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If someone is carnally minded it means they are operating from their flesh. The flesh is selfish, rebellious, and prideful. Therefore, a carnal person struggles with impure thoughts, believing God’s promises, and sin. Ultimately, a carnal person hasn’t died to their carnal nature and they aren’t allowing God’s spirit to guide them into purity and freedom.
To renew our mind, we need to drop human pride and accept the blood shed by Christ to free us from our carnal nature. Without Jesus Christ we are a PRISONER to sin and the Devil. Fortunately, when we are saved the power of God breaks us out of Satan’s jail and helps us to end the patterns of sin, bad relationships, and bad habits.
In the Old Testament, the prophet Isaiah prophesied that Jesus would come to set us free from the prison of carnality. “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound.” Isaiah 61
What does carnality mean?
According to dictionary.com, “Carnality is pertaining to or characterized by the flesh or the body, its passions and appetites; sensual: carnal pleasures. not spiritual; merely human; temporal; worldly: a man of secular, rather carnal, leanings.”
15 Signs of Carnality
- Distrust of God
- Victim Mentality
- Hypocritical behavior
- Hearers of the word but not doers of the word
- Excessive desire for earthly things
- Lovers of pleasure
Carnal Person Meaning
A person with a carnal mind has not TRULY accepted the power of Christ’s death and doesn’t fully believe the Holy Spirit has given them the power to conquer all sin. They are inspired by the flesh, constantly going along with what they want, what they think is best, and what they fear. They have no anchor or security in life because Christ is not their cornerstone and foundation. Therefore, their lack of faith causes them to manipulate, control, and act out of fear because they only trust in themselves to fix things. They must let go of the control and trust God to guide, protect, and provide for them.
“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.” Romans 8:6-10
Related Article: 12 Things the Holy Spirit Does For You
What does carnally mean in the Bible?
The word “carnally” in the Bible points to people that feed into selfish desires OR individuals that go through life trusting their own self effort more than God’s power. The carnal mind is usually consumed with the flesh and worldly things. A carnal Christian is insecure, jealous, lustful, prideful, fearful, manipulative, legalistic, hypocritical, etc. But, God doesn’t want anyone to live with those negative thoughts and bad behaviors!
The blood sacrifice of Christ payed for your mind to be set free from the captivity of Satan. “You were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:20 Through His death we are no longer captives NOR slaves to carnal thoughts and behaviors (fear, jealously, pain, slaves to sin, etc.) !
In a dream, I was a captive imprisoned in Satan’s jail cell. There were no doors at the jail, but everyone stayed in the prison because of fear. This is a picture of what the body of Christ often looks like. Many Christians are still stuck in Satan’s grasp even though Christ died to set them free. Sadly, Satan wants to keep us stuck, so he uses fear, lies, and schemes to imprison us in our sinful nature. And if we are too prideful about our own strength, we often think we can defeat Satan, change our bad habits, forgive, fix our low self-esteem, get more wisdom, etc. without truly surrendering ALL of our pain, fears, and worries to GOD!
When I’m praying or fasting with fear, control, and distrust as the focus, I realized I’m not tapping into the power of God because I’m operating in my own wisdom and strength! My most powerful prayers are when I surrender my emotions: “God I don’t have the strength. I need your power to enable me to forgive or ___fill in the blank___.” On our own, we cannot overcome sin because we are blindly falling into Satan’s trap; it’s a cycle we are not wise enough to escape without the Spirit of God.
Paul understood that God’s power is most effective in a humble man that has surrendered it all to God: “[Jesus] said: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” Therefore I (Paul) will boast all the more gladly in my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest on me. That is why, for the sake of Christ, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
Related Article: 12 Things the Holy Spirit Does For You
THE GOOD NEWS: The blood of Jesus purifies us, helps us to trust God, and helps us avoid thinking impure and negative thoughts. But, when you get saved the process isn’t instant! The selfish and prideful thoughts don’t just GO AWAY instantly. As we Grow in Christ, we have to be warriors that identify the lies that Satan is trying to feed us and we must quickly: “demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:5
We should seek God EVERYDAY for healing and strategy to avoid the thoughts that the devil is trying to get us to believe. The devil came to kill, steal, and destroy. He wants to kill your happiness. He wants to steal your free gifts from God. And, he wants to destroy your destiny and relationship with God. Will you let him?
I can help you take every thought captive with 20 minutes of free Empowerment Coaching!
What does it mean to be spiritual minded?
To be spiritually minded you should focus on pleasing God, having a relationship with him, and bringing the kingdom of God to earth. To begin the process of cultivating a spiritual mindset, you should also actively replace the lies of the enemy with biblical truths. “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
Related Articles: 5 Tips + How I Overcame Sexual Sin!
Carnally Minded vs Spiritually Minded
The carnally minded Christian believes the lies of Satan. The lies cause the carnal person to fear, worry, strive, and seek purification in their own strength. You can avoid the Enemy’s Schemes by understanding the three main ways that he attacks our mind. The Devil preys on the carnally minded, but we can defeat him by being spiritually minded.
