Sunday, October 25, 2009

You Get What You Plant!

Human nature has an almost-magnetic pull toward thinking we can get away with anything. It also likes to follow the path of least resistance, doing only what it has to. We seem to think that we can do what we want and have no consequences. Our flesh thinks we can eat fattening deserts, drive over the speed limit, watch hours of TV, listen to music with vile lyrics, look at pornographic pictures, entertain negative thoughts, and still expect to have everything go perfectly.
Jesus disagrees. Galatians 6:7 starts out with “Be not deceived,”as it proceeds to declare the eternal principle of sowing and reaping. Why would God say that first? From the beginning He makes it clear that this principle is the opposite of what our flesh so easily rationalizes as acceptable truth. We cannot get away with anything and we will surely reap consequences or results from everything we sow. Every thought and action produces something.
Even though this Scripture about sowing and reaping is commonly used as an incentive in financial giving, the overall nature of the principle is whether we sow to the flesh or sow to the Spirit. Sowing to the flesh simply means doing whatever our mind or flesh wants, according to Ephesians 2:3. In Proverbs Solomon reminds us that “a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep—so shall poverty come on you like a prowler.” In other words, being lazy will surely lead to lack.
Jesus instructs us, rather, to sow to the Spirit by obeying His leading. Romans 8 promises that those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. Jesus himself demonstrates this principle saying I must work while it is day, because night comes when no man can work. We only have the window of this lifetime to sow good seed. Jesus at times was so busy teaching and meeting people’s needs that he didn’t have time to rest or even to take a lunch break.
Our flesh looks for a life that is comfortable and convenient. God invites us to rather spend ourselves freely to serve Him and others, promising eternal fruit. Do we believe Him enough to change our perspective from what do I have to do to what can I do today?
Holy Spirit, lead me today in specific things that I can do to sow good seed, because I believe the truth that whatever I plant is what I shall receive.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Overcoming the Deceiving Enemy

“I really should, but…”
How much control do you have over your own flesh? When you have this quiet voice inside saying that you should do something, is it easy to say you’ll do it later? When you preface your remarks with “I shouldn’t say this…” are you able to not say it? Do you waste 30 minutes on a television program you really weren’t interested in, but it was easier to just sit there than to get up and start the project? When you have a spiritual need that requires prayer and fasting, are you able to quit nibbling or thinking about food? Do you say inside, just one more? In short, who rules inside of you?
James 1:26 points out that the one who claims to be religious but can’t bridle his tongue deceives his own heart. In another place, Jeremiah declares that the heart is deceitful above all things (17:9). Have we accepted the fact that our flesh is at war with our spirit and will always try to sabotage our godly desires? There clearly is a war going on, but many people do not realize the opponent and how to win.
Muscles develop through exercise. Hebrews 5:14 describes the mature Christian as one who has his senses or faculties “exercised” to discern both good and evil. The time to exercise your spiritual muscles is now. 2 Corinthians 6:1 states that now is the time of salvation. Much like a workout program, the benefit only comes with a willingness to start doing it and then being faithful in carrying it out consistently. The man of God must show diligence in mastering the flesh.
Wait, help is on the way. The Holy Spirit is our helper and clearly is involved in our cause “to will and to work” for His good pleasure. Even Jesus offered himself, according to Hebrews 9:14, through the eternal Spirit. So likewise, when you commit to God’s will in big or little things, God’s Spirit is right there to help you make the decision and to do it.
Today is a new day and God’s mercy is fresh for you. What is God telling you to do? Change the outcome and lethargic feeling that follows by simply saying “I choose to do that and my flesh will not overrule my decision. Trust the Holy Spirit to give you the desire and the power to overcome. You are an overcomer.