Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘life in the spirit’

Day Twenty-Two

 

Are You — Sowing to the Flesh?

 

“For he who sows to his own flesh (lower nature, sensuality) will from the flesh reap decay and ruin and destruction, but he who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.”

Gal 6:8

 

            This is an area of foundational teaching that often gets left in the pursuit of what seems to be more “cutting edge” Biblical teaching.  For that reason, much of the Body of Christ does not comprehend what it means to sow to the flesh or the spirit, and its great importance.  Tied closely to the doctrines of walking in the Spirit (or conversely walking in the flesh), it is an enigma to many believers.

            In Day Twenty-One of this devotional, we looked at the dangers of flattery because of the component in us which flattery feeds – the flesh.  So this notion of sowing to the flesh is closely linked with the topic of Day Twenty-One.

            Once a believer is born again he carries within him two natures.  He retains his old nature – his soul (comprised of his will, intellect, and emotions), and his physical body.  His soul and his body are something he received because of a natural birth.  They are his flesh.  While they are not “evil” (unless they are engaged in sin) – the soul and the body together are always flesh!  They can do good, but they can also easily sin.  Satan counts on you continuing to operate in the flesh even for good – for then it is a small leap to bring you to sin in the flesh.

            The believer also now carries within him the life of the Spirit of Jesus Christ (the Holy Spirit) within his own regenerated spirit.  You received this supernatural life when you were born again.  This new life in Christ gives the believer the mind and will and intentions of Christ, and the ability to be led by the Spirit.  But remember, these two natures are completely adversarial in what they want and their posture.  Hence, a struggle is introduced into our lives that we have never known before we became a believer:  the struggle between the flesh life, and the spirit life; the natural life and the supernatural life.

To sow to the flesh simply means that the believer is drawing upon his old flesh nature to live his life, instead of drawing upon his new nature in Christ.  The word  sow in Strong’s is #4687 speiro.  Speiro means to scatter, i.e. sow (lit or fig):- sow(-er), receive seed.  It also says that is it probably strengthened by #4685 spao, which means to draw out.

Now think of your flesh life and your spirit life like two different bank accounts.  When you live your life drawing on the assets of your flesh (your will, intellect, or emotions, or the demands of your body) – you are sowing to the flesh.  Not only do you live a flesh-centered existence, you are continually preferring the flesh and gratifying it, but that flesh-based currency can only extend the flesh.  So as you try and minister or witness to the Lord, if you are relying on flesh currency – you will only extend and draw out the boundaries of flesh.  That is what happens both within you, but also within those you minister to or teach.  You strengthen the flesh life in yourself and them, and therefore you reap only flesh and from it decay, ruin, and destruction.

That may seem harsh.  After all, as a believer, your desire is most likely to serve the King!  The truth is, however, we can only serve Him on His terms and those terms are to serve Him through the nature of Christ in the Spirit of Christ.  Only in that way is there spiritual success!  Only in that way do we work in righteousness!  When we work through our spirit and the Holy Spirit we are drawing our “currency” out of the Spirit of the Kingdom of God.  What is extended then is of the spirit – it is extending and drawing out the spirit life.  It is both bringing life in the spirit, and also strengthening that life.  Only currency in the spirit can do that – not currency of the flesh life.  But sowing to the spirit reaps eternal life for ourselves and others who receive it!

Now the enemy counts on us spending our lives drawing on the flesh to try and build the Kingdom of God.  He counts on us remaining ignorant of the concept of sowing to the flesh or the spirit.  Why?  As said before – when we live our lives drawing upon and out of our flesh – it is easier for the enemy to move us into sin which brings us under condemnation.  Also drawing out of our flesh currency is a futile exercise.  All that we strengthen, all that we extend remains of the flesh nature – and only flesh.  This brings no profit in the spirit.  This effort will ultimately reap ruin and destruction for the lives involved.

             So what are we to do?  Live as Jesus has provided – by His Spirit Life!  We live and move and have our being in Him – in His life, no longer in our old life!  Learn how to discern if you are walking in the Spirit, or are you walking in the flesh.  But learn to draw everything that you work with, live by, build with, and share — from the assets of your spirit “currency.”  The first part is to understand that this issue exists.  The second part is to pursue knowledge from the Holy Spirit according to the Word of God for living righteously according to the Spirit of Life in Christ.  May you be blessed to have your eyes fully opened and walk according to this provision!

            Be-loved.

Read Full Post »

Day Twenty

 

The Battle for Your Belonging

 

“For this is why the good news (the Gospel) was preached [in their lifetime] even to the dead, that though judged in fleshly bodies as men are, they might live in the spirit as God does.”

1Pet 4:6 Amp

 

            Every day, every hour you live a battle rages.  You don’t necessarily feel it, although you might become aware of the pull as the struggle increases.  If you are not a believer in Jesus Christ – this struggle doesn’t exist for you yet.  But for the believer, it is all out warfare.  It is the battle for who you belong to!

            There are two choices.  If as a believer you are following your natural self, your own ideas, feelings and preferences – you still belong to the flesh.  You are still carnal – and what predominates in you is the flesh even though you are saved.  But if you have surrendered your flesh to the Lord, daily for crucifixion, and are instead following the leading of the spirit – then according to Watchman Nee you belong to the spirit and are increasingly becoming a spiritual man. 

            This is the will of God for you; this living in the spirit.  It is what is referred to in the Scripture above.  As believers, our flesh is judged already.  It is condemned and dead by virtue of its sin and guilt.  Thus, if we agree and live not according to the dictates of the flesh but according to the spirit – the cross has been applied to ourselves by the Holy Spirit and we begin to then walk according to the word of God.  Now the promises of God, and the life of the spirit predominates in us and our lives become testimonies of the overcoming power and victory of Jesus Christ.  Though we are dead – we walk in the resurrection power of a living God!  Though we still live in the world – He has overcome the world – even our faith!

            As we obey the spirit – we become spiritual.  Our affiliation with God increases and our affiliation with the world and all of its draw and attraction decreases.  This is what is meant by 1Peter 4:1-2 in the amplified Bible: 

“So since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose [patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God].

For whoever has suffered in the flesh [having the mind of Christ] is done with [intentional] sin [has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God], So that he can no longer spend the rest of his natural life living by [his] human appetites and desires, but [he lives] for what God wills.”

 

            Do you seriously hunger to be a spiritual being?  As a believer in Christ there is only one way – belong to the Holy Spirit!  This is the place where the power of God can begin to be manifested through you for the glory of God!  But it is not for the carnal, the selfish, or the fainthearted — for it will cost you everything!  But for the willing – it will open the destiny of God in your life.  Are you willing?

            Be-loved!

Read Full Post »