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5 For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. 6 Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever]. 7 [That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. 8 So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him. Romans 8: 5-8 AMPC
Do you not know that if you continually surrender yourselves to anyone to do his will, you are the slaves of him whom you obey, whether that be to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience which leads to righteousness (right doing and right standing with God)? Romans 6:16 AMPC
When something or someone has ‘mastered’ you, you are under its control. It is the most important thing to you. When we allow our selfishness to master us, it leads to sin of one kind or another. You see, selfishness is a choice to focus on self. To be led by our fleshly desires, rather than by the Spirit of God. Selfishness puts our comfort as our first priority. There is no room for sacrifice for the good of another in this mindset. Yet Jesus’ life was the polar opposite of selfish. Those of us who follow Jesus must choose to truly follow Him in everything. We can’t choose the parts of Jesus’ journey that are most convenient to us and claim to follow Him. Following Jesus means being willing to walk as He did…where He did. To be willing to lead lives of surrender, sacrifice, service and sometimes suffering. Servanthood will take us out of our comfort zones. There’s a guarantee for all of us control freaks. Following Jesus in servanthood, will take us outside of the familiar, the controllable, the convenient, the comfortable. But will always lead to places more wonderful and fulfilling than we could ever have imagined.
The mentality of selfishness is borne of the flesh. Being controlled by the flesh leads to sin and death. The mentality of servanthood is borne of the Spirit of God. When we’re controlled by the Spirit, it leads to life and peace. It is impossible to please God with a selfish mindset. Selfishness leaves no room for submission to God. Submission to God takes faith. And without faith, it is impossible to please God. We can’t seek our own comfort above God’s will and expect to bring honor to Him. Such a mentality only brings glory to ourselves. Benefits no one but us. And even so, the benefit to us is fleeting, empty and temporal. Hence the constant striving for more and more gratification. The flesh is never truly satisfied. Selfishness means working to get what you want in your own strength. Servanthood is about seeking the good of others by God’s grace, for His glory.
Selfishness inevitably leads to sin. Because it is opposed to God’s very nature. Jesus gave all of Himself – gave His life – to serve those He loves. He gave His life to serve us. Sacrificed Himself for our good. He left the glory of Heaven to be in this broken and dying world with us. For us. In order to be servants as He was, we must give our all. We must serve from hearts that love God above all else. Spirit-led service is borne of loving God with all our hearts, souls, minds and strength.
Let’s all pray and ask God to give us His heart of love for others. Let’s follow Jesus, our Servant-King and stop living for personal gain. May we be led of the Spirit into sacrifice and service, and in so doing, find greater peace and joy than we’ve ever known.
Love & Blessings,