Surrender Training (13)
Updated: Oct 27
Preoccupied and Prayerless Series order #13
*See Order Index post for links to all Series content -https://www.trajectoryministries.com/post/preoccupied-and-prayerless-series
All Videos can be viewed at -https://www.trajectoryministries.com/videos or on the Trajectory Ministries Facebook page
*Recommend reading previous entry, (#11) Breathe, prior to this one
"Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires." Romans 8:5
What is your mind set on?
It may not be something you actively think about, but your mindset is incredibly important. It is defined as a fixed mental attitude or disposition that predetermines a person's responses to and interpretations of situations. It impacts how you interact with the world around you, because it influences how you think, feel, and react in any given situation.
According to God's Word, our mind will be set on one of two things - what the flesh desires or what the Spirit desires. If we are living according to the flesh, with an earthly mindset, our thoughts and choices will be focused on the here and now - on the things of this world which are temporary and will pass away. If we are living in accordance with the Spirit, with an eternal mindset, our thoughts and choices will be focused on eternity - on the things of God which will last forever.
Whether your mind is set on the flesh or the Spirit will ultimately influence every moment of your day - every choice you make, how you think, how you feel and how you interact with everyone around you. I’d say that’s pretty important.
I can't think of any other passages in scripture that speaks to this more directly than Galatians 5:13–26...
THE SPIRIT VERSUS THE FLESH
I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.
Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. I am warning you about these things—as I warned you before—that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.
I love how God's Word is active and alive! I have read these verses so many times and I don't think I've ever stopped to think about the phrase, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. I absolutely love this terminology because it brings to mind being a child and trying to keep in step with my parents or my older siblings. No matter how hard I tried, my little legs just couldn't keep up - but there came the time, after I had grown, when I could walk in step with them without falling behind or struggling to keep up.
There was also a time when I realized I had the freedom to move at my own pace. I zoomed ahead, distracted by everything around me. When I stopped and turned around, I thought for a moment I was lost - but they never lost sight of me.
The fear of losing my way again was enough to keep me focused on keeping in step with them.
As followers of Jesus Christ, it’s incredibly important to our wellbeing for us to keep in step with the Spirit - because He is our guide, our teacher, our comforter, counselor and advocate! It may seem a daunting task when we begin as babes in Christ, but as we grow in our faith and our understanding of God's Word and who He is, He guides our steps as we make the choice to walk more closely with Him.
Unfortunately, there will always be times we want to exercise our freedom to move at our own pace, distracted and preoccupied. We can be drawn away by a major life event or lulled into complacency by the busy-ness of our days. We may feel a little lost when we finally look up, trying to gain our bearing, but He never loses sight of us! He is always there, waiting for us to shake the dust of this world off our feet and walk in step with Him once more.
God has given you and I the ability to choose and we each have the same choice to make. There's not a single one of us who naturally defaults to walking in step with the Spirit. Like anything else that we value and make a priority, it requires intentionality, focus and self sacrifice - but the most crucial component that so many miss is surrender.
It is our continual surrender to Jesus that sets us free from our flesh and it's desires, giving us the ability to break free from living preoccupied and prayerless.
It our surrender to Him that sets our minds on the Spirit and gives Him the freedom to work in and through us to accomplish what God desires.
And it is our surrender that opens the floodgate to the Holy Spirit's power that already resides within us as followers of Jesus Christ, giving you and I the ability to walk in step with His Spirit - living unhindered by our flesh for the Kingdom of God.
If you think about it, we spend our entire lives training for things that are important to us. We will make it a priority and we're intentional to do what needs to be done. We will train for a sport, career or promotion. We will train to stay in shape or run a 5k. We will even train to play tennis, golf or pickle ball.
How much time do you spend training to live for Jesus?... training to walk in step with the Spirit?
How important is it to you, in your daily life, to train for the only race that will matter when all is said and done?
I'm pretty confident that we can all benefit from some ongoing surrender training in our lives! It will always be far too easy for us to default back to living according to our flesh and what our flesh desires - especially when our daily lives are spent immersed in this world.
Who would have thought that training ourselves to surrender would be a positive thing? As always, God shows that His ways are contrary to the worlds! When the world tells us our strength, power and success are what's most important, so that we can show the world all that we have accomplished --- Jesus tells us that His power is made perfect in our weakness, because we are unable to boast in ourself. (2 Cor 12:9)
It is at the moment of our surrender to Jesus Christ that this life ceases to be about our flesh and what our flesh desires. As we turn away from the cares of this world and the things that preoccupy so much of our time and focus, He gives us the gift of seeing the world through His eyes - with a mind set on eternity, unhindered.
Lord, thank you for your Truth that speaks to every area of my life. Thank you for the wisdom it imparts and the nourishment it brings to my soul. I surrender my life, my heart, to you right now. I desire to live in accordance with Your Spirit - with my mind set on what the Spirit desires today and every day from this moment on. Open my eyes and help me to cultivate an eternal mindset as I seek to live surrendered to you. In Jesus name, Amen.