“Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.”Romans 7:8
I believe the opposite of this verse must also be true. The spiritual mind is subject to the law of God and not the laws of this world. The Christ-centered mind responds to a higher law and answers a higher calling; there is a shield between the spiritual mind and worldly circumstances. Whereas, the carnal mind is not subject to the law of God and is, therefore, subject to the laws and whims of this world. The carnal mind must face every battle unprotected.
How does this impact me today? I can tell when I am allowing my carnal mind to take the lead because I fall into patterns of fear, anxiety, bitterness, short-temper, and project my own negative emotions onto others. I lose sight of the truth and assume that my feelings about something or someone or even myself reflect the truth. But later, when I step back and ask God to take control of my thoughts, He leads me back to His truth and allows me to see clearly. My feelings do not dictate truth; they indicate the state of my own spiritual and mental health.
Verse six acts as a preface saying, “to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” I can certainly see this in my own life. When I look at the affairs of this world, I can see it there too. So much strife as everyone cries out to be heard, but so few pause to listen. Everyone fights for their way of life, disregarding and belittling others along the way. We create enemies where we should find allies. For we are all just trying to get through this life as best we can. Anger, chaos, bitterness, hatred. All these are symptoms that the battle in the spiritual realm is raging. Sadly, the world is too busy looking at it with carnal minds to see that the only victory comes when we see with our spiritual minds and start fighting the real enemy. Satan is real and he is quite happy to take what he can from us while he can.
The Good News is that Jesus is still on the throne—He has already won. So while the war rages, we must prepare our minds to fight the spiritual battles ahead. Battles that determine if we will live in the peace, unity, hope, and love of God, or if we live in the anxiety-filling, blame-assigning, anger-igniting world that seeks only to advance the cause of self. Will we choose to focus our minds on the Spirit or on the world?
What does this look like in practical application? It looks like Jesus. He also lived during a time of political upheaval and societal division. Read the Gospels and see how Jesus responded to people at all levels of society. Watch as He demonstrates love, compassion, and mercy while boldly speaking the truth. He wasn’t easy on those who chose to walk in opposition to God, yet He invited all to follow Him into a better way of life. His example is so relevant today. Study the Gospels and you will find the answers you seek.