1. You can’t earn what Christ died to give you. It’s a free gift, but you have to BELIEVE you have it.
- When Jesus died on the cross, he gave us the following: The Holy Spirit, forgiveness, the power to break generational curses in our lives, protection/guidance, help to be pure, an escape from temptations, access to the voice of God, fruits of the spirit, a royal inheritance and access to heaven.
- Believe God’s gifts are yours and you receive it freely. The enemy wants to steal and destroy your FAITH and convince you that you have to earn the FREE gifts from God. Remember, Jesus died while we were still sinners (John 3:16) to FREELY give us forgiveness and cleansing – We only need to believe it’s true to receive the gifts. “To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:1
- Satan will try to convince you to do unbearable fasts and prayers to earn holiness & forgiveness, but that’s fleshly WORKS and it will leave you tired and stuck in your cycle of pain & sin. “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good work, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
2. The Devil wants us to believe lies about God, others, and ourselves.
- Satan is the father of lies. “[The devil] was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
- He convinces believers that they aren’t pure, saved, gifted, or powerful.
- He wants you to think about your flesh and everything that is wrong, so you’ll stay carnally minded. He makes people work for the free gifts of God. He throws fiery darts (little attacks that make us tired and less confident that we are powerful children of God.). He attacks you and attacks you. At first you may be strong enough, but his goal is to wear you down. Eventually, if you aren’t in the Word and prayer you will become tired and burnt-out. Then when you’re at your lowest he’ll bring in more temptations.
- If we are bitter or angry towards someone, Satan uses this to accomplish his plans.
- He tempts us to lash out, ignore, disrespect, and hurt others when they have hurt us. “Anyone whom you forgive, I also forgive. Indeed, what I have forgiven, if I have forgiven anything, has been for your sake in the presence of Christ, so that we would not be outwitted by Satan; for we are not ignorant of his designs.” 2 Corinthian 2:10-11
Don’t believe Satan’s lies.
3. God does everything from truth and love.
- A spiritually minded person is able to think positively about themself and God in the hardest situations. They are able to have faith that they are REDEEMED and CLEANSED by the blood, even when carnal thoughts try to convince them that their past is too dirty to forgive.
- Satan will try to get you to turn away from God with anger, fear, and distrust. He’ll use your pain to convince you that you don’t know God and you’re not connected. But, remember “nothing can separate us from God’s Love.” Romans 8:31-39
- God’s truth in the Bible helps us to break free from the traps Satan’s creates with lies. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32
- Many lose faith when they find waiting on God unbearable. God asks us to wait to seek His face, mature us, and heal us; not to punish us. “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
- Don’t lose faith because God will not break his promises listed in scripture! “God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?” Numbers 23:19
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7 Steps To Stop Being Carnally Minded & Renew Your Mind!
You can overcome carnality by following these 6 steps to renew your mind:
- Change your focus to holy and pure things. If you are carnally minded it is death. Meaning, when you are overly focused on yourself it will make you depressed and susceptible to sin. You must be focused on the things of God and Holy things. Let go of the control and trust that God will help you.
- Reading The Bible teaches us the truth and defeats Satan’s lies. The Bible is considered the meat and solid food to further our spiritual growth. “But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil.” Hebrews 5:14
- You don’t have to earn God’s healing power. Seek God and He will freely give it to you. You will need God’s healing power to create a pure heart within you.
- Pray and have faith that God wants to remove the lies. God wants you to notice when you believe lies and discern God’s voice from the Devil’s lies. Healthy fasting and prayer can help this process.
- Start practicing better thoughts before your healing arrives. When you have a negative thought replace it with something positive.
- Be vulnerable with God. Open your heart and tell God exactly what you feel and think in prayer. The Bible says that Jesus has felt and been tempted in the same ways as us but he didn’t sin. He gives us his secret formula by giving us the Holy Spirit. “Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:14-16
- Surround Yourself With Wise Counsel. Often we try to do everything ourselves and the Bible says we need mentors and wise counsel to guide us into truth. We can SKIP a lot of pain if we hear the mistakes and steps to victory from others that have gone before us. “The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, but a wise man listens to advice.” Proverbs 12:15
Sermon on Freedom from Carnality
Bible Verses About Carnality
You must confess your sins and seek God for healing to remove a mind of the flesh. Lovers of God cannot be a friend of the world and spiritual person at the same time. It takes a mindset shift and hard work to gain the mind of Christ. Through Christ you are a temple of God, so be sure to be filled with praises, bible meditations, and holiness.
Apostle Paul addresses the carnal desires of the church in 1 Corinthians 3:1-4 “ Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,”are you not mere human beings?”
Here are verses from the word of God from the New Testament:
“Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” James 5:16
Related Article: 4 Biblical Secrets To Ensure You Are Hearing God’s Voice
“Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” Philippians 4:8
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2
Related Article: 12 Secrets for Powerful Spiritual Warfare (58+ Bible Verses)
“We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:18-19
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6