Prior to coming to Christ, we determined our daily routine by our priorities. We valued, worked toward and pursued anything that would assist us in reaching our goals. We developed this habit, day in and day out, living by our human reasoning and working to please our self and to secure our future.
Our flesh formed habits as we trained our thoughts, attitudes, words and actions to respond and react in certain ways to the challenges and trials of life. We are used to living independently of any restraints or parameters for our behavior (Romans 8:7-8). We serve our self and make sure we come out on top (Romans 1:25; 2 Corinthians 5:15). We do good deeds for others, but we want the praise.
When the Spirit of God moves in, He encourages is to shift our mind-set entirely. This sets up a dichotomy in our life, which causes a tug-of-war within our soul. God wants us to put to death the carnal deeds of our flesh, so that we can live an abundant spiritual existence in Him (Romans 8:13-14). Yet, our flesh wants to maintain the status quo and control our own life.
The tie-breaker is God’s Spirit, who rebirths our spirit, which was formerly dead in sin (Ephesians 2:5). At salvation, our old nature died and we were Born Again by God’s Spirit (Colossians 3:3). Spiritually alive, we now partake in the divine nature of Christ (2 Peter 1:4). The fruit of the Spirit replaces our formal carnal character (Galatians 5:22-23). We no longer live apart from Christ, but in dependence on God’s love and will.
Some of our former traits, alien to God’s ways, still influence our thoughts, words and behavior. However, we can crucify our independent and willful tendencies on a daily basis (Matthew 16:24-26), and obey the will of God instead. Each day, no longer apart from Christ, we walk in more victory over the flesh by dwelling in the Spirit and following God’s desires for our life (Ephesians 2:10; Galatians 5:16-26).
Father God, by Your saving faith, a gift to us from Your mercy and love, we willingly submit our old fleshly habits to the work of Your Spirit within us (Romans 8:12-13). He influences and transforms us. He draws us to Your heart and renovates every aspect of our life. This free gift is priceless and we thank You for the sacrifice Jesus paid for our eternal life (Ephesians 2:8).
Thought for the Day:
The Holy Spirit exchanges the deeds of our flesh by renewing our mind as we surrender our life to Christ. – Romans 12:2; Mark 10:28-29