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 set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
It was the classic battle between the son who was an overachiever in every respect and the father he never seemed to be able to please. Other parents would gush to his dad about how proud he must be to have a son who seems to be the best at everything he does. From academics to athletics, the boy excelled beyond expectations. Yet, his dad never gave more than half a smile when he was complimented on his son’s achievements. This did not go unnoticed, and one day the son felt the need to confront his father on the issue. Dad’s response stopped him dead in his tracks. Although the son accomplished much in the classroom and on the field, he lacked obedience, without which his father could not be pleased.
Having the mind of Christ means that we submit to the Father just as He did. Before Jesus even began his ministry, before He healed anyone or performed a single miracle, the Father expressed before witnesses how pleased He was with his Son. It was not that the Father was pleased by any act or accomplishment of the Son. His pleasure came from the Son’s obedience and submission to him, becoming flesh for us. The Father was pleased that the Son was here to do his work and follow him wholly. The mindset of Christ was to do everything that the Father commanded and to do nothing outside the Father’s will. His purpose was to submit in every way to accomplish the Father’s plan.
In order to submit to God and please him, we first must have the mind of Christ, a mind in the Spirit instead of the flesh. The fruit of Christ’s ministry was a byproduct of his submission and obedience to the Father’s will. If our goal is to please the Father as He did, we will not chase the miracles and healings as our way of pleasing him. Instead, we will seek to be as obedient as Christ was to the Father. In submitting to God in that same way, we can expect to bear the same fruit. The mind in the Spirit not only seeks to obey and please God but actually has the power to do so. Father, give us the single-minded desire of your Son to please You and live according to your will.