We are living in dangerous times. That fact is undeniable as the evidence is in abundance. However, God’s people face other dangers of which most people are not aware.
Our present-day society is a polarizing force. Politics, religion, and the media are major factors in the polarization. The tensions these factors generate can be mind-consuming since they affect daily living. One author predicts that we are in a time when civil war could become the next step. Obviously, this carries an emotional impact.
Our risk is to allow these polarizations to misdirect our attention from what God has called us to do – to concerns about our physical environment.
The Apostle Paul cautioned a young Titus in this regard. He told Titus to deny “… ungodliness and worldly lusts.” We are to avoid a strong longing for those things that are not of God, and “… we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age” (Titus 2:12). Paul made a strong distinction between this present age and righteous, godly living.
This type of godly living is stressful. It pits reality against spiritual ideals. The reality is that our fleshly, physical existence can be influenced by our environment. The spiritual ideal is for our minds to be influenced by God’s Holy Spirit.
Further, the Apostle Paul described godly living as being a good soldier of Jesus Christ and, as such, not to become entangled with the affairs of this life (see 2 Timothy 2:3,4). Satan’s tangled web of the affairs of this life can be an easy trap to fall into.
Paul expressed his understanding of the power which draws the human mind away from God in clear terms. For example, “… put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to deceitful lusts” (Ephesians 4:22). Note he points out the negative growth factor of the carnal mind. It is easily “polarized” toward the physical.
We need to accept the responsibility to polarize our minds towards God’s way of thinking and living. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit” (Romans 8:5).
We need to be thinking often about the things of the Spirit.