“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. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 85-8 NIV)
Who lives according to the dictates of their flesh? Everyone who does not live in accordance to the direction of Holy Spirit. The result is easy to see and when we have evidence to support our conclusions, it is not an opinion nor a rash judgment.
Overeating is evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh. The flesh says it wants more to eat than it needs and when it governs the mind, people eat–far more than is good for them and as a result, become overwhelmed by the flesh–evident in their appearance and in health issues that are result from overeating.
Being rude and disrespectful is evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh. Flesh tells people they are superior to others and must have the last word, no matter what and the mind caves to the dictates of the flesh because it feels good and sounds good. The results as we can see on a daily basis are those who are discourteous drivers, loud-mouthed and obnoxious people waiting in lines who think they shouldn’t have to wait–for anything or anyone. We see them cussing at those in authority when they can’t have their way and in front of their children–demonstrating to their children that it’s okay to be rude and disrespectful and we see this in classrooms across the country.
Sexual immorality is evident in what people do–promiscuously–having sex with random people and sometimes people they just met and the evidence is all we see on television, in the movies, and hear in the music. The mind is governed by the flesh, because if it feels good, then do it. The results are increased rates of sexually transmitted diseases, AIDs, and increase in low-esteem, depression, and suicide. Why? Because the devil loves it when people submit to him and then he leaves them high and dry, when they cannot find real love or a reason to keep living once they understand how they have used and abused their bodies.
Addictions of all types are the evidence of the mind being governed by the flesh–drugs, nicotine, alcohol, shopping, shoplifting, pornography–all are a conclusion of the matter–the feel-good-syndrome-for a moment and when the moment passes, it must be repeated, and repeated, and repeated until it fulfills its vicious cycle–in death–naturally or spiritually.
A person who has deprived themselves of the leadership and guidance of Holy Spirit is prone to making the same mistakes, over and over again, expecting a different result–which by definition is–insanity. When chaos and confusion exists, God is not in it and certainly there is no evidence of Holy Spirit guiding anyone.
What happens when our minds are governed by Holy Spirit? There is peace within and then there can peace without–in our environment and everywhere we go. When Holy Spirit leads–He reminds us of those things we have been taught, strengthens us to live by faith and ignore the temptations of the enemy, and keeps us focused on pleasing God, not flesh.
Where’s the evidence? The evidence is seen in those who do not have to resort to cussing out people, involving themselves in road-rage, or even randomly acting out. The evidence is in the person’s ability to remain calm, exercise wisdom in all situations, and to discipline themselves to hear God and act accordingly. They know when to stop eating, stop smoking, stop giving into the desires that make them feel good only for a moment, and start doing those things that bring the heart joy and they know they are pleasing God.
So, what’s it going to be for you today? Will you allow flesh to dictate or Holy Spirit? Do you want temporary pleasure or lasting joy? It’s up to us–we decide and I choose to allow Holy Spirit to reign in my life!