Monday, February 18, 2013

INSPIRATION: Spiritual Tug of War


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Spiritual Tug of War

Read: Romans 8:5-8; Romans 6:16

Earlier this year we covered the makeup of man, and how we are divided into three parts: spirit, soul, and body. We discovered that our soul is made up of our mind, will, and emotions, it is the connector between the spirit and the body, and these two are in a constant battle to control the soul. Today's reading assignment paints a perfect illustration of this great truth in depth. Romans 8:5 states "Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires" hence the term "mindset". The soul (mind) is the gateway between the Spirit and body, it usually takes the characteristics of whichever is strongest between the Spirit and body. We see in verse 5 that our souls will set to whatever part of ours we submit to, meaning if you continuously submit to the flesh your mind will be set to think and behave as the flesh does, it will have a tendency to wanna obey and fulfill the flesh's desires, which the word says, leads to death. Likewise, if the soul is submitted to the Spirit, it will follow and desire to obey and fulfill what the Spirit desires which the word says leads to life and peace. This brings us to Romans 6:16 which states that whichever of the two we offer ourselves to, we will become enslaved to; Whether it be the flesh which is death, or the Spirit which is life and peace we will be enslaved to one or the other regardless. It's important that we understand, we have no choice but to be a slave to one or the other, either way we will be enslaved. A slave is a person who is completely in servitude to a dominant being or influence. Being that our state of consciousness and self being is in our soul which receives its desires and influence from either the Spirit or body we have no choice but to be influenced by one or the other. Once we come to the Lord our deepest hearts desire is to please the Lord and follow the Spirits desires, but enslavement to the flesh is what keeps many of us back and prevents some from even tapping into this desire. Romans 8:7-8 makes this very clear stating that the mind ruled by the flesh can't submit to or please God. The one thing  about this revelation to understand is that any area you are enslaved to the flesh in can be reversed and brought under the Spirit. Remember these two are in constant battle with each other and the one that's the strongest will prevail. If you finding yourself weak and enslaved to the flesh in a specific area that only reveals your flesh is dominant over the Spirit in that area, then it's important to begin first praying for Gods grace and strength in that area and secondly feeding and strengthening your Spirit in that area, by meditating on scriptures and watching sermons relating to your struggle in that area, this will begin the process of "renewing your mind" to the Spirit. This can be a tough long process sometimes but it is so worth it to receive and enjoy the true joys and benefits of spiritual freedom. Always remember, Satan doesn't want us free from the realm of the flesh so it will be a battle to renew our mind but it has great benefits, and the battle isn't something we have to endure alone, Jesus is always willing and anxious to assist us in warfare to free our soul. The most important aspect of the spiritual walk is properly caring for, feeding, and strengthening the Spirit, that it may be dominant over the flesh. Only then can the Lord truly live through and express Himself in our life. We feed our spirit by feeding on spiritual things: the word of God, prayer, sermons, healthy fellowship with other believers, and fellowship with God. Ive been growing to learn that spending time with God doesn't have to be so limited and structured. The Lord has shown me I can, take some of my deepest passions and share amazing fellowship with the Lord by including Him in them. If you do music find a way to include God into your creative process or use your talents to spend time worshipping Him. Some may have a job that gives them a lot of alone time, take that time to pray and fellowship with the Lord. No matter what you do, you can find a way to include God into it, pray to the Lord to reveal new ways to include Him into areas of your life. Most of all remember we don't have to attempt to change anything within ourselves alone, God is always on standby, lift your voice to Him He's listening always!


PRAY

Heavenly Father, I pray you help me to understand the way my flesh and Spirit affect my mindset. I pray you will expose to me every area in my life where my mind is set on the flesh and not your Spirit. I desire to please you but I need your help to strengthen my Spirit over my flesh in some areas. Fill me with your Spirit and understanding, give me wisdom in this matter. I pray you will help me to become a slave to my Spirit and righteousness and not my flesh and death. I thank you for the victory, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray, Amen.

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