Sacrificing the Flesh for our Spirits.

- A.Giles

April 29, 2014

" For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live." - (Romans 8:13)  ____________________________________________________________________________________________

In society today, we are too preoccupied with the flesh;  how it feels,  what it looks like, how to make it feel good, and how to make it look good and feel comfortable. Purchasing items to enhance or alter our appearances, in order to appear presentable and acceptable to the world and people around us.  Constantly feeding our body with things that sooth and comfort it, in order to feel the least amount of emotional and physical discomfort possible. 

While pondering this; the Holy Spirit asked me this question.  Could you leave your home and go without looking in the mirror at yourself from day to day?  Seeing what you look like, how your are dressed, is your hair out of place, or is your make-up put on right?

I thought about it, and had to be honest and answered, “I don’t think I could.”  And if I did,  it probably would be difficult, going without looking in the mirror to see how I look.  Making sure every hair in place, my colors match, nothings too tight or too revealing.

The Holy Spirit brought this scripture to my remembrance:  "Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.   Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.   But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.
- (James 1:22-25)  
The Word of God (The Bible) is our mirror.  "The word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.(Hebrews 4:12)"

 The same way we are trying to look good before the world; we should hold our bibles up to ourselves and make sure we look good before God. To be able to see ourselves in comparison to what God expects of us.    That we look and appear acceptable to God.   Making sure we are “good looking” before God; that everything in our hearts and in the way we think is RIGHT before God.  The ultimate goal is -  when he looks upon our hearts (not our physical appearance); He sees a reflection of his own image and accepts us as his own.

"Do not be worried about the food and drink you need to stay alive, or about clothes for your body.   After all, isn't life worth more than food? And isn't the body worth more than clothes? Look at the birds flying around: they do not plant seeds, gather a harvest, and put it in barns; your Father in heaven takes care of them!(Matthew 6:25)"   We are to trust and be attuned to Him.  

The bible also tells us:  "Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
(Romans 12:2)"   "Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. (John 2:5) " -

There are people from different parts of the world, that could careless about mirrors, fashion, or entertainment;
looking outward and seeing what everything and everyone else looks like, but having a limited idea what they look like themselves.  Because they live in regions of the world that have more important issues at hand and don’t concern themselves with such things. Yet they struggle with feeding their flesh as well.  Galatians 5:19, says that "the acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."   The bible also says that "There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
- (Proverbs 6:16-19)"

We must go before God and ask for forgiveness with all transparency.   "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness"(John 1:9) . Asking Him to bring to our remembrance our sins & offenses. Not only asking for His forgiveness, but in order to forgive ourselves.  Because God had already seen it.  Hebrews 4:13 says, “ Nothing in all creation is hidden from God.  Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.”  Therefore, we have to "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that our sins may be wiped out (Acts 3:19)" and  "look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continue in it—not forgetting what we have heard, but doing it—we will be blessed in what we do (James 1:25) . "

What is the perfect law that gives freedom in
James 1:25Galatians 5:13 answers this:  "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.  For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: Love your neighbor as yourself.” 

Why is loving your neighbor so important?  
Well let's look at what 1 Corinthians 13: 1-8 says "
If I could speak all the languages of earth and of angels, but didn’t love others, I would only be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.   If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.  If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing.

Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud
  or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged.   It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out.    Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.
  Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever!"

We are to take the time to develop our Spirits (inner man) and to strive to change and live according to God's will for us.  " For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live  (Romans 8:13).

We are to "set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. We have died, and our lives are hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then we also will appear with him in glory.

We are to put to death what is earthly in us: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. -(Colossians 3:1-5)"

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correction and for training in righteousness so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16" "Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it we may grow up into salvation (1 Peter 2:2)" "For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope - (Romans 15:4) "

We are to worship in Spirit and in Truth (John 4:24)"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship." - (Romans 1 (NIV)   We can't come to him in truth if we don't confess our sins and we come to him not being honest about our sins.

We are to decrease our flesh and elevate and live by the Spirit.  Galatians 5: 16 says,  "walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.

Galatians 5:22-26 explains what the fruits of the Spirit are; meaning how to live by the spirit.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.  Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.   Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

We are to come to the knowledge that these bodies are temporal.  "For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands.   We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing.   For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.   While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us.   Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life.   God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.   So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord.   For we live by believing and not by seeing.  Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.  So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.   For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. -(2 Corinthians 5:1-10)

"Since we believe that Christ died for all, we also believe that we have all died to our old life.  He died for everyone so that those who receive his new life will no longer live for themselves. Instead, they will live for Christ, who died and was raised for them.

So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now! This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! "- (2 Corinthians 5:14-19)

"You must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator." - (Colossians 3:8-9)

" Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless.

When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.   Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity.  All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love." (1 Corinthians 13:9-13)

"Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.   Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.   For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.  Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.   In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. " (Ephesians 6:8-18)