I was driving my morning route today, and I was feeling pretty good. Driving in on time, not too much traffic, nice blue skies, good music . . . but, the embarrassing, vain part is that I was primarily feeling good (i think) because I liked the way my make-up came out. I have been fighting with this black Bobbi Brown eye liner gel . . . and I somehow decided that I got it right today. After a few minutes, I have the feeling that I am feeling a little too good about the make up scenario. I am starting to laugh at myself. God knocks on my heart and says . . . Is that all it takes to make you happy? So if you like your physical appearance, you feel good? But, if that’s not the case, then what? Right God, You are right this morning. That’s when I smile and feel the real kind of happy in my heart. The truth in love feels good.
We are so easily swayed. The flesh is always right there waiting to drop in and hog the space in which your spirit resides. I am thinking about my very private friend whose name I will not mention (except that she lives in Florida so as not to confuse her with any of my other very private friends living elsewhere). She told me recently how she struggles with her mind going in directions that eventually cause her to question her purpose in this life. As I watched her talk, I connect with her struggle and think about how often our flesh draws us away from the Spirit of the Living God. Think about how powerful the coupling of the flesh and the human mind can be. A thought leads to a thought leads to another thought and you, who are so closely connected to Jesus, are now questioning the purpose of your life.
Now, think about how powerful the coupling of the spirit and the human mind can be. A thought leads to a thought leads to another thought and you, who are so closely connected to Jesus, are now scheming how you can minister to children on the other side of the planet. Planning to send a note to a friend with an encouraging word. Figuring out how you can give to a ministry more than you planned. When my mind is in accordance with the spirit, I am overwhelmed with lists and lists and lists of good works that I can do in my home, in my community and for my friends. My thoughts and lists of thoughts are so uniquely God that I am entirely confident none of it comes from my own silly brilliance. My own silly brilliance is flattened by God ideas and thoughts. So, why is it so hard to keep the mind and the spirit on the same team?
There is no doubt that you and I have enough to do to keep us busy until our final date with life on earth. None of our to-do lists will squeak out even a moment for spiritual things. The answer is intentional feeding of the spirit. I rely on email devotions and note cards on my office wall throughout the day. If I find myself veering away from the spiritual things that come my way, then I know that means I need to take a moment to read that verse, quote or devotion. I need to remain intentional about feeding my spirit if I want to keep my mind connected to the spirit. The alternative is losing my spiritual space to a hog called flesh. The alternative is missing out on a whole spiritual world of opportunity. God has keys to an extraordinary number of doors that we will never get to open unless we are intentionally letting Him into our mind. So He can lead our spirits far away from that stinky hog called flesh. Need I say more?
Thanks to Kaitlayn Bouchillon for this inspiring illustration of the word.