It's Not the End. It's the Beginning.
I don’t want to buy a boat. I have had fun on boats, and I know why other people dream about someday buying a boat, but even if I won the lottery, I would have no desire to buy a boat. However, let’s say for the next year I put pictures of boats around my desk at work. Maybe I follow lots of maritime social media pages and watch only TV shows and movies about boats. After a year of consuming my thoughts and activities and surrounding myself with boats, how do you think my attitude toward buying a boat might be affected?
So what do we fill our minds with? Galatians 6:8 tells us, “whoever sows to please the Spirit will reap eternal life.” The boat illustration above goes to show the many aspects of our daily lives that can impact how we think, how we feel, and how we interact with the Spirit. Feeding the Spirit can take so many forms, but we have to be deliberate in dedicating our time and energy toward contributing to our spiritual life rather than starving it. Joe reminded us that not all sin is an act of commission, but sin can be ignoring those good and purposeful activities God puts in front of us, that we’re too busy to see.
When we make the Lord the leader of our lives, we can start to recognize those opportunities to serve God, make Him a part of our daily lives, and “walk by the Spirit”. But making God the “leader of your life” sounds terribly vague to me. My life has so many aspects that I don’t know where to start. But I know that I need to make God the leader of my marriage, the leader of my parenting, and the leader of my career. I need to bring God into my financial planning, my family’s schedule, my hobbies and even what I choose to watch on TV. Figuring out how to make God the leader of each of these smaller pieces of my life adds up to knowing how to make God truly Lord of my life. This is where we have the opportunity to lean into the Holy Spirit and be intentional about creating and crafting our spiritual life. Purposely filling our lives with God’s presence in the smallest things can make it so much easier to rely on Him and trust Him when we face larger struggles.
I think this is summarized well by Romans 8:5: “Those who live by the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.” Write down your goals or your spiritual desires. Identify those parts of your life that are starving the Spirit and be intentional about filling your mind with God and His desires for how that time can be spent. Listen and look for what God has in store to not just help you avoid sin but also fill your life with purpose. Just like the boat example, if you surround yourself with thoughts of how you can walk with God, and become intentional about how you spend your time and the external influences on it, your mindset will shift and bring you closer to Him.