a mindset that leads to life & peace

“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.” Romans 8:5 & 6 (NLT)

I have been thinking about these verses from Romans 8 and what it means to “think about things that please the Spirit.” I am very much interested in having a thought life that “leads to life and peace.” But what does that mean exactly? What kind of things should I be thinking?Screen shot 2014-09-13 at 10.46.26 AM

I have been mulling this over. Here is what I have come up with so far:

What “pleases the Spirit” is Jesus. The Holy Spirit  came to point to and reveal Jesus (John 16:12-15).  So, my thoughts should be centered on Jesus.

Perhaps the most significant thing that is revealed in Jesus is the fact that I am loved.  This is huge when it comes to my though life. Constantly thinking of the fact that God’s love for me (and you) is so extreme that he sent his son to die for me, cannot help but alter the atmosphere of my thought life. 

The environment Jesus establishes when I fix my mind on him is that of love. The content of my thoughts must continually acknowledge that I am deeply loved.

So many thoughts and patterns of harmful, hurtful thinking are immediately dismissed when I allow Jesus and his love to dominate my thinking.  The negative self-talk that I so easily fall into is eliminated.  The nearly abusive internal “talking to’s” that I regularly give myself no longer have place to tear me down.

Doubt, envy and bitterness fade.  In their place, thankfulness rises up.  As I allow the overwhelming love of God to impact my mindset, I find myself thinking of all I am thankful for; people I know, God’s incredible provision and care for me, situations I am blessed to be in and ones I am blessed to have avoided….

As I set my mind on Jesus I find “life and peace” where there was once death.

real faith?

I once heard someone making the case that David’s faith, as he went to fight Goliath, was really not quite as extraordinary as it might initially appear.  “You see,” the argument went, “God told David what was going to happen.  David already knew that he would be Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 1.42.33 PMable to defeat Goliath.” From a human reasoning standpoint, I can understand how any foreknowledge David may have had could make the story less impressive.

If he already knew what would happen, then was he really all that brave? 
 
Did it really take that much faith if God had already tipped David off about what was going to happen?

In reality, however, this is not a good argument against the strength of David’s faith. It is actually closer to the definition of faith.  In fact, having God tell us things is where faith comes from in the first place.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom 10:17 NKJV)
 
In Genesis 15 God told an elderly, childless man that he would have offspring that would be as numerous as the stars.  In verse 6 we are told that when Abraham (at that point still Abram) heard God tell him these things that he actually “believed God.”  Hebrews 11:11 says that the way Abraham was able to become a father was by faith.  Abraham “considered him faithful who had made the promise.”
 
“By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.”  (Heb 11:11 NIV)

Let’s hear what God has to say about us, stand on His promises & claim by faith what God has provided by grace!

“He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.” (1 Thess 5:24)