"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." Romans 8:6 ESV
Yesterday at L Street Mission, a young woman was relating to me how she overdosed five days earlier, and then was revived by a friend administering Narcan. While she was happy to be alive, she complained that the source that she thought could be trusted had sold her bad drugs. I assured we were thankful that she had not died and asked her what she had learned, instead of saying to stop taking drugs, she said to find a different source. It is genuinely heartbreaking to see this young woman who has been in and out of treatment numerous times, continuing in this downward spiral of death. While she considers herself a Christian, she cannot break the cycle of addiction. Her mind still set on the desires of the flesh.
At L Street, we serve food, provide toiletries, and clothing, but the reason God had led us to this ministry is not to act as another social agency but to share the good news and hope of Jesus Christ. To share with the homeless and addicted that there is a God who loves them and cares for them, but most importantly, that they are worthy of his love. For people whose existence is marginalized, shunned by many, and live in fractured relationships with their families, the message that they are still worthy of God's love is powerful and redeeming. It is a matter of life and death, both of their physical and spiritual bodies, that they understand there is hope. For if they are ever to free themselves from addiction, it is only through setting their minds on Jesus Christ.
We do not have to suffer addiction to be guilty of placing what we desire over God's desires. The temptation to cave to our earthly desires are strong, and our mortal bodies are weak. All those things we search for to satisfy our carnal cravings are only temporary. It is only in turning our attention to God that we find real life and peace.
Father God, we know that it is only through you that we can find life and peace. We ask for your help today, rejecting temptation and battling the cravings of the flesh. We acknowledge that it is only through the help of the Holy Spirit and your higher power, that we can find peace. Please help us to set our minds on the Spirit, and to live righteous lives that are pleasing to you. We ask this in the name of Jesus. Amen.