Cody's Corner : Romans 8:5 and what 'Life' is

by Cody Biby

Romans 8:5

For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

Life. What comes to mind when you read that word? A baby? Some plant or animal growing? The circle of life and that song that starts the Lion King? Your life? Somone else’s? The more I think about it I drift into all the joyous occasions from my life and all the good times. Then inevitably my thinking drifts into some of the not so good times as well. I am learning to snap my mind out of those lines of thinking, and even take a second look at certain times in my life to reframe them in my mind into what I have learned during those times, how I grew, how God refined me or my family, and how every day I can have abundant life through serving Jesus and loving others.

I wanted to write today about how important it is to be alive spiritually, how to sustain a spiritually healthy life, and two common ways our flesh, Satan, and the world try to destroy that.

To be alive spiritually, you have to confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead. Believe in the only name and the only one who is the Savior of the world.

Next, you need to attend regular church meetings and be discipled by more mature Christians.

At the same time the only Living Book on the face of the earth needs to be your guidebook for life, and your number one source for truth. God never lies, and His promises never fail. You can stake your eternity on it. You also need to develop a devotional time where you are reading the Word, praying during a certain time while also praying any other time you need it, God will reveal the spiritual gifts he has given you and you need to use them for His glory and His honor, and then you need to follow Jesus and the Holy Spirit wherever they call you.

If you have had a good devotional life before you know how important this is. If you stop you are going to find out what it is like to starve spiritually, because you are not feeding on the bread of life. If you do not read your Bible, have a prayer life, serve God with your gifts, or attend church gatherings, then be prepared for the agony of dying slowly from spiritual thirst.

If you have never had consistent time in prayer, reading your bible, and serving the King, then I would propose to you that you do not even know what it is like to be spiritually healthy. You do not know what real life could even be like. Because in His presence is fullness of joy, and the joy of the Lord is our strength. I beg you to find out what love beyond knowledge, peace beyond understanding, and a faith that does not operate by sight is like.

It will change the trajectory of your life, your marriage or future one, your kids and their future, and all those around you. God is real, His word is true, and what is impossible with man is possible with God. Do not let your past or past experience with God, the Bible, or church people keep you alone, bitter, ashamed, weak, or anything else of the like.

There are two common opposite ways the enemy, the world, and your flesh will try to keep you on a road to spiritual death instead of an abundant and thriving spiritual life. It is in our attitude and how we approach and think about God.

If you think that you could never anger God, or that some sin in your life is okay. You are in a bad spot or going to be spiritually unhealthy very quickly. If you are getting a pass from God right now, that means he is pouring out his mercy and grace towards you while consistently trying to draw you to the Truth with conviction. He might do this for days or a long time, but one day discipline and punishment is coming. One day the consequences from that sin or attitude are coming home to roost. You will suffer on that day, and sometimes it is almost more than people can handle because they have been lying to themselves and others too long.

Now, God will forgive and restore, but the discipline and severity of God is no joke. You will get back into a loving relationship and healthy spiritual life if you repent, and if you get back to the spiritual disciplines. He never stopped loving you.

Unfortunately, a lot of Christians run away, sit down and pout, or start down a road to spiritual death, because they cannot handle loving discipline from God. This also happens in homes where grandparents are raising the grandchildren, good foster homes, etc. A kid comes into an environment that holds them to a certain standard, makes them work on self-control and emotional regulation, and teaches you the difference between right and wrong for life. When they come from no standards, no discipline, no routine, and no one parenting them or leading them they do not know what to do with healthy structure, boundaries, and reciprocal love. Let God build a healthy structure, boundaries, and routine for your life that will bless you and all those around you. Instead of taking conviction personally, you will praise Him for truth that sets you free. Instead of being mad at God and withdrawing from Him, you will praise Him for it and be on the road to spiritual health and bearing fruit for the Kingdom.

The next column I write will be about the second most common tactic used by the big three to destroy spiritual life.