Living supernaturally takes practice. Practice takes time, patience, and effort. In our efforts of weakness we anticipate the power of God. We anticipate grace. Grace is power (1 Cor. 12:9; 1 Cor. 15:10). “Grace is not opposed to effort. It is opposed to earning. Effort is an action. Earning is an attitude,” says Dallas Willard. In this blog we will discuss what it means to live by the Spirit and how it relates to renewing the mind. How do we uproot the instinctive performances of destructive habits? Are we hopeless in the arena of practical righteousness? If not, then how do we find our way forward? Generally, in our education by Christian culture we find ourselves buffeted by consistent exhortations to change. General Christian culture’s avenue or medium for inducing change has been the dissemination of information to parishioners. The more we know the better we will become or so we have assumed. Western Christian culture has assumed that information equals transformation, but information alone is not the proper medium for uprooting vices. We need right practices to assist in conforming us. We need new habits. We need to learn how to “make every effort” to add to our faith virtue as mentioned in 2 Peter 1:5-7. Right practices are the sails into which the Spirit blows.
Walking by the Spirit, living supernaturally, takes time, but we must intend to do it for the resources are at our disposal. Grace will meet us, in the act. When we are born into the kingdom of heaven, born from above, the possibilities for living life in concert with the Spirit are in our grasp. But how do we live by the Spirit? By consciously and habitually thinking on what God loves, which shapes what we love. Those who are controlled by the Spirit “set their minds” on what the Spirit wants. This is done in such a way that behaviors, exhibiting the Spirit’s desires, become instinctive (Romans 8:5; Ephesians 4:22-24). How do we develop the practice/habit of regulating the mind for God? By concentrating it on what the Spirit wants. Here is the call to not grow weary in well doing. By habitually setting the mind on the Spirit’s desires we become the kind of people who embody the Spirit’s characteristics and submit to His inclinations. This is life and peace (Romans 8:6). This is growth in practical righteousness. Eternal life is knowing God in an interactive relationship of divine initiative and human response. The supernatural life. As maturing disciples in the Kingdom of heaven, we are assured, “the LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand (Psalm 37:23-24).” Yes and amen.
• The body can become the vehicle for what is good and acceptable to God (Rom. 8:10; 6:13).
• We are instructed set our minds on things above (Col. 3:2)
• God encourages us to think on all sorts of wonderful things (Phil. 4:8)
• We can put on the character of the Lord Jesus (Rom. 13:14)
• Let us set the Lord before us always (Ps. 16:8)
• Meditate (talk the word to yourself) day and night (Ps. 1:2: Jos. 1:8)
• The power to choose what is good comes from cultivating the mind (Rom. 12:2)
A fellow disciple in the Kingdom of heaven,