Carnal thinking: I am depressed
Spiritual thinking: The joy of the Lord is my strength
It's really that simple...or is it?
Knowing the truth is simple but applying it takes wisdom. We know that carnal thinking leads to death and spiritual thinking leads to life and peace (Romans 8:6). The question that should leave you with is this; how do I think spiritually and how does it produce life and peace?
For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
Carnal mindedness isn't necessarily depraved, sinful thinking, carnal thinking in its most basic form just leaves God out. Carnal thinking reasons based on what seems logical according to the way of the world. Spiritual thinking reasons based on God's ways and the fact that God can make a way where there is no way.
Carnal thinking is influenced by what it can see, spiritual thinking realizes there's an unseen element that can change things. Spiritual thinking realizes that with God, all things are possible.
If you are facing a challenge and don't see how God can do anything about it, you're limited to what makes sense carnally and you simply need to repent, change the way you think.
This article is more than an exercise in defining carnal and spiritual thinking, it's an exercise in wisdom, taking the next step to apply the truth.
I have a question for you, do you really believe that spiritual thinking is life and peace? How is it life and peace? Why is it life and peace? When exactly does spiritual thinking become life and peace? Is there something magic about spiritual thoughts that makes things happen?
To answer those questions you have to understand the nature of influence and the concept of seedtime and harvest. Over and over Jesus instructs us to hold his word in our hearts. He teaches that holding his words in our hearts will bear fruit. That fruit is the very thing that God expects from his children, in fact, it's the only way to actually bear the kind of fruit he expects. But the question remains, how does holding his word in our hearts and spiritual thinking produce life and peace?
Here's the answer...it transforms you. That's it. As you think about what's true and get a vision for it in your heart, it grows into your life. As you begin to think like Jesus thinks, you will live like Jesus lives. It's really that simple. It's so simple that we think it's too simple and we just don't do it. Or we think about his words in terms of laws and we become focused on our lack of holy living and boil the whole process down to performance-based religion.
Spiritual thinking works because it changes us. As we change, our choices and actions change. As our choices and actions change, our lives change.
I wish I had something more mystical or profound to tell you but it's just really that simple. Thinking like Jesus thinks brings about the changes we want to see in our lives. It shapes us to follow him into the good plans he has for us and the abundant life we can experience.
Think of an area in your life where you're frustrated and it seems like prayers aren't being answered. Maybe you're depressed, your marriage is in trouble, your grandson is on drugs, your job doesn't pay enough, a loved one is sick, etc...
Now think about how that makes you feel when you pray about it. Does it seem like it's impossible to change the situation?
Now ask yourself this, can Jesus change this?
Look in the Gospels and see if you can find a place in Jesus' life that relates to your situation.
Now see Jesus facing your situation as he faced it when he walked the earth. See it to the degree that it begins to feel possible that something can be done about what you're facing.
There's nothing magic about meditation or visualization, it just makes God's promises and intervention seem like a possible option. Getting a vision of God's intervention in your life, based on the track record of Jesus, makes his promises believable. I pray that you engage the process to the degree that God's faithfulness to his word and his promises in his word not only seem possible to you but they begin to be more real and true to you than the thing you're facing.
You can trust God, he is faithfiul and he will show himself faithful to you! God keeps his promises!