If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

At the end of last week’s article on the carnal mind, I promised to answer the question, “What shall we do?” As it turns out, I’ve answered this question in part through several previous articles. If you are interested in reviewing them, click here for a list.

God has me exploring this issue of the mind for a couple of reasons. First, such explorations are always for my own transformation. God is trying to show me something that is inhibiting my walk with Him in the good works He has created for His glory (and my joyful, Spirit-filled adventure).

Secondly, and because I am a disciple maker of Christian leaders, whatever He shares is always for others. This, of course, is true of all disciple makers – yourself included.

One thing is different about this particular line of study: I don’t feel the need to get all my ducks in a row before sharing. It is likely that I never will. If the carnal mind was so easily understood, someone would have written a best seller on the subject by now (if you know of one, please share).

So, what is God up to in this for you? It is best that you ask Him. My hope as His pen has always been to encourage, edify and equip. In this particular case, I feel a particular hope to make men free. Christians in the Western Church are being held captive away from the promise and prophecy of Christ:

Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. John 14:12

I have become suspicious – through my own experience and observation of others – that the carnal mind is playing a more significant and sinister role that we imagine. It is time we expose the deception.

Exposing the Deception

Identifying and exposing the enemy is our first step. It occurs to me that some of you are not yet convinced an enemy exists. Others have grown suspicious, but do not consider the carnal mind an enemy worth searching out. Lastly, there are those of you that want to seek and destroy, but don’t know where to begin.

Whatever your mindset (no pun intended), the following should help you.

  1. Submit to God’s participation. As obvious as this sounds, it is something the carnal mind will resist tooth-and-nail. We must be intentional about putting God in charge of the process. My suggestion for this is always Psalm 139:23-24:

    Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    Try me, and know my anxieties;
    And see if there is any wicked way in me,
    And lead me in the way everlasting.

    Psalm 37:5 is also helpful:

    Commit your way to the Lord,
    Trust also in Him,
    And He shall bring it to pass.

For each of the following, don’t have the conversation alone with yourself. Make sure you are deliberately asking for God’s input. As best as you can, let Him lead the conversation.

  1. Read the Sermon on the Mount, noticing where your mind minimizes, excuses, or attempts to ignore Jesus’ commands. Write these down.
  2. Read the parables of Jesus. Force your mind to put you in the place of the main characters. Ask yourself, “How does this align with my life? What is this requiring of me?” Record any suspicious responses.
  3. Write down the things you are anxious about. Anxieties are tools of the carnal mind to distract us from the important things and to keep us from being God’s effective instruments. These could be things that are big or small, future or immediate. Anxious about your future security; write that down. Anxious in group settings, write that down, too.
  4. There are several things that encourage our minds to be set on the world – sports, news, secular movies and books, vlogs of other people’s lives, etc. Pick one and fast it for a week. Notice how your mind responds. Pick another and replace it with a spiritual activity (e.g., prayer, reading Scripture or a Christian book, listening to Christian podcasts). How is God using this to transform you through the renewing of your mind?
  5. Determine the appropriate measure: How many hours or minutes of the day is it okay for your mind to be set on the world? What percentage of your discretionary time do you believe you should give to heavenly matters? How does this line up with God’s encouragement?

Forgive me for stating the obvious but journaling your conversations with God and your findings will be an invaluable resource. Not only will you have something to look back on, but something to share. The testimony of your efforts alone will inspire others. Perhaps you will write that book.

In the meantime, God bless you with the courage and grace for this exploration. I will be praying for you. Please return the favor. Believe me: I need it.

Humbly yours and forever His,