A friend told me about the time he went to perform a wedding ceremony in the Poconos. He had driven up from Delaware to do the ceremony. The bride was beautiful, the groom was handsome- all the things you’d expect from the wedding. Since most weddings take place on Saturday, like this one, he had to leave partway through the reception in order to get back home in Delaware so he was rested to lead worship the next morning in his church. So he pressed the home button on his GPS and started driving.
After an hour or so of driving, my friend told me that he did not recognize any of the landmarks around him. Especially at a time where he should be coming near Philadelphia and familiar roads. After some more investigating, he pulled over and looked at his GPS. He discovered that the Home button on his GPS no longer was oriented to his home address, but an address in the Western part of Pennsylvania. He had spent the last hour or so driving in the wrong direction. Even though his GPS was providing the right directions (to the wrong address) he would never arrive back home following the GPS. The GPS was oriented in the wrong direction.
Paul writes in Romans 8:5 that “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
There are two kinds of people- those whose lifestyles are oriented towards gratifying our flesh (See Galatians 5:19-21) and those whose lives are oriented towards the Spirit (see Galatians 5:22-23, Philippians 4:8). When our minds are oriented towards the flesh we live in opposition to God. We make decisions that create a gulf between us and God. No matter how much we desire our lives to look different, we will not experience the total transformation until we reorient our lives to be in step with the Holy Spirit. This means we need a renewed and transformed mind which leads to a transformed way of thinking. This transformed way of thinking leads us to a transformed way of living.
How do we reorient our lives on the Spirit? Paul writes in Romans 12:2, “Do no conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. then you will be able to test and approve what god’s will is- his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
A mind reoriented on the Spirit refuses to conform to the pattern and expectations of the world. This reoriented mind knows and has made peace with the fact that a mind on the Spirit is going to look act differently than a mind oriented towards the flesh. The reoriented mind also knows, in part because Paul tells us, that we must renewed each day. If we are to stay oriented on the Spirit, we must create space throughout our day to look and listen for God’s activity and voice in our lives.
In what direction is your life oriented to? If your desire is to orient your life to the things of God- what are you putting in your mind? Are they things of the flesh? Or things of the Spirit?