51 For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
13 For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. 14 For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
The Works of the Flesh
16Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law.
“For freedom Christ set us free” (Galatians 5:1)
Did you know that a battle is going on in your mind right now? That’s what today’s Scripture passage tells us. When Paul speaks of the “freedom” that Jesus won for us, he is telling us that we can win this battle and be free from the attacks of sin and temptation (Galatians 5:1)
What is the battle for the mind? Simply stated, we all have an incredible number of virtues and gifts. We strive to be kind, generous, selfless, loving, patient, imaginative, intuitive, and so on. At the same time, we can also be selfish, prideful, angry, moody, greedy, deceptive, lustful, lazy, jealous, and so on. We all have sinful habits that need to be “put away” and virtuous impulses that we need to “put on” more and more (Ephesians 4:22, 24).
Every one of our decisions is influenced, in some way or the other, by a combination of good and bad voices: the Holy Spirit, the devil, our family and friends, our memories, and our imaginations. These voices all offer us different ways to approach how we live and the choices we make. The question we face in every situation is “Who will I listen to? How will I decide?”
If you don’t want to be controlled by the negative influences, you’re going to need to do two things: let the Holy Spirit speak to you, and try your best to “take every thought captive” so that you can emphasize the upright thoughts and reject the negative ones (2 Corinthians 10:5). This means holding fast to everything you experience in prayer, in worship, and in Scripture.
Guard your mind as if you are carrying a valuable diamond in your pocket. Don’t let any evil influence rob you of your joy and peace. Try to stay close to Jesus, and you’ll find yourself winning this battle for your mind and becoming more like Jesus. You’ll know the freedom that Christ came to give you.
Jesus, help me win the battle for my mind. Give me the strength to say no to sin and yes to you. Amen.
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.