The following is a divinely-inspired thought that came to me as I was driving to one of my son’s soccer games last Fall. I recorded it into my phone as I drove and have transcribed it here. I hope it encourages you.
“The fire of the Holy Spirit consumes the flesh. The sacrifices in the Old Testament were burned. Why were they burned? Fire consumes, it devours. It encompasses, it destroys. And as we are consumed with fire of the Holy Spirit, our flesh is consumed. This doesn’t mean that our skin is suddenly a raging inferno. But what does the Holy Spirit do? He speaks of Jesus. He speaks of Christ. And as we allow ourselves to be filled with the Holy Spirit, our minds, and our attention, and our affections, and our thoughts, turn to Christ.
We want to have a little bit of the Holy Spirit. We want to have the emotional rush that comes from being in a service and feeling His presence. But, to be consumed with the Holy Spirit consumes religion. It consumes the thought that there is anything other than Christ, that there is any other way than Christ.
He does not whisper in our ear that we have failed, that we have done wrong. He can’t do that because He is whispering in our ear that we are loved by our Heavenly Father, that we are saved, that we are made new in Christ, that we are a new creation, that we are born again, that we are seated with Christ with Christ in heavenly places! He’s not “speaking out of both sides of His mouth.”
So as we allow ourselves to be consumed with the Holy Spirit, we find that our minds are beginning to be more and more set on Christ. This is where we are to live. It is a mind thing. It is a mentality. What are we thinking about? Are we thinking about our skin, our body, our flesh, – our members? Or are we thinking about the reality of the new creation – that we are in union with Christ, that He has cut away the flesh, that we have been made new in Him! This is the message of the Holy Spirit.
He’s not sitting there saying, “Well, today you did this and that and you really disappointed the Father, today you sinned.” And at the same time saying, “Your sins and your lawless deeds I will remember no more.” He’s not whispering guilt and condemnation out of one side of His mouth and then saying out of the other side of His mouth, “I have cast your sins into a sea of forgetfulness. I have cast them away as far as the east is from the west.”
This is the confusion that comes from legalism and religion. It comes from decades of preaching mixture – that there is somehow that we can fix this body, this dying flesh, – these members. And there is no way to fix something that is dying. The way that we are to live is with our minds set on Christ, with our eyes fixed on Him, with our thoughts constantly being renewed to the new creation that we have been made in Him – that we are like Him, that we are in His likeness, that we are forgiven, that we are forgiven, that we are forgiven, that we are made new in Him!
And as we do this, our spirit man begins to take on more and more and more preeminence and prominence in our life. And we find that our members begin to fall in line and begin to be led by the Spirit. We can’t be led by the Spirit if our minds are on the flesh. The mind set on the flesh is dead; the mind set on the Spirit is life.”