5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. 6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. -Romans 8:5-7 (KJV)
I hope that you are reading this blog because you not only need encouragement and inspiration, but you also have a sincere desire to be a spiritually minded person with a close walk with God. Understand, however, this will not happen all by itself. Being spiritually minded involves seriously, prayerfully, and thoughtfully taking on this challenge. Pray, stay in the Word, resist the devil, take on the attitudes of Jesus, be faithful, and continue to do so over the long haul of life. If you think I never get discouraged think again. I do sometimes. I am just as susceptible to this as anyone, maybe ever more so. What I find works best is an attitude of remain faithful at any cost. No matter what it takes, remain faithful.
When we read the Old Testament we find that Israel’s problem was many times they had to climb out of a spiritual pit rather than defend the high ground. Recall what Jesus said about the city set on a hill; it cannot be hidden (Matthew 5:14). If the city cannot be hidden then at some point an enemy is going to try and take the city. If we view our lives as the city set on a hill then be certain the devil will attack. Israel gave into idolatry and godlessness many times. They allowed themselves to fall from the hilltop of faith, and then they had to fight their way up out a spiritual pit which is always more difficult.
My friends, stay on the high ground of faith, remain there, and by the power of Christ defend this noble position. By faith we build into our lives safeguards to keep us from stumbling. These become sensible, day-by-day practices, and they become as natural to us as breathing. We put on our spiritual armor (Ephesians 6) each day. Always be on the lookout for temptations and snares, and walk forward in bold faith every day. Discouragement robs us of our spiritual vitality. It is difficult to have vibrant faith when discouragement is present, because it saps our spiritual energy. Exercise and eating right gives us physical energy. Prayer, the Word, worship, fellowship with other believers, and encouragement from others brings spiritual energy. Maintain strong faith, be spiritually minded, and we find the resources we need for overcoming discouragement.
William Ward once said, "Discouragement is dissatisfaction with the past, distaste for the present, and distrust of the future. It is ingratitude for the blessings of yesterday, indifference to the opportunities of today, and insecurity regarding strength for tomorrow. It is unawareness of the presence of beauty, unconcern for the needs of our fellowman, and unbelief in the promises of old. It is impatience with time, immaturity of thought, and impoliteness to God."
Paul the Apostle spoke in II Timothy 4:7 of fighting the good fight of the faith. Discouragement hinders our power to keep fighting this good fight. God will empower us to stand, keep on standing, and then to keep moving forward. Do not be discouraged, for the Lord is indeed with us.