“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 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. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you.” “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” Romans 8:1-2,5-7,9; 12:2; Colossians 3:1-3
Fixing our minds above, on the things of the Spirit, is not only a command, but a joyful reality when we understand and accept what Jesus has done for us. In the flesh, we tend to hold onto our old selves and all the crud that once dominated our thinking, our inner self that drove our outer self to do what it did. We think we can never break free– at least we don’t deserve to. In the flesh, we nurse old wounds, replay old hurtful conversations, are plagued with old choices, and condemn ourselves for confessed sins. But when we mind the mind rightly, we reckon ourselves freed from condemnation, free from death, free from the tyranny of our old self.
To set the mind on things above is to recognize the victory of Jesus over sin, now seated at God’s right hand, and claim it as mine. It is to live under no condemnation, at all. It is to dwell on His love that loosened my chains, and set me free to forgive others and myself and experience the resulting joy of life and peace. It is to be so infused with the Lord in my mind that my thoughts about the world and my place in it are renewed. When I live according to the Spirit, He directs my understanding of His good, pleasing and perfect will, and the impulses of mine.
Are there areas of my life– recesses of my heart, bitternesses nursed, habits too-long-ingrained– that exist outside being ‘hidden with Christ’? Is my gaze upward, mostly, but with cherished side-glances at old guilt, or resentment, or a stubborn right to myself?
Lord, You have set me free and dwell in me. Cause me to mind my mind, believing and acting on and driven by what is gloriously true.