Romans 8:5 says “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
The flesh desires the approval of others. Our flesh will have us more concerned with what we have (or what it looks like we have), rather than having us focused on pleasing God. After being so used to keeping up with the lifestyles of those in our inner circles, it can become a major challenge to step away. We don’t want to appear cheap, broke, embarrassed, or isolated. But let me say this, you’re the only one that can fund the specific plans that God has for your life. If you were to stand before God and he asked you why you didn’t fulfill your purpose, what would you say? Well God, I didn’t want my friends to think I was broke, so I just kept shopping and eating out with them. Or maybe it would be, well God, I let my ego get in the way, so I couldn’t humble myself enough to turn away from the consumer lifestyle. Well God, I wanted to look like I was blessed and successful. God isn’t trying to hear that. He is not concerned with the ways of the world. He is concerned about fulfilling His destiny through you.
Trust me, I have been there. I love my line sisters, and the time that we spend together is very precious to me. To turn down a trip with them is a very hard thing to do, especially because we only get together a few times a year. But I had to sacrifice some of those trips in order to keep my commitment to God. I didn’t always have extra money to shop for new clothes for homecoming or group vacations; so I made do with that was already in my closet, and hoped nobody would notice. If I wanted to travel, I would put myself on a savings plan so that I could pay for the trip with cash. If it wasn’t in the budget, and couldn’t be paid for with cash, it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t a good feeling, but I had to control my flesh in order to show God that HE was my priority.
Getting out of debt is no easy feat. However, we must focus on God so that our hearts and minds won’t be easily distracted. The Spirit has to be in control of the flesh. You have to learn to tell yourself no! After all, it is your flesh that’s gotten you into the mess that you’re in now. So are you going to keep listening to it, or are you going to turn to the One that can get you out? If you’re currently focused on your friends, family, co-workers, church members, or even yourself, it’s time to change your audience! It was God that wrote your script, and it’s God that’s directing your story. He will forever be your biggest supporter and your most sincere critic. Will you give him your undivided attention?
Change requires action!