Set Your Mind

Romans 8:5 — 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 (NIV).

How you live is determined by where you set your mind. The New Living Translation says the difference between being dominated by the sinful nature and controlled by the Spirit is what we choose to think about. It’s no wonder why so many well-meaning people repeatedly do things they know are wrong.

To be dominated means to be governed by or subject to something or someone. In this case, if you don’t purposefully set your mind on the Holy Spirit, you will be controlled by the lusts of the flesh. Galatians 5:17 confirms that the flesh and the Spirit are in direct opposition.

Be intentional about setting your mind on what pleases the Spirit. If you’re not, your thoughts are automatically dictated by your environment and experiences.

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Good or Evil?

2 Corinthians 10:5 — We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (NIV).

You and I are commanded to take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. Simply put: All of our thoughts—evil and good—are to be captured and submitted to Him.

Hebrews 5:14 says we have to train ourselves to develop the skill of discerning both good and evil. That means the difference between the two isn’t always found at surface level. Solomon wrote: “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Proverbs 14:12, NKJV). Not all good ideas are God ideas. In fact, some good ideas end in destruction.

In 1 Kings 3:9, King Solomon asked the Lord to give him an understanding heart that he may be able to distinguish between good and evil. Ask Him to give you the same ability today because chasing a seemingly good idea could potentially lead to your undoing.

1 Corinthians 12:10 — He gives someone else the ability to discern whether a message is from the Spirit of God or from another spirit (NLT).

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Life is a Garden

2 Corinthians 4:17 — For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all (NIV).

Picture your life as a garden, in which Jesus is the Gardener. He has planted peace in your heart, but life causes a variety of weeds to grow—pride, worry, selfishness, unbelief, and the like. When you spend time with God, He pulls those weeds so peace can flourish.

Weeds result from temporary troubles. When your focus is on what you’re going through, they spread quickly and threaten to suffocate what Jesus has planted in your spirit.

Trials are unavoidable. Weeds will inevitably try to grow, but the hardship you are currently facing is not meant to undo what God has done.

Don’t lose your peace over situations that are fleeting. Establish yourself in what’s eternal by keeping momentary troubles in perspective.

Psalm 34:19 — Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all (NKJV).

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Overcoming Uncertainty

1 Peter 5:6-7 — So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; He’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; He is most careful with you (MSG).

As a teacher of elementary school kids, I see students every day who are not comfortable in their own skin. Everything around them is changing. They want to be loved and accepted and are willing to try anything to achieve this goal. However, without the love of God and a real relationship with Him, they will never truly feel loved or accepted.

Many believers are like my students when the trials of life come. They see things changing and just want to feel loved and accepted. If they’re not grounded in God’s word and don’t have a relationship with Him, they often look for love and acceptance in the wrong places. Doing so only leads to defeat and disappointment. The same is true for you.

The only way to overcome uncertainty and get to the other side is to grab ahold of Jesus and rely on the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, and help you through. Remember, God’s hand is upon you. He cares for you more than anyone. When you have a revelation of this truth, it will free you to live for Him and run your race with joy no matter how you feel.

Psalm 55:22 — Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous be shaken (NLT).

—Heidi Jonker

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No Ordinary Peace

John 14:27“Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (NKJV).

The world offers a form of peace, but it is circumstantial. One can only experience peace when the state of his affairs is at rest. The situations surrounding that person’s life dictate whether he’s at peace or not. This makes for a very unstable existence.

This is not the kind of peace Jesus left behind for believers. It is manmade and based on one’s feelings, not faith. This type of peace is fleeting. It comes and goes, and the person counting on such a peace is usually left longing for it.

But you can have peace in any and every circumstance, if you put your faith in the One who has overcome the world (John 16:33). The peace Jesus gives is not circumstantial, nor is it influenced by your emotions. Receive and live in His peace by faith right now and every day.

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Love Never Fails

1 Corinthians 13:8 — Love never fails (NKJV).

Another version states that love never ends (ESV). Psalm 136 declares twenty-six times that God’s love never fails (CEV). Pastor Aaron Hankins said it like this, “Love is guaranteed success every time.”

Failure is not an option for the person who walks in the love of God. His love is not capable of a loss or even a tie. It wins!

It’s not uncommon for those involved in a broken relationship to say something like, “Well, we just grew out of love.” I don’t know what “love” they grew out of, but it wasn’t the God-kind. His love does not diminish; it is everlasting.

Many of the impossibilities and issues we face would work themselves out if we’d discipline ourselves to live in divine love. Choose today to demonstrate God’s love, even to those who are failing to love you.

Colossians 3:14 — Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony (NLT).

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Enter In

Romans 4:3 — What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own” (MSG).

Notice that Abraham entered into what God was doing for him. I like to say it like this: “We should be doing what God is blessing, rather than ask Him to bless what we are doing.”

Think about it. How many times do we enter into some situation, business, job, or relationship without seeking God concerning it? We never even ask Him if it is what He wants for our lives. Then, before long, we are worn out and burned out. There is no enabling power or strength to accomplish tasks that are not part of God’s perfect plan for our lives. There is no grace there.

On the other hand, when we seek God, spend time in His word, and develop a relationship with the Holy Spirit, we will know when and how to enter into what God is doing for us. How did Abraham see God’s promises fulfilled? He walked by faith.

He walked obediently, even when or after he had missed it. He built altars to God and worshiped. He made room for God, and most importantly, he never quit. Here are five keys to victorious living: 1. Faith, 2. Obedience, 3. Worship, 4. Prayer, and 5. Perseverance. So, enter into what God is doing for you. It is a grand adventure!

By: Heidi Jonker

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