“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.
For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. 6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. 7[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. 8 So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him. Romans 8:5-8 AMP
There is a mind of the flesh – the carnal mind – and a mind of the Spirit. The carnal mind caters to the appetites and impulses of the carnal nature. The mind of the flesh – with its carnal thoughts and purposes – is hostile to God. It does not, and cannot, submit itself to God’s Law. Those who live the life of the flesh are not acceptable to the Lord. Those who are controlled by the unholy desires of the flesh are always focused on what their flesh wants, not on what is right or correct. The flesh, by itself, tends only to sin, not to righteousness, because of the sin nature that is in the flesh. The carnal mind is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit and is under the influence of the god of this world – Satan (2 Corinthians 4:4) – who would like nothing more than to utterly destroy your life. Those who yield to the flesh and the carnal mind end up with death and destruction.
Contrary to secular humanistic thinking, children left to their own devices, will not make the right choices. They will primarily lean toward sin and selfishness. If they are going to walk in righteousness they need a brand new nature and they need instruction in righteousness. They need the mind of the Holy Spirit, which is life and peace.
For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative. 19 For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. 20 For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification], 21 Because when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they became futile and godless in their thinking [with vain imaginings, foolish reasoning, and stupid speculations] and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools [professing to be smart, they made simpletons of themselves]. Romans 1:18-22 AMP
And so, since they did not see fit to acknowledge God or approve of Him or consider Him worth the knowing, God gave them over to a base and condemned mind to do things not proper or decent but loathsome, 29 Until they were filled (permeated and saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, iniquity, grasping and covetous greed, and malice. [They were] full of envy and jealousy, murder, strife, deceit and treachery, ill will and cruel ways. [They were] secret backbiters and gossipers, 30 Slanderers, hateful to and hating God, full of insolence, arrogance, [and] boasting; inventors of new forms of evil, disobedient and undutiful to parents. 31[They were] without understanding, conscienceless and faithless, heartless and loveless [and] merciless. 32 Though they are fully aware of God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them themselves but approve and applaud others who practice them. Romans 1:28-32 AMP
When you know the right thing to do and you do wrong – you develop a reprobate mind. You have deliberately chosen sin as a way of life and you now call what is wrong and bad, right and good, and what is right and good, wrong and bad. You will not see the truth and so you live a lie. You are self-deceived. You will have no excuse when you stand before the Lord on Judgment Day, and still you are not motivated to change or to find God’s will for your life before it is too late. People who think that what they are doing is acceptable will not be motivated to change no matter what. The devil loves to bring people to this place of deception so that he can take them to a lost eternity. God wants you to know the truth about yourself – even if it hurts at the time – so that you can receive the truth, act on the truth, and be spared eternal torment.
The only way to enjoy God’s eternal life, here on earth and in the world to come, is to yield yourself – your Spirit, your soul and your body – to the Holy Spirit and not to the flesh and the devil. Don’t follow the world, don’t walk like them, talk like them or act like them. Allow the truth of the word of God and the ministry of the Holy Spirit to penetrate your mind and heart so that you will be transformed into the image of Christ.