Obstacle 2: A Mind Set on the Flesh

In fasting as well as generally speaking, we know we are supposed to avoid setting our minds on the flesh, but what does that mean?

Essentially, any form of reasoning that takes precedence over the word of God is foolishness and must be exposed, understood, and cast down, plain and simple.

If you find yourself doubting the crystal clear Word of God, its not the bible that has the problem, its you. Sometimes the Word of God is so clear and yet contradictory to the thoughts in our mindsets that we will then try to reason how the Word may not really be saying what it obviously says. There are also other things in scripture that are left to personal revelation, in other words the meaning isn’t spelled out clearly right there in the verse. Some concepts aren’t fully explained and therefore need further clarity.

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In cases like this, where the true meaning behind the text has not been clearly revealed to an individual, and the person doesn’t have a close relationship with Holy Spirit, they have no other choice but to rely on their own intellectual reasoning to determine what the author (God) could have possibly meant. Sadly this is the place that religion and many denominations of the Christian faith find themselves in. Logical reasoning of our often times illogical faith will leave people in a place of division, and separation due to misunderstanding.

Scripture also describes believers that suffer from this mental stronghold as being “double minded” (James 1:6-8). The double minded person is, by definition, torn between two opposing ideologies. Each vying for supremacy and attempting to dominate the decision making process. For the believer these opposing thoughts can come from many sources, but for the most part they find their origins in one of two places, either the flesh or the spirit.

Our flesh is calling for its desires to be met and for our decisions to be made strictly to appease its cries. At the same time our awakened spirit is calling for the will of God to be accomplished through that same flesh. This contention boils down to a battle waged in our minds on a day by day, even minute my minute basis. The battle is not in our spirits and not in our flesh, but in our minds. If the strategies for battle in this arena of the mind are not learned and mastered, we will be left being tossed by every swaying wind of emotion, doctrine, and thought that is controlled by the flesh one moment and by the spirit the next.

This creates a never ending ebb and flow tide of doubt and faith – faith and doubt. The believer trapped in this stronghold is blown to and fro by the warring ideas present in their own minds because they have yet to learn how to identify fleshly or carnal desires verses those originating from the Spirit of God within them. They desperately want to believe the Word of God, but struggle to do so because their flesh seeks to dominate their interpretation of reality. They want to believe, but can’t. This stronghold is particularly dangerous because, “that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:7 – NASB). A mind set on the flesh hinders our prayer lives and therefore is stronghold against effective fasting. Thank God that we have hope of overcoming this stronghold just as we can overcome all others.

 NEXT: Overcoming a Mind Set on the Flesh

 

 


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