Playing it By Heart

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Playing it By Heart

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Are we living according to the flesh or by the Spirit? This is a question we can see in Paul’s teaching in Romans 8:5. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”

Life is engineered to keep us focused on the physical. We get up each morning and we are hungry. We eat and go to work. All day we pursue things, ideas, and activity that is tactile, time consuming and fatiguing. As if we are not tired enough some of us go for a walk or to the gym and work out. We play a game of basketball or other activity. We get tired and eat some more. Eventually we go to sleep and start all over again the next day.

We worry about jobs, retirement and money. People and their problems intrude on us and consume vast amounts of energy. Our own fears and problems get in the way as well. Life is full of the physical.

Where is there room for the spiritual? Here is the challenge. We don’t always connect the things of the Spirit to our everyday life. Dwelling on spiritual matters, the fruits of the Holy Spirit for instance, takes work. We have to make a conscious effort to focus on love, joy, peace and all the other fruits mentioned in Galatians 5.

To focus our mind while in prayer and engage God in our thoughts takes commitment. It flows from a need every bit as great as the need for water, food and sleep. Asking God for our daily bread means we ask for the spiritual bread we need to engage the world around us.

How often do we sense God guiding our actions and our plans? How confident are we that the major actions we take each day are led by God? Do we even think God is that interested and involved in our life to see His hand guiding our steps?

God wants us to walk after the Sprit, not after the flesh. He wants us to walk with confidence that He is leading us and involved on a daily basis.

Debbie and I get the opportunity to travel occasionally with our good friends Robin and Susan Webber. Before we start out on each day’s journey we have developed a saying that seems to guide us through the day. If there is a question about the itinerary, where we will go and what we will see, we always say “let’s play it by heart”. We are saying, let’s trust God to make some of those decisions and let’s look for Him in the places we go and the things we see. Let’s “live according to the Spirit”. It always works out.

Paul goes on to say in verse 6, “For to be carnally minded is death but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” As we begin our walk toward Passover let’s make sure we are living and walking by the Spirit. Learn to discern God in the details of life. And always play it by heart.