Bad experiences and situations don’t make us who we are, they reveal our current heart condition. At the moment we experience something, we have a choice to take that combination of experience + existing heart condition and tack it on to our identity. The moment we choose to tack it on is the moment we give the experience authority to mold a false identity. This is where the enemy succeeds in his work. Unfortunately this happens under some very sad situations. It’s evil and demonic.
Someone does something you don’t agree with, you in turn become bitter and judge that person. Guess what, that person didn’t make you do that. That response was already in you. Does your initial response make you a bitter judgmental person? No, because you already are. It’s a flesh response. And it needs to be crucified.
May God’s truth always speak louder than the experience. Jesus came testifying to the truth. May his truth always take precedence in your heart no matter the situation that comes your way. God loves you and went to great lengths to express it. You mean more to him than you mean to anyone.
Dealing with the Flesh
Jesus said, if you want to be my disciple you must deny yourself take up your cross daily and follow me. Ever consider where he was headed with that cross? After much scourging, that day he was crucified.
It seems as though in the beginning of the Christian walk, the sin we live in is scourged with conviction, as we grow in Christ. Maybe the first thing to go is curse words or movies that glorify sin. You look to Christ, and one by one your list of should nots become fewer and fewer. At some point, hopefully sooner than later, you find yourself taking up your cross and following him, making the decision to crucify the flesh once and for all. This is a daily decision.
I confess, I see areas in my life where I have not fully crucified this flesh completely. I know the grace of God in Christ Jesus covers me, but I will not let that be my excuse to remain idle. I must walk that hill, I must continue following Jesus to the finish. And I know I don’t have to wait till I’m laying on my death bed to say it is finished. We look at Jesus, he never lived for the flesh. We look at Peter and Paul, in their heart they knew living for the flesh was over – long before they took their last breath. In regards to living by the flesh, that should be my opening and closing line every day, “It is finished”. Yet, I sometimes live with hesitation. What am I holding on to? I don’t know, maybe a sane reputation with the world. Because for many, this is merely fantasy and to others it’s just a good think to incorporate, in order to get the most out of life. God help me. To me, it’s becoming more and more clear, the word of God is the truth behind everything. God offers Salvation from eternal condemnation, Jesus is the way the truth and the life, and like sands in the minute glass time is quickly running out.
There is a real concern that “good” people I personally know are one fatal accident away from suffering hell for eternity. Yet, my lips often remain shut because of a variety of fears that I have yet to crucify. The minute I speak this truth in love toward an unbeliever, there’s a good chance I may appear insane. I need to be okay with that, always. I may also cause discomfort in my personal and professional relationships. I may even lose people I love. I must put on love and accept the risk. Because if God did not give me a spirit of fear, why would I walk in it. Unless I’m walking in a righteous God fearing fear, its simply living for the flesh.
And so I ask God help me to put to death the flesh within so I may walk in a way that is pleasing to you and most effective for your kingdom. ~ Amen
knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.
that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
2 Timothy 1:7
For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.