Today’s passage comes from midway through the apostle Paul’s letter to the believers in Christ who lived in Rome.
The creation of which we are a part exists in two dimensions: material and immaterial. Another way of saying it is seen and unseen. You could also say visible and invisible, or physical and spiritual. In this letter, Paul is using the terms flesh and spirit. All these terminology pairs refer to the same truth: reality exists in two dimensions. Paul describes what happens when we forget about the spiritual dimension.
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. 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; 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 8:5-8
Satan got Eve to set her mind on the flesh. That is, Satan got Eve to focus on what her five senses told her and what she thought about that input – she was totally forgetting the instruction God had given.
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate.
– Genesis 3:6
People are still making that mistake today.
Secularism is a “mind set on the flesh.” That is, secularism is an agreement that we won’t take the spiritual dimension into consideration. It is death. It is hostility toward God. It is the practical equivalent of atheism or agnosticism.
Lots of people buy into the concept of secularism who aren’t atheists or agnostics. They buy in because they don’t think there will be enough agreement about the spiritual dimension to include it. As a result, society is currently operating with a significant degree of hostility toward God.
(Remember that prayer is more about listening than talking. Use the words below to start yourself, but then allow time to reflect more on the Scripture above before you say the “Amen.” During that time of quiet reflection, let God shape your thoughts and wait for a sense of peace to come. That’s your signal to say “Amen” and go forth to the day.)
Lord Jesus, I want to be Your friend, not Your enemy. Show me how to keep my mind set on the spirit so that I can successfully navigate the flesh…(this is where you remain quiet to let Him work in your thoughts)… Amen.
(All scriptures, unless otherwise noted, are taken from the NASB.)