Flesh verse Spirit … Which one is leading?
I remember growing up seeing people wear bracelets that had WWJD on them. It took me awhile to figure out what those initials stood for but once I did, I would never forget them. What Would Jesus Do? I am not sure the origin of this movement… but whoever started it… all I can say is “bravo"! One little question that can cause anyone to stop, reflect and oftentimes redirect in your choices, spoken words, or decisions.
I think that one question is one that beckons us to follow the Spirit. It awakens our senses to think outside of ourselves and think about how Jesus would approach the situation or problem at hand. As we have discussed many times in group, we are all broken people. Often times, we operate out of the lens of "what is best for me". In that pursuit of trying to make things in favor for ourselves, that is when motives can step in and make things tricky and sticky. Having a pure heart means our motives are pure. One thing I have often prayed is Psalm 19:14 “May the words of my mouth and mediations of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” That prayer is asking the Lord to help us with our own desires and words.
Some may wonder, "How would I know if I am following the flesh?”. Paul writes in Galatians 5:19-21 “When you follow the desire of your sinful nature (flesh), the results are clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealously, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these.” I know that we can look at this list and realize we all have evil desires. Even though that is true, we also have a role and we have choices to make. It is important to deal with them decisively and literally crucify them. You do that by not engaging and instead choosing what Jesus would do. You may think this could be an impossible task but that is where the Holy Spirit comes in.
He is our helper, counselor, advocate and comforter. He is our power source. He convicts us and guides us in the right direction. We have the power of the Holy Spirit IN us, which means we have everything we need to live a Godly life. When Christ speaks through us, we speak peace, love, patience, kindness, joy and display self control. We are righteous because of what Jesus did on the cross for us. So we CAN be spirit led only if we deny our flesh. Die means to ignore, choose something greater, lean and rely on God and not ourselves. Do you see how hard yet easy it is to live in such freedom? We need to be ladies who walk by the Spirit and not our own flesh. We need to be asking ourselves often, “What would Jesus do?” and then follow the answer to that important question.
How do you know if you are walking in the spirit? Matthew 7:16 “You know them by their fruit” is what comes to mind. God is love and He is peace. When you follow the Spirit, the aroma of love and peace is what will be left behind. Another question to ask, “Who are you glorifying?” Our purpose is to bring glory to God and not ourselves. We bring glory to Him by letting HIM shine through us. When we choose to step back in our Spirits, asking Jesus what He would do, He will often redirect us, give us words, move us to forgive or ask for forgiveness. All of those things are the movement of a God that loves people, who asks His people to encourage and build each other up. So what may God be asking you today?