“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, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” Romans 8:5-8
To summarize the verses above: What we think is what we are, and what we are either puts us at peace or at war with God. Thoughts have the ability to bring us close to God or to tear us away from Him. The battle over what master we will choose to serve starts in the mind and the body has no choice but to follow.
If you are wondering why you can’t stop your actions any earlier, why you seem to only catch yourself after you have passed the line you didn't intend to pass, it is because of the following fact that Neil and Joanne Anderson reference in their book Overcoming Depression. They state that “emotions are essentially a product of our thoughts.” It is then from our emotions we react without the ability to even catch ourselves before we choose to do something or say something we wish we would have not.
Being at peace with God and living a life pleasing to Him starts with a conscious effort applied to living in the Spirit and having a mind set on the truth of God. To start the process of setting your mind on God, try the following steps:
- First journal all of your thoughts for a couple of days (you will be amazed at what is really filling your mind)
- Ask God to take away the thoughts you know are against God’s will (remember this takes time, but be patient and just keep asking – God is faithful)
- Fill your mind with truth by posting scripture around your house, memorize scripture, sing praise music based on the truth of the scriptures
The transformation takes time, but essentially the process of putting your mind in subjection to God will transform your heart and your life to one filled with the peace of God and a place where the Spirit can do amazing work.