Recent research from Stanford University, has found that humans can’t multi-task. The researchers made some interesting observations. An article summarizing the study by Forbes Magazine put it this way, “Multitasking reduces your efficiency and performance because your brain can only focus on one thing at a time. When you try to do two things at once, your brain lacks the capacity to perform both tasks successfully… Research also shows that, in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ” (Multitasking Damages Your Brain And Career, New Studies Suggest, October 14, 2014, www.forbes. com). Clearly, our brains are not wired to handle multiple activities at the same time.
This is particularly significant when it comes to our spiritual lives. Throughout scripture we find various examples of this principal in action. In today’s passage we are challenged by Paul to “walk by the Spirit” and to “live by the Spirit” as the predominant means of experiencing the freedom God desires for us. Paul is referring to focusing our mind, heart and attitude on the Holy Spirit. He identifies the battle for the heart of a Jesus follower, comes down to whether or not we focus on the Spirit or on the desires of the flesh. Our minds can’t multitask.
So often we try to defeat the temptation of sin by simply trying really hard not to sin. This strategy almost never works in the long run and inevitably leaves us discouraged because it keeps our mind focused on the sin. When we do this we continue to fall into the same ruts and patterns of our past. It is only when we “crucify the flesh” by focusing our attention on the Spirit, that we can walk in the freedom for which Jesus died. It is only when we replace the desires of our flesh with a relentless attention to the Spirit of God, that we can experience the victory over sin and ultimately walk in the freedom that comes from following Jesus.
What is the result of focusing on the Spirit rather than the flesh?
Ask God to help you focus your mind on the Spirit today.