Monday, May 29, 2017

Are you walking according to the Spirit?

The Lord has put something on my heart to speak about. What does the scripture verses "But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the LORD, “I will put My law within them, and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people." ~Jer. 31:33 (NASB) and "Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh." ~Ezek. 36:26 (NASB) mean? Well, first we must establish that these verses speak of future events. Second, that they refer not only to physical Israel, that is those born a Jew in the flesh, but to spiritual Israel as well. "But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring." ~Rom. 9:6-8. So, when God speaks of giving us a new heart and a new Spirit, and that He is going to put His law in us and write it on our hearts, He is quickening (making alive) our heart and spirit to be sensitive to His law (notice the word pictures of a heart of stone contrasted with a heart of flesh).
So, what does that look like in everyday life? Are we suppose to obey all 613 laws that the Jewish Authority yoked the Jewish people with? NO! What it means is that we have been given a new "sensitivity" of those things that are displeasing to God. Let me give you a real world example. When I was around twenty-five years old I received my first tattoo. I loved it! Not only did I love it, I felt there was nothing wrong with it. After I was saved I went and got another one. This one though was a "Christian" tattoo (a cross with "Yeshua" written in Hebrew). This time I kind of felt it was wrong. I mean I knew it said in the Old Testament that we're not supposed to get them but I've heard different preachers say it was "okay" to get them. I can tell you this much... the REAL reason I wanted it was I felt women thought they were hot and sexy. It had very little to do with Jesus. Cut to about fifteen years later and I wanted to cover up my pagan (long horn steer) tattoo I got when I was twenty-five with a "Christian" one. So I went online and found about a dozen or so tats that I felt would cover it up. I brought them into my buddy who is a tattoo artist and he informed that only one had enough different details that could be used to cover it up. So we proceeded to cover up my old tattoo. Now I need to let you know that prior to and during the tattoo process I had a "feeling" that what I was doing was NOT pleasing to God. BUT, it didn't deter me. I went as far as getting the other tats I liked on the same arm to make a sleeve and every time I got one that same "feeling" that what I was doing was displeasing to God, but again, it didn't deter me.
It is my firm belief that as Christians we need to pay attention to these sensitive feelings. The same way a child knows that they will get into trouble doing something his/her parents would object to, we have been given via the Holy Spirit a new sensitivity to those things that displease God. I know that EVERYONE has been in a situation that our parents may not have covered with us before as to how we should behave or act in a given situation BUT when we did that certain thing we just knew if our parents found out we'd be in trouble. It is NO DIFFERENT with our heavenly Father. Before my conversion I was dead in my sins. A slave to them. After conversion I became alive in Christ. I was no longer a slave to the lust of my flesh and eyes, but a free man! Before I had ZERO CHOICE in what I did. I did whatever my flesh and eyes wanted me to do. Now, I have a true choice. I can do what pleases my flesh, eyes and pride or I can do what pleases my Father in heaven.
So what is this new "sensitivity"? It is the Holy Spirit convicting my spirit as to those things that will please or displease my Father in heaven. When I do those things that please God I am "walking according to the Spirit". When I do those things that displease God I am "walking according to the flesh."
These days I try hard to walk according to the Spirit so as not to fulfill the lust of my flesh. It is NOT easy. The Apostle Paul tells us at times we need to "beat our bodies into submission" and to constantly train our bodies like a fighter trains for a fight. We must look for the way out that Jesus promises to give us. BUT, when failure comes and sin creeps in. We must confess our sins IMMEDIATELY! The Apostle John tells us that God is faithful and just to forgive us for the sake of Christ Jesus! AMEN!

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