I desperately want to be led by the Holy Spirit, in every area of my life – my decisions, conversations, priorities, relationships, etc. If I’m honest, however, sometimes I’m more driven than directed.
For me, here are some key indicators that I’m being flesh driven rather than Spirit led:
my flesh tends to dictate my actions.
my perspective gets very self-absorbed.
I can be more results oriented than relationship attentive – achievements become more important than connecting with people.
Fear often dilutes any expression of genuine love from me.
I become more consumer minded rather than thinking how to be generous.
Let’s be careful that we stay in Step with the Spirit & not controlled by our flesh 🙂
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Here’s the truth: I’m selfish, impatient, insensitive, unforgiving, unkind, irreverent, apathetic & heaps more ugly things. While I don’t want to behave in these ways, nonetheless, the bad that I don’t want to do is what I often wind up doing. And the good that I want to do, I don’t often do. I want to live in resurrection & not my deplorable humanity. So what’s the answer?
The answer to living in resurrection is to be crucified with Christ – Galatians 2:20. Indeed, there were two men crucified with Christ. One man mocked Jesus with the rest of the bystanders & one man recognized Jesus for who He is, the sinless Son of God.
So on this Good Friday, I chose to join Jesus on the cross, crucifying my flesh so that Jesus resurrected life can flow through my daily living. When I live the crucified life, then I’m unselfish, patient, sensitive, forgiving, kind, reverent & ultimately, genuine love is my default nature! Anyone care to join me in the crucified life so Jesus’ resurrection can live through us?
I don’t like rude people & I’d like to keep a wide berth from insensitive folk. But Jesus was rude & rude on more than one occasion. I think the pinnacle of Jesus’ rude behavior was when He cleaned out the temple on Holy Week. He overturned tables, made a whip & offended lots of important people with His house cleaning activities. More than a few people thought Jesus was rude & they didn’t appreciate His challenging words & behaviors.
I think that there are times when we get offended with Jesus as well. More to the point, our flesh objects to His gruff & confrontational behavior. And maybe that’s the point – either our flesh rules us or Jesus is our Lord, but we can’t have it both ways.
In this Holy Week, let’s allow the Holy Spirit to clean out the trash that our flesh accumulates in our souls so that Jesus’ resurrection life can wholly transform us. Indeed, the works of the flesh have to die to the resurrection life of Jesus!
I appreciate that “civil” is the adjective used to describe discord. Unfortunately, it seems like the discord in the US, at the moment, is uncivil & hostile.
This challenges me to think about one of Jesus’ beatitudes where He says in Matthew 5:9, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.”
If we are genuine followers of Jesus, then let’s endeavor to let our actions & words generate peace rather than hostile division. May we more firmly adhere to following Jesus than letting our flesh facilitate hostile discord 🙂
I’m a very competitive person and that can be really bad. For example, I used to play in our church’s an annual flag football tournament. After a few years, I decided to remove myself from playing because I couldn’t find a way to compete with a friendly demeanor. So when Paul says in 1 Cor 9:24, “. . . , run in such as way as to win the prize, ” I would use this phrase to justify my poor behavior. Of course I took the verse out of context and this verse can often be misappropriated & rationalized to accommodate personal success rather than transformed redemption. But as followers of Jesus, winning the prize doesn’t align with the world’s definition of victory & success. Indeed, consider the recent Olympic illustration of “winning the prize”: running to win
Let’s enedeavor to be successful by the definition of following Jesus rather than letting our flesh or the world define success for us!