The Holy Spirit in you is greater than Jesus beside you. When we talk about living the Christian life we commonly call that “living in the Spirit.” What does it mean to live in the Spirit? There are several key steps to really living in the Spirit. The first step is to know your position. The next step to living in the Spirit is . . . Mind the things of God. 5 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. 6 The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. 7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. (Romans 8:5-7).
What does it mean to “mind” something? There is a phrase that says . . . Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny. In other words, whatever you set your mind on shapes your lifestyle and character. To “mind” something or “set the mind” is much stronger than “to think about.” It means, “to focus intel on something, to be preoccupied with something, to have the attention and the imagination totally captured by something.”
Someone once said, “Your religion is what you do with your solitude.” Wherever your mind goes most naturally and freely when there is nothing else to distract it is what you really live for. Nothing happens in your life that you have not first chosen to focus on. The direction of your life is dictated by whatever preoccupies your mind. If you are going to live a life of holiness and overcome sin, you have to set your mind on the Spirit. You have two choices: your mind set on the flesh or your mind set on the Spirit. And the choice you make will determine where your life goes. One leads to death and another leads to life and peace . . . it’s your choice what direction you take!
Another way to put this is, “You are what you think.” Or, “What I think, I do.” Your mind is not neutral ground. It is impossible to coexist between two mindsets. Attention devoted to one will automatically cancel out the other. 8 Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:8). Paul goes on to call us out. If you have truly come to know Christ and which means you have the Holy Spirit living within you, you cannot be following your sinful desires.
Paul says your thoughts which lead to your actions will tell on you. How you choose to live your life shows where your mind and heart really are. 9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you. (Romans 8:9-11).