Flesh vs Spirit

Posted: April 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

EPHESIANS 1:19-20- “I also pray that you will understand the incredible greatness of God’s power for us who believe him. This is the same mighty power 20 that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms.”

ROMANS 8:11 “The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.”

Reading scriptures like that challenges me. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is in us as Christians. Jesus said it himself in John 14 that we’ll do greater things than He did. That challenges me… A LOT! Makes me want to see more. Makes me want to do more. Makes me want to stay in the fight. Makes me unable to settle for average students in my group. Makes me not “okay” to have students not being changed. Makes me not sleep at night because there are teenagers in my world and circle of influence cutting themselves and on drugs and being sexually active but yet according to God’s word I have the power that defeated death IN ME. Scriptures like those make me want to see and believe for miracles to happen when I pray. It makes me want to pursue Him until, like Paul said to the Ephesian church, I begin to “understand the incredible greatness of God’s power” that’s available to me. Sometimes, I feel like Neo in the Matrix (the first Matrix, the good one, not the 2 sub-par sequels). He was the “one.” He had what it took all along, but he didn’t operate in what was available to him until the final scene.

I don’t think I am alone in feeling this way… at least I hope not. So, what’s it going to take? How do I get there? What do I have to do, Paul, to understand about the power that’s in me? Personally I believe it’s a matter of allowing the Spirit to reign in our lives. In Romans 8:11 Paul once again talks about the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead is living in us and once again I was challenged. As I began to read the scriptures leading up to and following 8:11 to get some context I began to get some revelation as to what it going to take to get the “understanding of that power.”

The scriptures surrounding Romans 8:11 talk about living in and allowing your mind to live and operate in the flesh as opposed to living and operating in the Spirit. We can’t live in the flesh. Feed the flesh. Allow flesh to dominate our mind and our actions and expect to see amazing things of the Spirit we desire. If we want to see Spirit things we must live Spirit lives. We must allow the Holy Spirit to guide our lives, our thoughts, our actions, our tongues, and our everything. This doesn’t mean we become the “spiritual weirdo” but it means we make our flesh become subject to the desire of the Spirit inside us instead of making the Spirit inside us become subject to the desire of our flesh.

I want to be a part of something greater. I want there to be such an evidence of God working in my life that people can’t deny that there is Someone bigger at work than Jon Rearden. When Paul writes in Ephesians and Romans about the power that defeated death working in me, I don’t want it to be just words I read I want it to be a reality I see. In order for it to happen in our lives the flesh has to bow to the Spirit every single day. Not once a week. Or a few days here and there… but every single day we have to hang our flesh on the cross and kill it. That’s why Jesus said in Luke 9:23-24 that it’s not a one time event but an everyday occurrence of killing our flesh. One of my all time favorite writer’s is AW Tozer he said “The same cross that saves us, is the cross that slays us.” Overcoming our flesh is not a one time event it’s an ongoing daily process.

For this to happen it has to be deliberate on our part. It’s not something that’s going to take place without effort. It’s not something that we’ll all the sudden wake up doing. It’s going to take pursuit and desire. It’s going to take discipline and determination. It’s going to take self-control and sacrifice.  And the sad reality is that even though it’s available for every believer not every believer will see it because  not everyone will be willing to pay the price of what it takes. However, I will see it in my life, and I pray you do to.

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