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We must keep our bodies under discipline. If I allow my own passions and desires to be in charge, I will never persevere in the race (of life). Why? Because the Bible says that the spirit and the flesh are at war with one another, each seeking to dominate the other.

We must allow the Spirit of God to have absolute control of our lives or else the flesh will tend to dominate. Paul asked the Galatians:
Are you so foolish? Having begun in the spirit are you now being made perfect by the flesh?
(Gal. 3:3)
We can't begin the race strong spiritually and then try to complete the remainder of the contest in the natural or physical realm. From the start to the finish we must be operating in the spiritual or we will never finish the race.

But what does Paul mean by being "in the spirit"? Let's see what he says in the letter to the Romans:
But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is not His. And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors-not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God.
(Rom. 8:9-14)

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
(Rom. 12:1-2)
Living in the Spirit is a matter of our recognizing that there is a contest between the flesh and the spirit, and then overcoming our flesh by faith in the power of the Spirit.

The work of the Cross has dealt a mortal blow to the flesh; it is up to us to appropriate the faith necessary to be overcomers. We are also challenged not to compromise and go along with the standards of the world, but to live according to standards set forth in God's Word.

Christians must set the pace, not follow the trends! How do we renew our minds? By studying the Word of God which produces faith and wisdom; by meditating on the goodness of God; by prayer; by worship; by fellowship with other believers.

A renewed mind allows God to show us His will, and therefore the course our race should follow. To run a good race we must have a renewed mind which will allow us to understand and confidently appropriate God's will and direction for our lives.

Source: Pacesetters: Setting the Standard by Benny Perez
Excerpt permission granted by WinePress Publishing

Author Biography

Benny Perez
Web site: Benny Perez Ministries
Pastor Benny Perez has an incredible passion for Jesus and it is in that passion that he has been called one of the leading voices to this generation. His ministry has been marked by unique ways of ministering, and God has used him as a means to bring revival and genuine transformation in the hearts and lives of countless thousands. Pastor Benny could be defined in part as being real, relevant and very responsive to the needs of people.

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