For to be carnally minded in death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. (Romans 8:6 KJV)
As I was driving to church one morning, I noticed that there was a loud revving sound coming from underneath the hood. Since my car is usually slightly noisy since it’s so old, I didn’t think much of it. I thought to myself that maybe I just needed to re-acquaint myself with the sound since I hadn’t driven the car in a few days. However, when I got onto the freeway and steadily climbed from 45 mph to 65 mph the noise became too loud to ignore. I turned down the stereo and listened attentively to the engine. The more I accelerated, the more violently the engine revved.
I knew something was wrong.
After parking, I discovered that I had a significant amount of oil leaking out of the bottom of the car and was smoking for a few moments. I checked under the hood and saw that my oil compartment was almost completely dried up. I added some oil to my car before leaving church and almost instantly my car sounded completely normal again. What a relief!
Now you might be wondering, what in the world does this story have to do with Romans 8:6?
Consider the oil that was needed for my car and the sounds my car was making before I added that oil. The Word of God is very much like that oil in a spiritual sense. Without the Word, it is impossible to have life and peace. Going to church on Sunday isn’t enough to sustain you. You need the Word to keep your spiritual system running smoothly. Job, speaking of God, said “…I have esteemed the words of His mouth more than my necessary food” (Job 23:12 KJV). He knew that the word of God was the element that gave him life!
Refuse to let yourself get to a place of spiritual dryness. When the word of God is absent from a man’s spirit, his flesh (natural senses) begin to overtake him. Romans 8:6 refers to this as death, but it’s important to be aware that death can manifest itself in many different ways. It’s beyond the literal end of human life. Death can be manifested in negative words, thoughts, actions and the experiences that you have on a daily basis. Death according to the Word, is a separation from God and everything that is of Him.
I don’t believe that anyone consciously chooses to have a carnal mind, just as no one chooses to have a ruined engine in their car. However, the refusal to make a conscious decision to do the right thing will, by default put you in a position as if you had chosen the wrong thing.
The Apostle Paul urges us to not be like the world, but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2 KJV). The renewal mentioned is not a one time deal; it is continuous maintenance that should never be neglected. More than any other person or thing that you take care of, be diligent in maintaining the quality of your spirit. Measure your progress as a Christian and fine tune those areas that the Lord brings to your attention as you study the scriptures.
Have you checked your oil lately?