Jekyll and Hyde
By Darlene Franklin
“Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Romans 8:5
At birth, most babies perform all the physical functions necessary for life: their hearts beat, their brains works, they breathe. They also frequently receive all manner of gifts. Some are for immediate use, such as clothes and diapers. Others are for later, such as a bank account.
Although an infant resembles his parents, his life story hasn’t been written. Experience and proper care will shape him. If he eats well, he’ll grow physically healthy and strong. If he isn’t fed regularly or nourished properly, he may die.
My new life in Christ, given to me when I admitted my sin problem to God, repeats a similar pattern. I resemble my Father. He placed spiritual talents within me to encourage the church. His Spirit lives in me, breathing new life into my thoughts and actions. I will thrive as long as I abide in that new life, yielding to the Holy Spirit, determined as an infant to walk, talk, and grow.
But if I stop listening to the Spirit and instead crack the door open to my former way of life, I end up stranded between the old and the new, flesh and Spirit. The more I revert to my old ways, the more my new life is choked to the faintest pulse, alive but not vibrant.
What determines which life thrives? My mindset. Before my new life, I couldn’t “get” God at all. With His Spirit comes understanding and power.
God initiates and sustains my growth, but I run into trouble when I grab back control. Yielding is a choice. The more I feed on His words, the more I understand His mind. God calls me to put into practice what I read in Scripture (James 1:22).
All believers have the mind of Christ, a spiritual birthday present. Let us stay focused on Him, lest we wander from Him and the life He’s called us to.
Darlene Franklin, a contributor to Wholly Loved’s devotional project, is a best-selling author of fiction and nonfiction works. Her claim to fame is that she continues to write from a nursing home. She keeps going because God keeps giving her more assignments. She’s written more than fifty-five fiction and nonfiction books, including Pray Through the Bible in a Year and of Cash and Cats in Love Comes on Kitten Paws. Check out a complete list of her books on Amazon and keep up with her online at http://www.facebook.com/DarleneFranklinfun/.
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Originally published Friday, 12 February 2021.