A carnal mind prevents spiritual growth, the mind that revolves around self, whether it be in the form of pleasure or distress, whether it be in the form of loss or gain, either in materialistic items or self-worth, is a carnal mind. The mind that does not put God first, but when it thinks it has, and then is tested by the Lord, it finds the statement true, that the trust was never in Christ, but in self.
The carnal mind seeks the things of the world, and names it “working as unto the Lord,” (Col. 3:23) it claims to erase from itself strife, envy, jealousy, and lust, but only keeps them buried deep, to be called upon when needed. The carnal mind invokes spiritual vanity in some who call Christ Lord, seeing themselves as better than most, but never admitting these thoughts to the forefront of their minds, repenting of sins only in the same place, but never, or rarely, in their hearts. They see only the material possessions as blessings, and when they are removed, they do not give thanks, but only search out more. The carnal mind cleaves to the things that the world offers, holds them close to their hearts as prized possessions, and lives in fear of the loss of them. They are hoarders of the heart, but that heart, at least not fully, does not belong to Christ, the carnal mind can quite easily persuade the heart, and the heart can become bitter when the carnal items are removed from them.
This is the reason among many that the carnal mind prevents spiritual growth, why we have invented this new classification of Christians, the “carnal Christian,” one foot in the world, one in heaven is the most apt description that I have heard. It is a combination of a lack of trust, a desire for the things of the world, both in its physical attributes and the emotional context, and a lack of desire to be fully obedient to the word and will of God. Our Lord is moving mightily across this entire planet, showing just a small part of His awesome power both on land, sea and air, and in the affairs of men, He is weeding out the tares, and until He returns for His church, (1 Thess. 4:16) He is expecting the wheat to continue to grow. The tares will be easy to spot, for the most part, they will acquiesce to all the demands of governments, even to the shuttering of the doors of the church, obeying them instead of the Scripture verse they have spouted for so long as the determining decree of a Christian, “Forsake not the assembling of ourselves together.” (Hebrews 10:25) They will seek the assistance they believe they need from the same governmental authorities for food, water, shelter and other essentials, instead of falling on their knees and asking the Lord for His provisions, for the daily needs.
These individuals will complain when the trials and tribulations come, but they will not rejoice, they will seek solace from all who will listen, but they will not give God the glory for their suffering. The tares will be uprooted, but until the time that Christ returns for His bride, they will have on opportunity to repent. All of God’s children have difficulty leaving the world behind in its entirety, we want, we covet, so we seek and get, the new wears off too quickly, and our patience leaves with the newness. The anticipated event arrives too quickly, and then is in the past, and so we make plans for the next anticipated event. The hope of Christ for many has been exchanged for the hope of the next pleasurable event, and the problems of the world do not affect us until they affect us personally. There is no such thing as a carnal Christian my friends, the words do not even belong together, there are spiritually mature Christians and there are weaker brothers and sisters in Christ.
You must understand that the weaker follower of Christ is of that nature of their own accord, by their own design, if they have been saved for any length of time, they have refused the call of the Lord to die to self, (Gal. 2:20) to study diligently to show themselves approved, (2 Tim. 2:15) to forsake all for Him, (1 John 2:15) and although they are indeed His children, they will receive few if any rewards, they will find no true joy while they are here, and they will never know the fulfilling of His complete grace and mercy, for they will not trust fully in that grace and mercy. They do not want to grow because it will hurt, the loss of all they have known, the loss of self, of things, of friends and family, the fear in them, the fear to trust completely is the compelling factor for their continued weakness.
The so-called carnal Christian does not want to leave the world, the weaker Christian wants to leave, but does not possess the trust in Christ to do so, and this is the reason that He today with all that is happening in the world is beginning to separate the tares, the weeds, from the wheat, to give the weeds yet one more opportunity, for He is a longsuffering and merciful God, and to show the weaker children that He can be trusted, that He is faithful and true. The days have begun that it is not only our brothers and sisters “over there” that are being tested, but all of His children across the entire earth. In my heart I believe a time of trials has begun, and in this time the Lord is seeking faithful witnesses, mature believers who are prepared to suffer, in whatever form He desires, followers who are prepared by Him to show the weaker ones that He is indeed faithful, that He can be trusted, even with their lives.
Prepare yourselves my friends, prepare to stand for your Lord, there may be a respite from what is now occurring on a global level, but it is not going to get better, those days are over. It is time to prepare to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord, (2 Peter 3:18) but even more, it is time to prepare to trust, you may be asked to give your testimony with more than just words and Holy works, you may be asked to show it with your blood.
“So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12)