Our culture believes if you can change your mind, you can change your life – and in some ways it’s true, right? Everything we do, every relationship we form, every choice we make starts with how we think. Where our mindset is at. This is the core of the “ups and downs” of life…what we focus on can leave us feeling either full of joy or totally empty and drained.
But changing how we think about things is way harder than just changing our minds about something…and it’s also one of the keys to living in true peace. This study will transform what we focus on and lead us into the abundant life Jesus intends for his children.
1. You are not condemned.
From Romans 8:1
Do you embrace the work Jesus has done for you? The finished work of Jesus is so profound that no matter what your background is, if you place your trust in the finished work of Jesus, you will not be condemned by God.
If you think deep enough and hard enough about your life, we all have a lot of “stuff” we don’t want to be in the public eye. But you know what? Jesus sees it, knows it…and he saved all of us anyway, if we only believe in him and follow him.
For many of us, we still feel condemned in different ways. We know Jesus offers us freedom, but in areas of our lives we walk in condemnation.
Question for Reflection: Where is there an area you still feel condemned and how has the finished work of Jesus freeing you up from that condemnation to live in newness of life?
2. Walk in the Spirit.
From Romans 8:2-4
Walking in the Spirit is so important. As followers of Jesus, we get to live a life driven by the Spirit. God invites us to walk in the Spirit, and He wants to set apart everything we do. What we hear, what our hands do, where our feet go…because how we walk speaks volumes about the things that drive who we really are.
What is “walking in the Spirit”? The finished work of Jesus leads directly to the work of the Holy Spirit inside our mind and body. And this leads to a life that conquers sin and death through the daily work of the Spirit.
Here’s the key: we can’t have it both ways. There is no gray area when it comes to walking in the flesh or the Spirit. We either live a life according to the Spirit or according to the flesh.
Question for Reflection: Where are you walking in the flesh and how do you believe God wants you to take a step to turn from that and walk in the Spirit in a different way?
3. Where is your mind set?
From Romans 8:5-7
Whatever is driving your life occupies your inner life. Your mind just can’t shake it! Walking in the flesh controls our thoughts. And walking in the Spirit literally changes our mind. We like to say, “A change of mind leads to a change of action, which leads to a change of heart, which leads to a change of destiny.”
When you walk in the flesh, you set your mind on the things of the flesh, and all you can think about in your spare time are those things of the flesh. But when you live according to the Spirit, your mind is occupied by things of the Spirit.
People can say they want to think more positively or make better choices, but the reality is nothing will change the way we live our lives if we aren’t walking in the Spirit.
If you want to live according to the Spirit, you need to set you mind on the things of the spirit. Then the driver of your inner life, the Holy Spirit, will occupy your thoughts and your inner will.
So let’s check ourselves. It’s always good to simply ask…
What is your mind set?
4. Seek to please God.
From Romans 8:8
If you’re in the flesh, your mind is focused on figuring out how to live a life that is an enemy to the very nature of God. It’s a fool’s errand!
But when you walk by faith and trust in Jesus, your life will please God. And the beautiful colors of heaven that God wants to shine on our world, will be shining through your life!
Oftentimes the reason we walk by sight and not by faith is because we don’t trust a good God. We don’t have faith. But when we have faith in Jesus – real belief in his work and what he wants to in and through our life, the world will be totally changed wherever we are…because we are pleasing God.
So for this week coming up:
Question for Reflection: How can you seek to please God in this upcoming week?