Thursday, May 7th, 2015
One of the first desires that comes to us after believing in the Gospel of the water and Spirit is to live a life which is pleasing to God. This comes from a new nature He puts within us. At this point we all find there are many handicaps which hinder us from being the type of person we want to be. Either our life will count for God or it will be side tracked or neutralized is very much dependent on our knowledge on the warfare we encounter on three fronts.
At our mid-week dew, we are currently dealing with this three dimensional warfare. While driving home after the first part, teaching on the flesh, a thought dawned on me from the passage Jesus spoke in the Gospel of Mark. In this passage Jesus told a parable to the disciples and they questioned Him about it. We can almost see Jesus shaking His head when He said, “are you so uncomprehending?” Then He explained,“that which proceeds out of a man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts and fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” Mark 7:20-23
Jesus is talking about the flesh, the source of this sinful nature. He shows that our major problem is not our environment but our inner nature of the flesh. It is not a sin to have an evil thought flash into the mind, it is only a sin when we fail to say “no” to it and do not rely upon Christ to put it down. Temptation and sin are different. The old saying applies, ‘you can’t stop a bird from landing on your head but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair.’
Friends, when the Bible speaks of the temptation of the flesh, it is always in terms of a continued need to overcome them. It is a matter of moment by moment reliance upon the Holy Spirit by deliberate choice to overcome the lust of the flesh. Victory is never achieved by freedom from temptation but by overcoming temptation through the power of the Holy Spirit. Gal 5:16 says, “but I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
To walk in the Spirit means to have continued attitude of reliance upon the Holy Spirit and not on our own human resources. Note: it does not say that if you walk in the Spirit you will not have temptation, it does say that you will not fulfill them. The Spirit controlled believer will be tempted, but it is not sin until we stop trusting the Spirit to fight it.
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