Thursday, September 19, 2019

How We Respond To Life Depends Upon The Nature Ruling Our Hearts

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” —Galatians 5:16

How do you approach life?  I mean .. as you live from moment to moment, one event to another .. from one breath to another breath … what is it that determines how you respond to you and around you?  What you think .. what you do .. what you say.. who you love .. who you don’t love .. what you believe .. what you don’t believe.   As Christians we have a choice, actually.  Because this new life we live, we live in the flesh by faith, we can choose to respond in the natural or in the supernatural.  We can respond as the world does, or we can respond like Jesus did.  How you respond to life is determined by your true disposition.  If you see your new life as merely an attribute – one of many facets of your life and personality, like being a citizen of the United States or having red hair, then you are in trouble spiritually.  You can hope to respond to life the way the Bible says we should and can, but it is not going to happen.  Even when we think we do, often times, we have confused spiritual response with natural restraint.  Let me explain by example.

Mary is talking to you when she says something that is very offensive. How do you respond?  If your heart is ruled by your old nature, you may very well be thinking an unkind thought, but you restrain yourself so as not to give how you really feel away, or not.  But if you are living by the Spirit, your heart submitted to the Spirit and devoted to God, you are not affected by the words, but see Mary’s heart, the source of what comes out of her mouth, and pray for her.  You hold no grudge against her, but have forgiven her for the offense.  You show compassion for Mary.  Like Jesus did for those who crucified Him.  The offense will not be logged away in your heart to be pulled up at some time in the future. 

Let’s say your children are like whirlwinds in your house.  They won’t listen so you yell at them.  You just can’t take it anymore.  You can’t help yourself.  You are right … your old nature is stronger than your will to not yell at your children … but your old nature is not stronger than your new nature, whose source is the Creator God.  You will always respond to life from your true nature. The question is, “Which nature is that?”  It is the one that rules your heart.  Not the one that you want to rule.  Not the one that you want everyone at church to think rules,  but the one that actually sits on the throne.  Living supernaturally does not just happen, it is a deliberate process, yielding your life to God each day, living by faith, meditating on the Word (when was the last time you read the Bible on your own?)  You are a child of God, don’t be satisfied with anything less.

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