Tag Archives: romans

Setting Our Minds on the Things of the Spirit

“For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace…”
(Romans 8:5-6)

We must constantly ask ourselves, “What am I setting my mind on? What am I focusing on?

For me, that means not allowing my mind to go to the negative aspects in life or in situations, you know, the glass half-empty thinking instead of seeing the half that’s full. It can be easy to do, especially in the midst of difficulty or even just in the mundane of everyday life.

So how do we set our minds on the things of the Spirit?

We do so by fixing our eyes on Christ, and reminding ourselves who God is — sovereign, in control, all-knowing, and for us not against us. We also must remind ourselves that God is ultimately using everything in our lives — the good, the bad and even the mundane — to make us more like Jesus in our speech, attitudes and actions. Even when our feelings and circumstances don’t line up with God’s truth and promises, this helps us experience God’s peace and hope.

The War We Fight

As believers we constantly battle our flesh, which is hostile to the things of God (Romans 8:7). When that bad attitude surfaces or we find we have bitterness or wounds in our hearts, it’s easy to dwell on the pain instead of setting our eyes on Christ.

Continually we must remind ourselves that God is refining us and allowing these things to surface. He wants to remove all the impurities from the precious gold within us, but this often means we come face-to-face with whatever He is working out of us.

Our Help at All Times

As God grows you to be more like His Son, keep your eyes fixed on Him, knowing that He is always helping you by His Holy Spirit, giving you His strength, comfort and guidance in all things. Know that if you ask, He will provide the wisdom and grace you need according to His perfect will.

“…the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.
(Romans 8:26-27)

God Believes in You

This post is apart of Sunday Setlists.

Some highlights from the message today:

  • Our God is a God of second chances! Just ask Jonah, and countless other Christians here today!
  • Hearing testimony through a song written and song by a woman visiting our church today who’s come out of addiction, and also a man who is a Katrina hurricane survivor.
  • God believes in us more than we believe in ourselves!
  • If you’re alive, it isn’t too late, no matter how far away from God you’ve gotten. He is a God of second chances!
  • God is in control of every single circumstance in our lives!

I think today God was doing some powerful things, though unseen to our eyes. God is working for sure.

Early service:

  • Lead Me to Calvary (Hussey/Kirkpatrick)
  • At the Cross (Hudson/Watts)
  • How Deep the Father’s Love for Us (Townend)
  • I’m Forever Grateful (Altrogge)
  • Choir: Calvary Is the Sea (Alexander/Clark/Wood, arranged by Sterling)
  • Ladies Ensemble: We Are the Body of Christ (Brown/Hampton)
  • Response: Cleanse Me (Orr/Maori melody arranged by Douglas)

Went speechless today especially after all of the songs reminding us of God’s love for us and Jesus’ sacrifice for us. Almost couldn’t pray prior to the offering time. Wow, God, I can’t believe You even care about me. I’m so not worth it–none of us are–but dang, You love us so!!

Contemporary service:

  • Mansion (Springer)
  • Freedom (Bushard)
  • Everybody Praise the Lord (Brewster)
  • Send the Fire (Booth)
  • Show Your Power (Prosch)
  • ‘Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus (Kirkpatrick/Stead)
  • What Only You Can Do (Edwards)

Praying Dangerously

I’ve been praying some dangerous prayers lately.

By sharing these I’m not trying to be super-spiritual or anything. It hurts to pray these prayers! It scares me to pray them! I just want to sleep off the time it takes in the process of getting where God wants me. Some of what I’m finding is just how impatient I am when I pray such things! I so want to just be there–but I fail constantly, and not a one of us will “arrive” until Christ returns and changes us in the blink of an eye!  As the Word says, my spirit is willing, but my flesh is oh so weak!

What I’m praying lately:

Purify me. In all things. Mind, heart, soul. Motives, will, EVERYTHING. Erase all the desires in me that are not of You. Give me the discernment to know the difference. (Psalm 37:3-5) My heart’s cry: “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God” and “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:3, Matthew 5:8)

I want to love You more and more, God. I want to live for You without selfishness or pride. A servant’s heart, and seeing others as You see them.

I want to want You alone. Not merely the blessings You give, though they are so wonderful. Not merely the feelings that accompany being in Your presence and loving You. But You alone. I want to enjoy the things that come with a relationship with You, but I want to want You above all those things.

