'BEFORE THE MOUNTAINS WERE BROUGHT FORTH, OR EVER THOU HADST FORMED THE EARTH AND THE WORLD, FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING THOU ART GOD.' [KJV PSALM 90:2]
9/3/2019 0 Comments
Welcome back, my friends.
Now that you have had the time to review the posts on 'the Fruit of the Holy Spirit', and 'Spiritual Disciplines', let's continue today, September 3, 2019 and Thursday, September 5, 2019, in our series - 'Spiritual Gifts'.
[For those who are just joining our little Bible Study Community here on-line, see 'On 'Spiritual Gifts', Bi-monthly Tuesday/Thursday Series, Post - Preface, July 23, 2019, here in the Welcome Room'.]
Continuing Post 1, August 6, 2019; Post 2-AM/PM, August 8, 2019; Post 3-AM/PM, August 20, 2019; Post 4, August 22, 2019.]
On our Posts 5, 6, this week, September 3, 5, 2019, as the Lord wills, let us start to study to gain some insight into the 'flesh versus the Spirit', in a cautionary manner. Then, we will gain information on 'The Seven Motivational Gifts'. Let's get started.
Some Words of Caution - Flesh Verses Spirit
Since these gifts are the Holy Spirit working within us, we might suppose that our gift(s) will always work for good in our life and for the good of those we seek to serve. Not so! It is too much to be hoped that these inner workings of the Lord cannot be subverted by the enemy. Spiritual darkness loves to turn even good things against us. As mentioned earlier, if we don’t stay in balance these gifts of His won’t operate properly.
The key to staying balanced is living with Jesus at the center and with ourselves surrendered and submitted to His leadership. In all we do, we are to be doing so for God's 'Glory', not our own. He hasn’t given us gifts and callings so that we can go charging off on our own!
[1 Corinthians 10:31; Colossians 3:17 audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html ]
As with anything in this new life in Christ, our actual trust in the Lord determines practically everything else. If you want to serve Him and others, if you want your gift(s) to be operating at peak performance, then you will want to learn to guard your heart so that the peace of Christ rules within you. 'And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful.'
[Colossians 3:15 ESV audio-bible.com/bible/bible.html]
There is no clearer indication that we are yielded to His leadership than the peace He gives us when we are trusting Him and doing things His way. 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.'
[Proverbs 3:5-6 ESVaudio-bible.com/bible/bible.html]
With that peace in place the motivational gifts positively hum! It is truly amazing, even breathtaking to be flowing in these gifts. This is what it means to be 'led by the Spirit'. Notice that we have to put aside the flesh in order to be led by the Spirit: 'So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.'
[Romans 8:12-14 ESVaudio-bible.com/bible/bible.html]
We can, however, fall back into being 'oppressed' by the flesh. This is the spiritual “tug of war” which goes on in every Christian’s life: 'But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.'
[Galatians 5:16-17 ESVaudio-bible.com/bible/bible.html]
It is easy and “natural” to fall out of the Spirit and into the flesh, even when we are trying to serve the Lord. Because the flesh is our fallen nature, falling into it almost feels normal. The absence of the peace of Christ should alert us that something has gone wrong. That wrongness will inevitably show up by distorting the gifts we cherish and enjoy, turning service into something onerous, rather than delightful. In the following brief descriptions note how being in “the flesh” can distort the gift. Note also the wonderful purpose the gift can serve when we are in the Spirit.
'For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:10 ESVaudio-bible.com/bible/bible.html
Slow down and pray, asking the Holy Spirit to speak to you, telling you what He wants you to know, as you study all the posts. Do not rush. Enjoy 'hearing Him' 'teach you', loving you, and enabling you to love Him in return. On our next post, I shall give some insight into the 'flesh versus the Spirit', in a cautionary manner.
Thank you in advance for returning. Amen. Amen.
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