What Rules Your Soul? – Romans 8, by Ty Tamasaka
“9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life[d]because of righteousness. 11 And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of[e] his Spirit who lives in you.” Romans 8:9-11 NIV
We learned from Paul in an earlier devotion that there is “no condemnation for those who are in Christ.” The question then arises. “If there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ and we are free from the law of God, then aren’t we free to live however we want to?”
Paul would say that is having our “minds set on what the flesh desires.” He gives an easy way to determine if we are walking in the Spirit or walking in the flesh. Paul says to look at your mindset. The best way to determine how your walk with God is going, is to ask a simple question.
What’s ruling your soul?
To have your mind “set on” something is the term “hupotasso” which is a military term meaning “to arrange in order under” a commanding general, for example. Where is your mind set? Is your mind under the command of God or of Satan?
Is your mind set on desires of the flesh or desires of the Spirit? (verse 5) Is your mind “set on what the flesh desires” or “on what the Spirit desires?” The unsaved person’s mind is fully centered on the things that satisfy the flesh. The one who is in Christ has the Spirit of God living within and therefore, by nature, has a different mindset. His mind is set on the things of the Spirit.
Is your mind hostile toward God or at peace with God? (verses 6-7). The old nature rebels against God’s will and refuses to submit to His law. It is hostile toward God. Those who trust God have peace with Him. They are not perfect, but they accept His will. They receive His law. They are at peace with His Word. Is your mind hostile toward God or at peace with God?
After you’ve read this and determined what’s ruling your soul, there are several ways to respond.
If your mind is set on the desires of the Spirit, rejoice. If your mind is set at peace with God, celebrate!
What do you do if your mind is set on the desires of the flesh? What if your mind is hostile toward God?
How do we change our mindset? How do we set our mind on the Spirit?
1 – Change your appetites.
To answer that, let’s explore diets for a bit. If you are like most people, you’ve made New Year resolutions to lose weight, but have failed. On January 1, you said you are going to lose 10 pounds, then on January 15, you said you just got 15 more to go! You have an appetite for carbs, cakes, ice cream, and McDonalds.
If you’ve ever tried a drastic diet like paleo, you’v
discover that when you stay away from carbs, sugars, and junk food for a long time, when you eat it again, it doesn’t sit well with you. It doesn’t sit well in your stomach any longer. Your appetite has changed. Your desire for junk food diminishes. Your appetite for healthy foods increase.
Here’s the principle.
- • Whatever appetites you feed, grows.
- • Whatever appetites you starve, shrinks.
If you want to know how to set your mind on the Spirit, make yourself a glutton for the things of the Spirit. Make it a point to read the Bible. Whenever you have an inkling to serve, do it. Whenever you think you should pray… pray. Feed your appetite for the Spirit of God.
Starve the flesh. Fast from foods. Fast from media. No matter how much it hurts, starve the flesh. Starve the flesh and it shrinks.
The old hymn says it well.
Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.
Starve the flesh in you.
Feed the Spirit in you.
2 – Invite Jesus into your life.
Invite Jesus into your life. Have you done it before? Do it again. Invite the Spirit of God to live in you – to make His home in you. The Greek word for “a home” is oikos. It means “to live or dwell in a certain place as your home.”
The Spirit of God therefore, should not only live in the believer, but He should be comfortable and at home living in him or her. The saved person is no longer under the grip of an evil nature, but is rather under the control and influence of the Holy Spirit. If you find that your life has not been a good “home” for the Holy Spirit, invite Him to take up residence once again. Invite Him to make His home in you again. Invite Him to make Himself comfortable in your life. Surrender your life to the Holy Spirit. Let Him be the One who rules your soul.
Holy Spirit, make Yourself at home in my life. You are welcome in every part of me. Have Your way in my life. Be the ruler of my soul. Take up residence in me. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.