in Accordance with the Spirit
Dr. Ronald L. Taylor
Romans 8:5, Paul says, “…Those who live in accordance
with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
It is important to notice that one result of living in accordance
with the Spirit is that such living has a direct impact on
our “mind-set.” In other words, our living in
accordance with the Spirit will affect not only the way that
we think, but also the things we think about.
It would be nice if all this was accomplished simply as a
result of the passage of time, but it is not. In fact, Paul
describes the process in II Corinthians 10:4-5 as “spiritual
“The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the
world. On the
contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up
the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to
it obedient to Christ”
This warfare for control of our thought-life is presented
as having two parts. First, we demolish arguments and pretensions
that set themselves up against God. Then, we take every thought
captive to make them obedient to Christ.
In other words, this is a battle that is fought in our mind,
and it is for control of our mind. We do not play a passive
role here. We must demolish arguments that set themselves
up against God, and we must take every thought captive!! Both
aspects of this battle are vitally important. Each time that
the Lord speaks a word of encouragement or direction into
our lives, we must be careful not to entertain thoughts that
would run counter to what the Lord has spoken. Each time that
we find ourselves thinking thoughts that are angry, unforgiving,
or hurtful, we must take those thought captive and bring them
into obedience with Christ.
In our society today, it is easier, and often more acceptable,
to be critical and negative. It is easier to dwell on some
perceived hurt or injustice that we have suffered than to
release our burdens to the Lord.
We must ask ourselves, “What does the Spirit desire?”
Scripture indicates many things that the Spirit desires, but
one of the most important desires for us to personally come
to grips with is found in Isaiah 30:18.
“Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises
you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed
are all who wait for Him!”
This is a wonderful realization, and the implications of
it need to sink way down into our innermost being. Yes, there
is a battle to be won. Yes, it is difficult, and it is warfare.
It is our responsibility to take every thought captive and
make it obedient to Christ. But, the Lord longs to show His
graciousness and compassion to us. The change in our “mind-set”
is always a difficult process, and it requires discipline
on our part, but it will be much easier if we really believe
that the Lord’s desire for us is good!
Several years ago my dentist told me that I should have two
of my wisdom teeth extracted. I knew that it would be a very
painful and unpleasant experience, but I had confidence that
the dentist knew what was best. I submitted to the procedure
because I knew the end result was going to be good.
I personally long to “walk in the Spirit”, and
to “live in accordance with the Spirit.” However,
in order to accomplish this, I see that there is a battle
to be fought. This spiritual warfare is for my “thought-life”,
and my “day-dreams.” Only I can fight this battle
and take these thoughts captive. No one can do it for me,
and it is a minute by minute choice that I must make.
Frank Laubach had an amazing personal encounter with the
Lord in the 1940’s. He suggested what he called “A
Game with Minutes,” where he would consciously turn
his attention to the Lord on a regular basis during the day,
regardless of the activity he was engaged in. It is amazing
how difficult this simple discipline can be, but it pays rich
As we turn our attention to the Lord, He will speak to us.
He does have a wonderful plan for our life! Demolish those
thoughts that speak against His plan, and make yourself available
You will be eternally grateful that you did!