of the upward calling of God in Christ Jesus.

In another way, the mind set on the spirit glorifies God leaning on God’s help in turning from sin and also leaning God’s help in finding mercy

Paul will press on and encourage believers toward sanctification ‘by the renewal of their minds’

Hugh Stephenson 3 months ago

Good morning Lauren. Love those 14ers. And here’s to bean counters.

What I really love about Romans is how Paul uses absolutely inarguable logic to lay out the truth; especially using dichotomies like our choice between the flesh and the spirit.

Pre-salvation, much of my life journey was in search of the “peace that passes all understanding” (Philippians 4:6-7). Paul makes it crystal clear that my only chance is to “set [my] mind on the Spirit”.

As I have been able to repeat my surrender prayers more and more, God has revealed more and more of Himself to me.

Todd gave us a great reminder that often this revelation can come with tribulation. Of course, I want the testimony but not the test.

I bought Francis Chan’s book “The Forgotten God” a few years ago but did not get very far in it. It’s next on my list.

Lindsey Driscoll 3 months ago

Lauren, thank you for your devo where you share how God helped your mind be controlled by the spirit and how it brings life and peace to your life. 8:6 - “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the spirit is life and peace.” Meditating on this today. Putting it at the forefront of my mind today.

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