Following the Feast of Pentecost, we are reminded of the power and Holy Spirit of God made available to mankind. The tremendous ability of the Spirit allows us to do things that are physically impossible. That is not to say that we can leap over buildings or lift cars above our heads if we have the Holy Spirit. Rather, with the Holy Spirit we have the ability to perform spiritual feats of strength. The Holy Spirit gives man the mind of God, and with that the ability to understand His truth in a spiritual way. The gift is marvelous!
However, we all are still obliged to live a life with a physical existence. A natural tension exists between the physical and spiritual life, which is expressed throughout the Bible. This tension forces a necessary choice on our part—to live in such a way that we may receive the gift of life, or in a way deserving the penalty of death (Romans 6:23). Paul wrote to the Romans about this spiritual distinction between the physical and spiritual life, “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, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:5-6). Paul emphasizes that we can affect our way of life by controlling the things that we set our mind on. What do you set your mind on? Are you concerned with spiritual matters, or things that have a mere physical consequence?
This is a powerful concept if we are willing and able to harness it. By controlling the things that concern us, we improve our ability to overcome this world. If we discontinue our concern with purely physical, the physical world ceases to sway us. Temptation becomes less and less powerful through the Spirit. Satan has a serious influence over the world, and causes many to neglect the spiritually important matters, such as the fruit which we are directed to bear (Galatians 5:22), but through the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His Life in us, we too can overcome that influence, after having obtained forgiveness for our past sins.
Setting our mind on spiritual matters instead of physical things might also help us through a trial. Are the trials that we experience physical or spiritual? Do we find relief if we drop the concern for our desired physical outcome, and focus instead on finding a way to have a correct spiritual response that pleases God?
Living as a Christian with a mission to overcome the world and the way of sin is a huge challenge. By allowing the Holy Spirit of God to live within us, Christians have the ability to do just that. In fact, that is the only way that one can do it. By setting our minds on the spiritual things of God, we set aside the sins of the world, which so easily ensnare us (Hebrews 12:1).