A concern is growing within my spirit. I think it’s the groan in creation and the Spirit of God for the sons and daughters of God to shine brightly in their faith in Jesus Christ and aliveness in the Holy Spirit.
The Spirit is clearly speaking through scriptures like “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:3. This verse is not about those far from God believing what they want to hear and rejecting truth. This verse is about those who know Jesus Christ, who are church; believing what makes them feel good and not putting up with truth that conflicts with their personal desires.
When did you last put aside a personal desire that conflicted with God’s truth?
My goal with this brief blog is to highlight one powerful deception that’s roaring through our secular culture and give what I see as the true response of the believer. I’ll do this referring to the scripture Galatians 5:13-25.
A new belief is here
We have seen a new belief with ancient roots come to be accepted as almost unassailable truth. So unassailable that no attempts are made to substantiate it with reason and any challenges tend to be treated with arrogant ridicule not sincere listening and reasoning. I am proposing this belief is a powerful deception and I see its effect all around me and within me.
A powerful deception
The deception is. We believe we will gain what the scripture calls the ‘fruit of the Spirit’ in Galatians 5:22-23 through giving maximum freedom to our flesh to indulge itself; specially to follow its passions and desires. The doctrine of this deception goes like this. If we give each individual maximum freedom to determine their own truth, and to follow their passion and desire, we will discover some beautiful utopian like society. A society and world of love, peace, joy, kindness, goodness and all these wonderful attributes promised us in the fruit of the Spirit. No amount of evidence to the contrary seems to affect the blind faith in this dream.
Let me put it another way. We believe we can have the fruit of the Spirit on our own terms, through following our passions and desires.
This is deception not Christian truth.
Hopefully you’ve paused and read Galatians 5:13-25. If you haven’t here is a link to help you https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Galatians5:13-25&version=NIV.
Flesh vs Spirit
Galatians uses the word flesh in contrast to Spirit. The term flesh is describing everything I am as a person born from my Mum and Dad. Flesh is who I am according to human nature including hereditary and nurture. The Spirit is God’s Spirit, or the Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that breathed life into the first man Adam, and with whom every Christian is ‘born again’ in as they believe in Jesus Christ. The deception that keeps coming at us is, we can achieve what the Spirit has come to achieve in us by ourselves. And we cannot.
The subtle way this deception is invading believers is through the highlighting of our passions and desires.
Who do you follow when the scripture conflicts with your passion and desire?
The true response of the believer to the conflicts within their own person over what they want and what God says is given in Galatians 5:24 “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
When you read this verse don’t allow your mind to get stuck trying to understand deep complexities that are not there. It simply means that as Jesus trusted the Father with his flesh on the cross with expectation of resurrection, so do we. As Jesus prayed on his journey to the cross, Father not my will but your will be done in my life, so do we. This is simple faith in action.
The right fight
The greatest war we fight is the war in our hearts. The war to fully trust our complete person, body, soul, and spirit with all our passions and desires, fears and disappointments to the person of Jesus Christ. Just as the cross was painful to the flesh of Jesus while releasing to the Spirit of resurrection. So, the on-going crucifying of our flesh will be painful, but it will also release the leadership of the Spirit and the fruit of the Spirit in us. This is worth it.
A true response
Our response to the deception roaring through our society is not yell at it, but to ensure our hearts, our will and passions and desires are fully surrendered to the leadership of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit leads mostly through God’s words in the bible. We make this surrender with great expectation of the fruit of the Spirit coming alive and growing in us and being expressed from us as we follow the Spirit and the word of God, not our passions and desires.
You could pray these prayers with me right now.
Father, I feel confused and stuck at being a good Christian, I surrender everything I am to you, my struggles and my passions and desires. I receive afresh Holy Spirit flowing into my flesh, making me alive in Jesus Christ, cleaning my heart from passions and desires and growing in me the fruit of the Spirit. I choose to live by the Spirit and stay in step with the Spirit. Thankyou I have the fruit of the Spirit, and the comfort and confidence of the Spirit’s leadership. Amen.
Please make the decision to read the Bible regularly, with faith and expectation the Holy Spirit will lead you into truth and fruitfulness; this is main way faith truth transform us from glory to glory.
This post gives some help reflective questions to help with when reading the bible. http://chasingtruth.nz/2018/02/15/true-god-generous/
If this blog has stirred questions or thoughts please comment below. If it’s helped you please like and share.