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. 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. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. Rom. 8:5-9
Heavenly Father, celebrating Pentecost Sunday yesterday stirred me up. I remembered how easy (and dangerous) it is to forget about the various ministries of the Spirit—which is like forgetting about oxygen. So I want to linger in Pentecost, and meditate and pray this week about the glorious implications of the gift of your Spirit—beginning with these words from Paul.
Hallelujah! Because of Pentecost, I’m no longer “in the flesh, but in the Spirit”—no longer in marked by death, but by life in Christ. For just as assuredly as Jesus stood outside of Lazarus’s tomb and said, “Come forth,” you sent the Spirit to preach the gospel to my heart, and I came out of the tomb of my sin and death. I praise you for your sovereign goodness and power. Unless you’d breathed new life into my spirit, I would never—could never, believed the gospel.
When you raised me up in Jesus, you baptized me with the Holy Spirit—making me a member of your family and Christ’s bride. You sealed me for eternity by the Spirit—marking me as your very own possession. You sent the Spirit to live as a permanent resident in my heart—to constantly preach the gospel to my heart, convict me of sin, make me like Jesus, and tell me that I am your beloved child. Hallelujah, many times over.
And according to your Word, I’m now controlled by the Spirit, and no longer under the dominion of sin; and you’ve given me all the gifts of the Spirit I need to live as an active member of the church and a caring servant in your kingdom. What a generous God you are.
You gave the Spirit to me as the firstfruits and guarantee of the full inheritance of the salvation that Jesus completely earned for me. This assurance brings me incredible peace and joy.
Therefore, I acknowledge my desire to be more consistently filled with the Holy Spirit—that I might walk according to the Spirit, keep in step with the Spirit, and set my mind on what the Spirit desires. So very Amen I pray, in Jesus’ loving and triumphant name.