“That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man” Ephesians 3:16.
Now, everyone's story is different but have you ever stop to consider that which influences your decisions? Who’s really in control of your life? If the Spirit of God will allow me I’d like to take a few moments to share some thoughts regarding the self-life versus the Spirit controlled life. I do this because the flesh is so much a part of our lives that often we fail to realize its presence.
Whenever the Bible speaks of the “flesh” it makes reference to, not only the physical aspect of man, but too the weakness and limitations of our sinful character. By nature the “flesh” tends to serve its own lusts. Consequently, doing what comes naturally, we find ourselves unwittily yielding to selfish desires. As believers we must live attentive lives - careful not to be deceived by the manipulative influences of the “flesh”.
Is it possible, I ask myself, that one of the greatest tragedies of the Christin life in modern church is our focus on the self-life? If I were to ask you: “Why so many accomplishment believers are dissatisfied with their lives, what would say?” As “happiness” is such a huge motivator I’m afraid that many believers would resort to some concerns related to expectations and life situations. These same individuals would most probably find the solution in some sort of relational therapy session for the discontented. And while this is not a bad idea it doesn’t go far enough.
Other then never being satisfied there are several other indicators that identify the nature of the self-life. For example fearing man’s displeasure the self-life has a tendency to avoid confutation. Seeking affirmation it tends to be more concerned about political correctness than about getting it right. Also, being sensitive to those around us tends to be a burden which often leads to building relationships for the purpose of self-promotion.
While this is only a part of the general picture describing the influences of the self-life it’s enough to make clear my point. Let’s instead discuss the nature of the Spirit-led life. While the self-life is never satisfied the Spirit-led life is grateful and overflowing with Spirit produced praise. While the self-life fears the displeasures of man the Spirit-led life fears God. While the self-life seeks relationships for selfish reasons the Spirit-led life desires the best for others. And while being sensitive is a burden for the self-life the Spirit-led life trusts God to genuinely care for others.
What to do: I love how the apostle Paul puts it in our opening verse and this is the best part of all. Ephesians 3:16 tells us that the Holy Spirit lives in each and every one of God’s children enabling us to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man transforming our innermost being and personality.
There is no Christian life apart from this truth. Deliverance from the self-life is possible only through the cross. The cross and only the cross closes the door to sin’s control and opens the door to the Spirit’s control. He (the Holy Spirit) comes to live in our hearts when we're born again, and then He teaches and guides us according to God's plan and purpose for us.
We may get by with selfishness for a while, but the time will come when we exhaust our resources and run out of strength. God out of great love does yearn to have control of our lives. “I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing” John 15:5.
The Spirit controlled experience is deepened and matured as we remain :
Open to His Control: “Do not quench the Spirit; do not despise prophetic utterances. But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil” I Thessalonians 5:19-22.
Dependent on His Control: “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh” Galatians 5:16.
Responsive to His Control: “For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God” Romans 8:14.
“Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come” 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Trust the Holy Spirit in you…He knows what's best. Let your adventure begin!
Till we can sit down together I remain faithfully yours,
Glenn T. Horne