The apostle Paul spoke a great deal about the carnal spirit that resides in some Christians. It was disappointing to him and damning to those who were guilty. We might wonder, however, what a carnal spirit really is.
In Romans 8:3-7 we get a clear idea. The carnal spirit is a spirit of doing what one wants to do, disregarding what the Lord said to do (cf. Luke 6:46). Paul speaks about “walking according to the flesh;” a descriptive term that means there is confusion in the mind of the individual concerning what path to take with regard to spirituality.
Elijah had to address this same spirit in the people who lived during his day. “How long will you falter between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow Him; but if Baal, follow him” (1 Kings 18:21, NKJV). One translation has an insightful rendering of a part of the verse, “How long are you going to be paralyzed by indecision?” (NET).
The carnal spirit, therefore, is a spirit of confusion, indifference, and indecision. All this, to whatever degree experienced, contributes to a separation from the Lord. RT