One Piece of Candy
Romans 8:6 “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.”
con•tent•ment [kuh n-tent-muh nt] noun
The state of being contented; satisfaction; ease of mind.
Isn’t it easier to recognize disappointment than contentment? Recognizing a former state of satisfaction and ease of mind often comes when we are deeply irritated and no longer satisfied. The Latin root word is contentus, which means having restrained desires. If restrained desires and satisfaction are required for contentment, how is it even possible?
No one naturally wants to constrain their desires. In fact, man alone does not possess the power to sustainably harness the flesh. Observe kids in a candy store who are each allowed just one piece. Most walk out more frustrated over what they did not get than satisfied with the one piece they did.
The flesh is never satisfied. Even Paul confesses in Romans 7 that his best effort is not strong enough to overpower his sin nature. He says “I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Does this sound familiar? My 5-year-old left the house yesterday morning with every intention of being good at school, but it didn’t work out as planned.
Paul further explains, “Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.” Those people are you and me and we will never reconcile ourselves to God with good deeds. Mankind needs a breakthrough. And we got it. The battle between Godly desires and natural desires was won on the cross. “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” Rom 8:1-2
Freedom from the flesh has been provided along with the Achilles heel of free will. So how do we choose to overcome the flesh daily? Just as when you want your car to run you put gas in it, we must decide in advance to fuel our Spirit nature and starve our flesh. To have “a mind controlled by the Spirit” requires a daily consumption of God’s Word. If your transmission fluid looks like mud, it will slow you down and hinder you from your full potential. You might need to flush out racy novels and other mindless vices. They won’t help you when life kicks you out of the candy story empty-handed, but the Spirit of God living in you will.
When faced with challenges, pain, shock and disappointment, remember that contentment is hating the situation but trusting the love of God. Be prepared to utter these simple words, “I trust my God, through whom all thing are possible.” It takes a mind controlled by the Spirit to do this.
Jesus is the one and only piece of candy you need.
How will you respond when you face disappointment today?