DVCarnal versus SpiritualFor to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. —Romans 8:6Lord, in Your mercy, keep me far from all that corrupts the spirit, that dishonors Your holy name. But if I should encounter temptation, help me to rely on You and Your Spirit, that I may find all strength and true satisfaction in You.Carnal desires are not equal to the needs of our physical bodies. Carnal desires are the desires of our hearts to sin. Their source is the sinful nature residing in us.
To live in the body is to be vulnerable to these desires, which lead to the stimulation that pleases our hearts' sinful nature. A carnal person centers his mind on satisfying his fleshly desires; he will even fearlessly follow them.
The Holy Spirit in us is in enmity against our carnal desires, and will incessantly fight the latter in order to lead us into obedience unto God. Therefore, a spiritual person centers his mind on meeting the demands of the Holy Spirit in order to live a godly life.
Eating when we are hungry is a human predisposition to survival; it should not be regarded as gratifying our physical desires. To disobey God in order to fill one's stomach, however, is following the sinful nature. Measured by this standard, it was not considered carnal when Adam ate all kinds of fruits in the Garden of Eden. But when Adam ate the forbidden fruit, he was condemned. After Jesus fasted forty days and forty nights, He was hungry and wanted to eat. The devil told him to change stones into bread. Satan's suggestion was not God's will but Satan's will; Jesus rejected this request and overcame Satan's temptation.
Adam followed the desires of his flesh and neglected God's instruction. He allowed his carnal desires to rule over him, and the result was death. Jesus followed the Spirit and respected God's word. He exhibited a higher spirituality with the result of life and peace. Today, we live in a crooked and depraved generation; temptations from Satan abound. We need more determination than ever to be spiritual. Putting to death our carnal desires is to act in step with the Holy Spirit of God in all things. If we can do this, we hold onto life, peace, and joy everlasting!