Parallel Thinking (3 of 3)

“Can a man have two developed patterns of thought in his mind: one that allows lustful thoughts and a second that seeks after God?”
I believe we can conclude that it is not possible to have two parallel thought patterns of lust and a desire for God.  In case there is still some doubt consider the following words from Romans 8:5-6,
“Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
If you are losing heart right now because you just can’t see a way out of your established thought pattern, God gives us hope in the following words: “letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace.”
Paul later writes in verses 12-13, “Dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do.   For if you live by its dictates, you will die.  But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature,you will live.”
First of all we have a choice.  As tough as it may be, we do not have to continue building the thought groove of lust.  And secondly, building the thought groove of desiring God is something we do not have to do on our own; the Spirit of God will help us.
The Word of God clearly tells us that it is impossible for man to have two developed patterns of thought in his mind: one that allows lustful thoughts and a second that seeks after God.  But we are assured that the Spirit of God will help us build a new groove, and his Word doesn’t just suggest building a new groove but also putting to death the old groove.
We can sit in our misery thinking to ourselves that this life in Christ is too tough or we can celebrate that we are not alone in this process and that in the end, if we let the Spirit of God control our minds we will enjoy life and peace—Praise God!
So where do we go from here?  I guess we need to ask, “What does it mean to; let the Spirit of God to control our minds?”

Parallel Thinking (2 of 3)

“Can a man have two developed patterns of thought in his mind: one that allows lustful thoughts and a second that seeks after God?”
Humans are made up of three parts: the body, the mind, and the spirit.  Just as the mind and body are intertwined to the point neither can operate without the other, the mind and spirit have the same connection.  When I refer to the mind I am referring to our intellect which can be argued is located in our brain; and when I refer to the spirit, I am referring to the part of us that we feel inside when we say, “In my heart.”
In Parallel Thinking (1 of 3), we discussed the creation of mental grooves formed in the human brain when one repeatedly focuses on a specific thought and/or behavior.  Above, I have made the argument that the mind and spirit have a symbiotic relationship, with which I tend to believe most people would agree with their own personal experience as proof.
As we endeavor to explore if it is possible to have two grooves of thought, one for the attributes of God, and the other for the fulfillment of lust let’s consider the Apostle Paul’s comments on the matter.
 In Galatians 5: 17, Paul writes,   The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other…”
Paul assumes the readers of his letter believe that when a person is born s/he is controlled by what is termed as the “sinful nature.”  This is the part of us that focuses totally on self– the desires and pleasures of self, as if the universe revolves around self in a way that opposes God.  One should note that a study of the word “lust” will reveal at its core is selfishness.
On the flip side of this assumption is when one makes the choice to know God, the Spirit of God resides in the heart or inner man.   And the Spirit of God is the opposite of selfishness and sin.
The whole concept of parallel according to dictionary.com is “extending in the same direction, equidistant at all points, and never converging or diverging.” 
So as we get deeper into answering our question, we start to see that the two patterns of thought: one that allows lustful thoughts and a second that seeks after God, in fact cannot be parallel.  Parallel would suggest an absence of conflict and based on Galatians 5, the two lines of thinking not only would be in conflict, they would continuously conflict with each other.
But don’t lose heart; there is hope.