Those Who Live According to the Spirit

Romans 8:5-11

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 set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.
As many of us have been stuck at home during this ‘quarantine,’ whether working at home or not, many of us have a lot of time on our hands. What we do with that time, is a different question entirely. I’ve seen all over social media a number of different games, movies, and shows that people have had occupying their time. For me, when I’m not working, I’m playing video games; occasionally I’ll read a book. Alongside taking some time for my hobbies, my wife and I just recently moved into a new house (“During a quarantine? Are you crazy?” Probably.), and the cleaning, moving, and housework has occupied a lot of our time. But we’ve still been stuck in the house.

Being stuck in the house, as I’m sure many of you know, leads to us becoming stir-crazy. If you have kids, you know that it’s difficult to keep them entertained, and I’m sure that makes both kid and parent miss school as a place to be! Maybe you’ve consumed all of our quarantine snacks within a few hours of getting back from the store; maybe you’ve binged through your favorite show at least once already and you’re getting bored. With an excessive amount of time, it’s easy to find the things that we value most in our free time. What we turn to in the downtime is reflective of what we focus on. When I’m not working, and I’m bored, my first thought isn’t always to go to my Bible. This time that many of us have, stuck in the house with nowhere to go and nothing to do, we have a great opportunity to seek the Holy Spirit and to focus on our spiritual life and journey.

We have an unprecedented amount of time and opportunity with which we can allow our spiritual life to grow, or to wither. For some of us, Sunday morning was the most consistent time that we spent in communion with God and spent time in scripture. Without the ability to attend a Sunday morning church service, our time spent in scripture has been reduced. In this quarantine, when we live according to the flesh, we set our minds on the things of the flesh. When we live focused on our fleshly desires, these things rise to the top of our time. When we live focused on the Spirit, our minds begin to align with the Holy Spirit. With the time that we have, and may never have again, how are we spending it? Are we spending our time focused on the desires of the flesh, or the desires of the Spirit?

Reflect

  1. Has your time in quarantine brought you closer to the Holy Spirit? Or has it pulled you away?
  2. What small change can you make today that will drastically improve your spiritual journey moving forward?

Pray

Holy Spirit, we ask you to give us your wisdom and your help to focus our minds and our desires on Your will. Thank you for the many opportunities that you have given us during this trying time, and we ask you to teach us something new every day. God give us opportunities for growth and maturity in our spiritual walks during our isolation. Help us to maintain the community of the Church despite our distance. Amen.

Philip Wines, April 14, 2020
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