Monday, May 26, 2008

Of Flesh and Spirit - May 26

Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. (Romans 8:5-8)

Who's Your Daddy?

This may come as a shock to you, but you are not your own person. Consider carefully the above set of scriptures: You either have a sinful nature led by your ego or you have the Holy Spirit of God. Who has your ear? Whom do you trust more? Your ego or the spirit of God? If you have not been saved by the grace of God it is Satan (the Anti-Father) that dominates your thoughts and actions.

When A Man Loves A Woman

This is a big one for many of us. Is love performance-based or grace-based? Is it all about pumping up the love resume for us guys? An old movie line goes like this: First you get the money. Then you get the power. Then you get the women. I can tell you right now, that is not of God. Let's be honest here. There are some women out there who are impressed by the money and power that certain men yield. They are impressed by great exploits and fancy titles that confer importance. But I can assure you this kind of love is not Biblical. True love looks something like this:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (1 Cor 13:4-7)

How much of this do we really see? Not much. The simple fact of the matter is this: Performance-based love cannot last. It is impossible to maintain that level of intensity for a prolonged period. It might shine brightly for a time but when it starts to fade it does so quickly.

I think when we give without expectation of some kind of return we have a much better chance of standing the test of time. Naturally we want affirmation and a positive reaction from the object of our affection. Who doesn't? But an ongoing game of one-upmanship that drains the spontaneity and liberty of love is a surefire relationship killer.

Follow Your Heart

I love to drive and listen to the radio. I do notice though that sometimes the signal is strong and other times it is weak. The further away I am from Toronto (the signal is usually broadcast from the CN Tower) be it whether I go north or east, the less likely I'm going to hear that radio station loud and clear.

So it is when we do not have a relationship with Jesus Christ. God desires nothing but the best for us. However, if we are not listening to Him either because we are distracted or we are not properly attuned, the signal is weak and we end up following foolish advice instead. Following our heart in this instance is the worst possible thing we could do. A person not tuned to the will of God and properly rooted in scripture is a disaster waiting to happen. Which leads me to my next question:

Check, Check, 1,2,3: Is Your Conscience Working?

Here's a second shocker: Struggling with your conscience is actually a good thing. Amoral people don't struggle with their conscience. Why? Because they don't have a conscience to struggle with. Dead people don't struggle. Therefore to struggle indicates that you are still alive and well. So take it as a compliment. If morals and ethics are important to you, you can expect anguish and hardship. Desiring to be a righteous man in an unrighteous world will not make you popular. Eternal life is far more important than that.

Johnny Cash

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