I want to want Your will for my life. For the call You have placed on my life. For the man You have chosen for me to marry. For whatever I’m supposed to do in living for You, both the big and small, in all aspects of life.

In all these things, patience. Help me to enjoy the process of You working in me, and the process of growing into a deeper relationship with You.

What are you praying? Do you need prayer? Share your own requests by commenting or contacting me here. I’d love to pray for you!

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
(Romans 12:1)

Fixed on Jesus

There is such a longing growing in me. A longing for God. A longing to pray night and day, to seek Him at all hours. A longing to worship Him with all my heart, all focus completely and utterly on Him. To be so in tune with God and for Him to be glorified in every moment, every place, every day.

Maybe it’s a longing for me to be living in Christ more and more deeply each day. I know that God is guiding me there: “…He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6). Maybe it’s partly the groaning that Paul speaks of in Romans 8:23: “…we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.”

Let me dive in more and more, Lord.

I’m one of those creative types to whom the “atmosphere” where I read, write, sing and seek, or the people I am pursuing God alongside, makes all the difference. It doesn’t feel like it should exactly be this way (after all, God is with us wherever we go (Psalm 139:8), but it’s there.

Leaving home to study or write in a cafe is a helpful change of pace and place. Getting out of the usual place and pace of things can help me be even more deeply focused.

At times this comes by gathering with friends to seek God in intercession and worship. All  of us know that there is power in gathering with other believers to unite in prayer and to worship Jesus!

I want to live a life of continual and intentional focus on God and the mission of Christ. I don’t know how, except to let His Word penetrate deeply, and to just go for it–to seek after Him! Just to press in, seeking God with all I can muster at any given moment–yet not getting caught up in striving–but being still, knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10), that He is my God–the lover of my soul–who wants me all for Himself and for His glory. I want to be that. I want to be solely fixed on the One and Only Giver of life (Jeremiah 32:38-40). I want to be steadfast, focusing on the One Thing–the One–Jesus Christ!

That is my prayer.

“O GOD, my heart is fixed (steadfast, in the confidence of faith); I will sing, yes, I will sing praises, even with my glory [all the faculties and powers of one created in Your image]!”
(Psalm 108:1 Amplified)

“Have the roots [of your being] firmly and deeply planted [in Him, fixed and founded in Him], being continually built up in Him, becoming increasingly more confirmed and established in the faith, just as you were taught, and abounding and overflowing in it with thanksgiving.”
(Colossians 2:7 Amplified)

Put Your Armor On

This post is apart of Sunday Setlists.

Early service:

  • Children’s Choir: I Won’t Be Afraid
  • Near the Cross
  • Knowing You
  • In Christ Alone (Getty/Townend)
  • Choir: Hear Our Praises

Contemporary service:

  • Children’s Choir: I Won’t Be Afraid
  • Awesome Is the Lord
  • Everybody Praise the Lord
  • Sing to the King
  • Show Your Power
  • ‘Tis So Sweet To Trust in Jesus

Worship was really hitting me this morning. It really was spiritual warfare for me because I wasn’t feeling the best physically or mentally. While we were singing of all God’s done via In Christ Alone, God reminded me that I forgot to “put my armor” on this morning (Ephesians 6) in addition to reminding me of His Word concerning His children.

It’s amazing how God uses us as worship leaders to choose songs to sing to Him and about Him, and this week He used those very songs to strengthen me as I worshiped Him! He also used the children’s song as they sang in both services, a song I didn’t know beforehand! I needed these reminders of all God has done for me through Jesus, and that it’s all about Him and His purposes, no matter how I feel, physically, mentally or both, and that I have nothing to fear! We’ve just got to turn to Him and His Word, and worship Him through everything! Bless His holy name at all times!

It was amazing today to see some hands raised during worship that I hadn’t seen (or noticed) before., especially during Awesome Is the Lord (“Raise your hands, all you nations…”) It touches my heart to see people worshiping God freely!

The message today on sharing your faith was right there with it, too! I needed that, and God is growing in me a greater passion to share the Gospel. Make me even more willing and bold, Lord; provide opportunities and don’t let me miss them! A gem from the sermon at church today:

It’s not about our abilities [in sharing Jesus], it’s about our availability [for God to use us]!