"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 spritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. "
This verse pretty much sums up life all the time. Aren't we all carnal (fleshly) minded? Isn't that pretty much our every day mindset that we have to fight against?
Today I am having a carnal (fleshly) struggle with forgiveness. Actually, it is so bad that I need fierce desperate prayers. I do not want to live in this mindset any longer. I do not want to give control of my mind to the enemy. I do not want to live in bondage any longer. I want to break free.
As I think about, I don't believe that this battle with unforgiveness applies to just any one particular person, not really. This battle is not with the people I am angry at. This battle is with myself. My flesh. I want to hang on to the hurts, to be justified in my anger. What they did or do is not really of any signifigance as long as I don't let it be. Yes, it was probably wrong. Have I not wronged others in the past and even today I will probably say something out of line or do something to hurt someone. Is it right? NO. But, it's human. I have to be forgiving in order to be forgiven. Why do I deserve forgiveness and people that have hurt me, don't?
I am reading"Power of a Praying Woman" by Stormie O'Martian. It is one of the best books I have ever read. When I first started reading, I really had no idea what a praying woman was supposed to do, how I was supposed to pray. I mean, I knew what prayer was. I grew up with prayer. However, most of that was prayer led in a public assembly by men or prayer led at meals by men or prayer at my Grandpa's when we spent the night. So, the idea of a woman praying for specific things and in specific ways blew my mind. I began reading this book and almost 9 years later, I am still reading it. I was reading today in the section titled, "Lord preserve me in Purity and Holiness" and I came across this, "Holiness means living in the Spirit and not in the flesh." "Our fleshly thoughts will disqualify us as much as our actions. Are we jealous of anyone? Do we have strife? IS there unresolved division in our lives? Do we willfully allow sin a place? If so, then we are living in the flesh. And it will destroy us." And then, this verse:
"Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life." Galations a6:7-8
Pray that God will help you live in the Spirit and not in the flesh.
So, to bear the fruit of His Spirit (Galations 5:22-23) We should:
1. Plant seeds of love.
2. Plant seeds of joy.
3. Plant seeds of peace.
4. Plant seeds of patience.
5. Plant seeds of kindness.
6. Plant seeds of goodness.
7. Plant seeds of faithfulness.
8. Plant seeds of gentleness.
9. Plant seeds of self-control.
It is said that we begin to resemble the person with whom we live and with whom we are most closely associated. When we share our lives with Jesus, His likeness is stamped on our spirit and soul. When we plug into Him, the fruit of His Spirit is manifested in us.
I don't know about you but I do not want to be an unforgiving, full of bitterness and anger and hate, shriveled up soul. I do not want my children to be this way and to pass it on to their children. I do not want my husband and my children to be unforgiving because of my selfish example. I do not want my children to be gossipers and talebearers.
I may not think that some people like me and they may not like me. Doesn't matter. They are not Christ, so why do I let it concern me if they like me or say hateful, spiteful, not true things about me? What does it profit me to dwell on it? It doesn't profit them to say it. They may believe it does, but God knows. He knows the condition of your heart. And when you speak about someone in anger or retribution or spitefulness or you use the excuse that "I know what they are doing" or "they are hurting me by doing or saying....." or you are just "telling people what they are really like" when you speak like this, your heart is in very poor condition, indeed. Actually, you probably need to hook up to the lifesaving source, Jesus Christ. Let Him carry your burdens and your anger and your hurts. Let Christ deal with it. He is more than capable. He did it on calvary.
Sorry if this post is upsetting to anyone. I didn't mean it that way. I am just writing what God put on my heart this morning at 4 am when my 3 yr. old (almost) was up for the 4th time. Maybe I will blog about that later. Now, I am going to go and fix some lunch, probably enchiladas. I need some sustenance after all this spiritual draining.
Love and Prayers, Julie