If we choose not to focus our minds on the problems of this world, even this pandemic, and instead focus our thought on the things of God, his words, then we will know peace even in this time.
Romans 8:5-9 (ESV)
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.
First in verses 5-8 Paul answers the question what does it mean to live according to the sinful nature or to live according to the Spirit? Verse 5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
People live life with one of two mindsets. One type of person’s mind is set to seek those things he is most interested in, constantly talking about, engaged in and boasting about. Those who walk according to the flesh give in to the dictates of the flesh. They have their desires set on the things of the world, the things this world has to offer.
Those who live according to the Spirit aspire for, or have their minds set on, what the Spirit desires. To walk after the Spirit is to align or subject oneself to the Spirit. The man who walks after the Spirit cannot act independent of Him (Gal. 5:16). He acts in subjection to or in accordance with the Holy Spirit. He may have many failures but his basic orientation and uppermost concerns have to do with the things of the Spirit. The things of the Spirit are the things which the Spirit proposes and approves.
For those who have their minds set on the things of the Spirit will not only not be dwelling on what they desire but also won’t have their minds focused on what can physically harm them, but instead will be focused on God and nothing of this world can Spiritually harm us. This means we should not focus on this pandemic, I am not saying we do not think about it enough to take precautions but we do not have it as our primary focus.
It is impossible to be on both sides at once. We are involved in a real battle for the mind as verse 6 states, For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
As Christians, we are to be self-disciplined not only in our physical appetites but also in our thoughts. This battle is not only between your old nature and your new, we have another enemy fighting with your old nature. To lose the focus of our minds is to fall prey to the devil. How often we fail in disciplining that vital part of life! Our thoughts begin to drift from the God centered life into the things of this world and this can lead to all kinds of sin, if we allow our minds to dwell on the Coronavirus we will become anxious and even fearful.
But if our mind is focused on Spiritual things, on God’s word we can expect peace. This implies contentment, a sense of security, and an inner calm. Those that set their mind on the Spirit have the inner assurance that past sins are forgiven, that present events, no matter how painful, are being overruled for good, and that nothing that might occur in the future will be able to separate him from the love of God in Christ. Such peace means basic freedom from fear, anxiety and restlessness. What a wonderful promise in this present crisis.
- Do you have a need to control things? To find a solution for every problem? To have a back plan in case God doesn’t come through the way you think He should? Have you ever noticed that the more you try to fix things, the more anxiety you experience.
- The more things go wrong in this world, do you find yourself being driven into worry and fear? or driven into God’s word which leads to you experiencing peace in spite of the circumstances?
Instead of always trying to figure things out -learn to be comfortable not knowing, and start trusting the One who does! Make a decision today and every time you feel anxious, you’ll stop and pray: “Lord I’m bringing it to You and I’m waiting for Your answer.” When you stop struggling with the whens, whys, and hows, you’ll begin to experience God’s peace in a way you never have before. You’ll also position yourself for Him to intervene on your behalf. So make a decision today to surrender and trust God.
One of the Lyrics of this song is “Though I may not calm the storms around you, you can hide in Me.”. As Isaiah tells us in 26:3
You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
If you would like to know more about how to walk according to the spirit then a good place to start is to watch this short message…