For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8 ESV)
I love the scene from the movie, Second Hand Lions. Two old men, retired from military service and very colorful careers, end up at their old farmhouse in the middle of Texas. A young boy is dumped off by his mother and lives with them. It is a story of endearing love, daring tales, and living a legacy. The men are beyond frugal. Though very wealthy, they refuse to spend their money. As a matter of fact, every salesman who drives up is met by a pair of shotguns—that is, until the boy shows up. With his young spirit, he begins to tenderize their hearts. He convinces them to buy from these salesmen. They end up with all kinds of gadgets, some that work and some that don’t.
A salesman came by and they bought some seeds. They work tirelessly to dig up the ground, fertilize and finally plant the seeds. It’s hard work—especially under the hot Texas sun. They plant the seeds in nice, neat rows. Corn. Beans. Carrots. Row after row—they are all identified. But there’s a problem. When the plants start growing, they all look the same. And they all look like corn! And it was! They ate corn for breakfast. Corn for lunch. Corn for supper. They had a whole garden full of corn!
Why is that? You can’t plant corn and get beans. The most important aspect of their garden was not what you can see, but what you can’t.
You will never see the Holy Spirit. Never! He is invisible. Some wonder why you don’t do the right things. I’m not talking about occasionally sinning. I’m talking about those of you who repeatedly commit the same sin and feel no remorse, no conviction. I want to boldly suggest to you that you need to examine your life. Are you depending on outward actions to produce inward change? If so, you’ll plant and plant, but the only thing that will come up is corn. For you, the answer is on the inside. The glaring need in your life is invisible. You need to accept Jesus Christ by faith. Immediately the Holy Spirit will take up residence in you and you will want to please God. You will not always do it perfectly—but your desires will change.
And instead of corn, corn, corn.. will come upon the garden of your life.