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Remember

The way we feel and the way we behave is directly connected to what we think about in our mind. If we continuously set our mind on the truth, we can experience Christ's abundant life and have plenty of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control in the midst of the stress of life.

 

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by Greg Brezina

 

Last week, I went to the kitchen and upon arrival asked myself, “What do I need from here?” Walking back to the bedroom, I remembered why I went to the kitchen. So I walked back to the kitchen and again asked myself, “What do I want?” Bewildered, I mumbled to myself, “Brezina, what in the world is happening to you?”

 

I went back to the bedroom and there recalled again that I needed a stool from the kitchen. So for the third time, I went back to the kitchen, but this time I continuously set my mind on getting that stool. I told myself over and over, “Brezina you are going to the kitchen to get a stool,” and praise the Lord, I remembered!

 

I have forgotten things before, but this was the first time it took three trips to get what I wanted. This episode of forgetfulness concerned me until I spoke with several friends about it. After a good chuckle, each one of them encouraged me by saying that they too have had similar experiences. When I shared my story with my brother-in-law Randy, he said, “I do the same thing when my mind is preoccupied with a lot of things to do. That is probably the reason you took so many trips to the kitchen.” In retrospect, he was right. I was choosing to set my mind on other things rather than on the stool I needed.

 

Connie and I recently moved to Newnan, Georgia. Our house remains a mess. My office at home is not set up. Unpacked boxes lie scattered in every room. I have a long “to do” list. I chose to clutter my mind with many “to do” things which distracted me from the one thing I needed at the moment.

 

The apostle Paul experienced a similar distraction. He wrote in Romans 7:15, “For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.” Paul’s heart was right. He proceeded to Christ’s kitchen to get the Spirit’s fruit, yet ended up getting distracted by many fleshly desires. Bewildered he wondered, Why he continued to get handfuls of flesh when his heart’s longing was to get the Spirit’s fruit? (Romans 7:24)

 

The Heavenly Father revealed to Paul that the Spirit’s fruit is only experienced in and through Jesus (Romans 7:25). After receiving this revelation, Paul believed, set his mind on this truth, and experienced love, joy and peace. He then wrote, “…walk (or live) in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

 

When I don’t remember to submit my will to the Spirit’s will by His enabling, I chose to believe the lie that I can be God and walk after my flesh. (Walking after my flesh is my attempt to control deceptive thoughts and/or my circumstances without depending on or trusting in Father’s wisdom and enabling power.)

 

Believing the lie clutters my mind with many fleshly thoughts. As a result, I choose to walk after my flesh and experience immorality, impurity, evil desire, greed, worry, anxiety, fear, co-dependency, conflict, and/or frustration. This choice amounts to idolatry and results in guilt. (Galatians 5:19-21) Thankfully, God uses guilt as a tool to remind me of the truth.

 

When the Spirit graciously convicts me of sinning, I thank Father that He has already forgiven me. He then brings to my remembrance that Christ is my life. Christ empowers me to set my mind on things above, which includes the truth that my old self was crucified with Him (Romans 6:6) and that I am no longer a slave to sin, but a slave of righteousness (Romans 6:17-18).

 

The Spirit also reminds me that He has gifted me with every spiritual blessing (Ephesians 1:3), forgiveness (Colossians 2:13), justification (Romans 3:24), righteousness (Romans 5:17), acceptance (Romans 15:7), adequacy (II Corinthians 3:5), and everything pertaining to life and godliness (II Peter 1:3). I am complete in Christ (Colossians 2:10).

 

My mind is set on the truth when I believe it, not just know it. In and through Christ, I continually choose to walk in the Spirit. As a result, I think and behave like Christ. I reach Christ’s kitchen and bear the Spirit’s fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness, self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) and experience Christ’s abundant life. (John 10:10)

 

Do you want to go to Christ’s kitchen and experience what you desire - His abundant life? Do you want to enjoy the Spirit’s fruit of love, joy, and peace in the midst of a sin sick world? Do you want to experience being dead to sin and a slave of righteousness?

 

Then remember “…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….” (Romans 8:5-6)

 

And if or when we forget, the Holy Spirit graciously reminds us over and over to “…walk in the Spirit, and we will not carry out the desire of the flesh….” and “…those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.” (Galatians 5:16,24-25) AMEN!

 

Colossians 3:1-5 says, “If then you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.”