WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JUNE 3, 2021
TOPIC: LET THE HOLY SPIRIT CONTROL YOUR MIND
BY T. O. BANSO
“If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace” (Romans 8:6 New Living Translation).
Jesus said in John 3:3, that except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. To be born again is to be born anew or born of God; it means to be saved. How do you get born again? Romans 10:10 says with the heart man believes unto righteousness; and with the mouth, confession is made unto salvation. You must be born again if you aren’t.
But confessing Jesus as your Lord and Saviour is not the end. It is just the beginning of your walk with Him. That’s why 1 Peter 2:2 says as newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. Romans 8:14 says as many as are led by the Spirit of God, are the sons of God. Therefore, one other important thing to do is to yield your mind to the control of the Spirit of God. The more the Spirit of God controls your mind, the more you’ll live your life to please the Lord, the more the good life you’ll enjoy, and the more the peace you’ll have.
Romans 8:6 says, “If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace” (New Living Translation). Please take note of this scripture. The New King James Version says, “For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
In other words, “the minding of the flesh” will lead to death, and “the minding of the Spirit” will lead to life and peace. To be carnally-minded is to mind the things of the flesh or the things of the sinful nature while to be spiritually-minded is to mind the things of the Spirit. The Amplified Bible presents Romans 8:6 thus: “Now the mind of the flesh is death [both now and forever—because it pursues sin]; but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace [the spiritual well-being that comes from walking with God—both now and forever].”
If someone’s sinful nature controls his mind, it will lead to spiritual death, which would also lead to eternal death if he does not repent and becomes spiritually-minded. A carnally-minded person is dead while he is still alive (1 Timothy 5:6). Continuing in this will ultimately lead to eternal death. “But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death” (James 1:14-15 New King James Version).
On the other hand, if the Holy Spirit controls someone’s mind, it will lead to life and peace. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23 New King James Version).
If the Holy Spirit controls someone’s mind, it will lead to eternal life and the peace of God on earth and will ultimately end in the same in eternity. “For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:8 New King James Version).
Romans 7:5-6 says, “For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter” (New King James Version).
This scripture shows us that the Christian is no longer in the flesh. He is in Christ and Romans 8:1 says there is, therefore, now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus. The Christian does not have a carnal mind which is enmity with God. He has been reconciled to God (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18). He is in love with Him. He wants to please God. Romans 8:7-8 says, “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” (New King James Version).
Verse 9 says of the Christian, “But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them are not Christians at all.)” (New Living Translation).
The Christian is not controlled by his sinful nature but by the Spirit of God dwelling in Him. However, he must allow the Holy Spirit to control his mind if he will not become carnal. The Amplified Bible puts it this way: “However, you are not [living] in the flesh [controlled by the sinful nature] but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God lives in you [directing and guiding you]. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him [and is not a child of God].”
The Christian is not carnally-minded but spiritually-minded. Nevertheless, he can be a carnal Christian when he remains a babe and not growing spiritually. In 1 Corinthians 3:1-4, Paul referred to the Corinthian church as carnal and not spiritual. He used the word “carnal” four times. He said, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, ‘I am of Paul,’ and another, I am of Apollos,’ are you not carnal?” (New King James Version).
However, Paul used different Greek words translated carnally and carnal in the two scriptures. In Romans 8:6, the Greek word translated carnally is sarx (flesh), Sarkinos (men of flesh, made out of flesh, or carnal), sarkikos (used in the second and third mentions of carnal, meaning fleshly or pertaining to the flesh, or unregenerate), and anthropos (a human being) are translated carnal in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 in the New King James Version.
Have you made Jesus the Lord of your life? If you have, you are not carnally-minded, so don’t behave like an unsaved person who is carnally-minded. Carnal Christians behave like non-believers. There is no difference between them and unsaved persons in terms of behaviour. Therefore, allow the Holy Spirit to control your mind. The Bible says you should put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts (Romans 13:14).
Let the Holy Spirit control your mind. The starting point is to study your Bible, the Word of God, daily, meditate upon it, and obey it. You also need to pray. That is how your Spirit is sensitized to God’s desire and the voice of the Spirit of God. The Word of God and Spirit of God usually agree.
Romans 12:2 says, “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (New King James Version). The Greek word for the phrase “be transformed” is metamorphoo from where the English words metamorphose and metamorphosis are derived.
The phrase “be transformed” in Romans 12:2 shows that you are not the one to transform yourself. God transforms your mind as you expose it to the Word of God and cooperate with the Holy Spirit. The transformation and renewing of your mind is a continuous process as you constantly expose your mind to the Word of God.
The New Living Translation sheds more light on Romans 12:2: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.”
Also, the words of Paul in Philippians 4:8-9 are helpful: “Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy — meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you” (New King James Version).
Your mind is the battleground. God wants to control your mind, and Satan wants to control your mind. When Satan controls someone’s mind, he’ll lead him to live according to sinful nature i.e. to commit sin, which is doing what does not please God, and the person can’t enjoy life and peace. “‘There is no peace,’ says my God, ‘for the wicked’” (Isaiah 57:21 New King James Version).
However, when the Holy Spirit controls your mind, He will lead you to set your mind on what the Spirit desires which is pleasing the Lord. A Christian, who has given his life to Christ but is not being controlled by the Spirit of God, will still fulfill the sinful desires of human nature or the desire of the flesh. If you’ve given your life to Jesus, yield your mind totally to the control of the Holy Spirit.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, I yield my mind to your total control. I will not be controlled by my sinful nature; The Holy Spirit inside me shall continue to control my mind. I am not carnally minded; I am spiritually-minded. I won’t copy the behavior and customs of this world but allow God to transform me into a new person by changing the way I think in Jesus’ name.
(For over 600 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit: www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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