Hostility: A Profile

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; – Romans 8:6-7

Hostile–not exactly a passive kind of word.

What does this hostility–this warfare look like? In what way does my wandering mind take up arms against the lover of my soul?

Try this on for size.

There’s the pile of bills sitting on the dining room table. There’s the checkbook that’s not quite as tall as the stack.

God says “I will supply all your needs according to My riches in glory.” (From Philippians 4:19)

I look at the heap. I look at the balance. I look at the pile–the problemthe circumstancesthe giant and I start looking for a part-time job.

God says “I am your provider.” (From Genesis 22:12)

I pull out the want ads and tell God, I’ve got this covered.

God says (perhaps a bit more emphatically):

For I am the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, I will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. (From  2 Corinthians 9:10-11 NLT slightly tweaked)

My mind set on my own ability to provide militates against my ability to trust God. My flesh based solutions undermine my ability to hear God’s voice.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t take that part-time job. I’m not saying God won’t use your job–your overtime–your next gig–to provide for your needs.

I AM saying that as soon as you look at your own ability as your source, or your employer as your source, your next gig as your source, you’re making war against God’s provision.

A mind set on the flesh doesn’t always look like a porn addiction or an inordinate interest in sports or entertainment. It’s not always related to seeking pleasure or plotting evil.

A mind filled with worry is a mind set on the things of the flesh.

A heart that hoards every last penny for the future rather than stewarding with open hands–yep–mind set on the flesh.

And it’s all hostile toward God. It all fights against God’s will in your life. It closes the door to God. It closes the door to faith. It says, “No Lord.”  As our text in Romans 8 continues:

…because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. – Romans 8:7-8 NASB

The war for ownership (Lordship) of my soul takes place in my mind. Worry, preoccupation, distraction–these are the weapons or my warfare. These are the tools I use to flex my will and drive off the will of God for my life.

I must put down the weapons of my warfare today, and let the Lord Jesus rule. I need to set my mind on things above.

How is it with you?

I hope this helps.

cropped-BenHeadshotThanks for stopping by.

Don’t forget to shine where you’res screwed in.

Ben