Wednesday, February 20, 2013

INSPIRATION: Change Clothes

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Change Clothes

Read: Ephesians 4:22-24

The other day, we covered the spiritual tug of war that constantly goes on within ourself, and the need to bring our soul under submission to our Spirit if we are to have true life and peace. Today's reading assignment goes much deeper into this truth and addresses a great step many believers never take that keeps them from experiencing a deeper intimacy and relationship with the Lord.

I have met so many believers who have never ventured beyond a surface level relationship with the Lord. This isn't to judge them, for I was once there myself and I understand what it feels like to be sure God is real but to not understand what's required to really experience and reach a deeper level in the Spirit. Ephesians 4 exposes a great discipline and knowledge that is required, if one is to mature further into the Lord. Verses 22-24 commands us to put off our old self, to be made new in the attitude of our minds; and to put on our new self which was created to be like God. First, we must understand that our old self, for the most part, represents the corrupted soul and our flesh; the bible tells us once coming to the Lord we are a new creation. This new creation refers to the Spirit within us we receive when receiving the Lord into our hearts. Although we receive the Spirit of God at salvation, we don't receive access to all the benefits and power of His Spirit at that time, but it takes growing in the Spirit and renewing of the mind to access many of these benefits that come with the Spirit. The Spirit of God that comes within us at salvation can be likened to a womans pregnancy. At salvation the seed of God is planted in us just like a pregnant woman, but it has to be fed and nourished to grow within us and produce what the bible calls fruit. The more we die to our old self by denying it and feed the Spirit, the Spirit of God within us is strengthened and begins to live more through us giving us access to parts of the Spirit that were being blocked by the soul and flesh. Eventually after feeding and nurturing the seed of the Spirit we will begin to see the Spirit that was planted in us manifesting in the physical just like a child's physical birth. So many believers believe access to heaven was the only thing they received when Jesus died on the cross. Jesus died for far more than access to heaven, He died for us to have access to heaven while on earth, to have true fellowship with God while on earth, to have freedom from the bondage of sin, and so much more but that's for another devotional. I say this to say, many believers believe Jesus died for them to get to heaven and now stands over them in debt expecting them to struggle and strain to overcome all of these temptations and trials in their own strength to pay Him back. This is a lie from the pit of hell and is so far from the truth. What God desires is that we build a relationship with Him to experience His true love and grow in our Spirit so much that it overpowers our flesh. We must understand that the struggles and desires that we deal with in our flesh are only in our flesh. The Spirit within us wants the complete opposite. It desires to be pure, and holy, it desires to read the word of God and be in his presence. Once the Spirit grows stronger than the flesh, it's desires will begin to overpower the desires of the flesh. The problem is, many believers very rarely, if ever, truly feed their Spirit; remember when we receive Christ we are born again. This isn't just some cool saying but it is literal, once we come to the Lord our Spirit is completely reborn with all that is God, meaning its like a newborn baby that has to be fed and taken care of, but so many believers have never even tapped into these Godly desires within themselves because they remain babies within their Spirits, while their flesh is full grown and overpowering their soul. This really comes into play when regarding the word of God. The bible is a book intended for the Spirit so it must be read in the Spirit to be truly understood and effective, but many read it in their flesh so find it either really boring or it doesn't affect them. The more the word is read through the Spirit the more exciting, fulfilling and life changing it will become. This is very important seeing it is one of the number one tools to be used in renewing our mind. Like always, never forget there is no process we have to go through alone. God desires to help us but it requires we cry out to Him.

PRAY

Heavenly Father, I desire to put on my new self and to overcome my old self which has kept me back from your blessings for so long. I want to be free of the sin and hurt within my heart but I need your help. I know you can strengthen and free me, please come to my side. Give me the grace to renew my mind, help me to nurture the spiritual seed of holiness you've placed within me. I want to reach my potential in you, give me understanding and more passion and desire for you. I thank you for freedom and thank you for your love in Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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