Thursday, October 18, 2012

How Should I Live: Spirit Vs. Flesh

Okay, so we are back to living by the spirit. I was studying in Romans Chapter 5 and Paul is saying that Christians should live in the Spirit. Of course I've read, and meditated on this many times in the 19 years that I have lived for Christ. But, I am always having to remind my self that the real blessings, the abundant life of a Christ follower is in The Spirit.  This can become hard for a lot of people because we tend to live by our senses. What we can see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.  And to a certain degree it just makes common sense to cater to those things for the most fulfilling life experience doesn't it?  But, in Matthew 6:33 Jesus is telling His followers that we should not worry about the needs of our senses because that is a supply that comes standard.  He reminds us how He daily supplies for the birds and even plant life automatically, and we are much more important than they are. These are the words of Jesus Christ, The son of God-Creator of the heavens and earth.  

 He says don't worry about what we're going to eat, what we're going to wear, Jesus goes on to say don't even worry about what you may need tomorrow! (we are all guilty of that one).  But the Bible says, the very things that keep us alive, the things that we are identified by we should not be concerned with. 

  I can't help but think about how obtaining material possessions and status in society continues to "drive" people for more of this. Now I would dare to say that most of us are not starving to death, living in condemned buildings, and wearing dirty rags. A large portion of us have our basic needs met, and many are thriving beyond the basic needs to survive.  (I am not ignoring the homeless or the poverty stricken people in the world. The word does say that the poor we will have with us always. Matt 26:11 ) But the majority of people we are exposed to have their basic needs met.  So why do we seek for more? If all of our needs are met, its no longer a need but a desire or want. I don't think it's all bad to want to have things beyond our basic needs, but what place of importance does it take in our overall life. How does it drive you to live? 

 Paul says here in Romans 8:5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. 

So in other words, we know that we are not living by the spirit if most of our thoughts, and actions are focused on how to make the flesh stronger.  We want glorious houses, better cars, the best wardrobes, the most coveted and high profile careers, and elite people in our close social circles.  This is what people want  because it is what the world respects. And I would dare to say that even Christians believe that this is what makes a man blessed and favored of God, more so than a life that is thriving in the spirit, when we KNOW it will all burn and add up to nothing.  In the Bible,  Mary, a woman who was not wealthy nor had a high social status was chosen by God to carry the Savior of the world in her womb. Mary, was called blessed and highly favored,  by God.  (And He is the one that counts!) 

 When we live according to the spirit, our thoughts are consumed with how we can serve God in His Kingdom. We are concerned with how to grow our spirits, and how to grow closer to God so that we can walk the correct paths in this life, that leads to eternal life and not only for ourselves but for others!    

  If most of what we seek God for leads back to something that makes us appear more glorious in the eyes of the world then are we really walking in the spirit? The Spirit's primary concern are the things of God, and not so much how He can make us appear blessed in the eyes of the world or our social circles, or our family?  Yes, the word says He will give us the desires of our hearts, and He will!!  But at what cost? We know that God often gave the Children of Israel  the desires of their hearts(which we found was not God?) and they receive a leanness of soul!(PS. 106:15) That my friend,  is a horrible trade off!  God wants our desires to match His desires  for our lives, which is always tied back to Him!  We should not confuse natural possessions with the blessings and favor of God only, because people who do not live for God or want anything to do with Jesus have many great possessions and power in this world, but it's going to die with them. Jesus tells us to store up treasures in heaven because they won't corrupt, rust, or ever go away. Those of us who walk after the spirit know how we should be living, and for WHOM we should be living.  So lets stay focused!