There ARE some of us out here who have been sold-out Christians for many years and…oops…still go off the rails sometimes. Anger. Frustration. Disappointment. Different strokes let out the nasty in different folks. Sometimes it’s because someone is mean to us. Or because we just can’t get it all done. Or things just don’t “go right.” A really bad day.
Women say “hormones”…men say “stress.”
And we feel guilty. Judge ourselves.
Sometimes it’s worse. Loss. Rejection. Loneliness. Life hasn’t turned out like we hoped. We shut down everything, even the bridle of kindness that controlled us before.
But hey, even the DISCIPLES had a ways to go after Resurrection Sunday! They were the same ragtag bunch of fleshy, confused groupies…UNTIL PENTECOST. Then they were filled with the HOLY SPIRIT. That turned them into wise, holy men who were willing to be stoned or crucified upside down in order to follow Jesus.
And to this day there’s JUST those two ways: the SPIRIT and the FLESH. If we ain’t doin’ it one way, we are doin’ it the OTHER, guaranteed. Think about it! One big dose of “life’s not goin’ my wayyyyyy” and we pitch the adult version of a child’s hissy fit.
Why do we go off like that?
I call it a Flesh Fit. I’ve done it, seen it, been the recipient of it…by words, throwing, stomping, yelling, hitting, snarling, glaring. OK, maybe a little drinking, eating, and other bad behaviors as well. Everyone has their own way, because we all have our own flesh pattern.
I myself have been a Christian a long time. I don’t always act like it. Sometimes I say bad words. Don’t always go to church. Forget to “not take into account a wrong suffered” and stay mad at people. (I Corinthians 13:5). Forget to “judge not” and criticize others. (Matthew 7:1). We know better. Aspire better. Hope others do better. Yet we fail.
It can be confusing. I’ve been blessed by the mercy and kindness of lost people ensnared in their sins. And I’ve been hurt by church folks who judge and reject, stringing it all in faultless church words. I know the difference. Maybe you’ve been there yourself.
It’s the War. Going on everywhere, all the time. The eternal battle between the Spirit and the Flesh.
Just a simple lack of CHOOSIN’. Too tired, too mad, or too depraved, we DO NOT CHOOSE to walk in the SPIRIT sometimes. And believe me, our DEFAULT position IS the FLESH! Always. Set since childhood, Flesh wants what it wants when it wants it. And is prepared to fold in defeat or kick some butt if it doesn’t get it.
Our “flesh” is so powerful we often confuse its power with the devil’s. When all he can do is take advantage of it. It’s already there, waiting, warped. Abused in childhood? Our default position is to pass it on. Rejected? Likewise. What goes around does, indeed, come around.
Unless we stop it.
So when we pull that loaded spring slowly, laboriously, back to walking in the Spirit, we are killing two vile birds with one stone. Just by CHOOSING! Easy? No. Worth it? Eternally. Complicated? Nope.
Just the two ways.
Missed that last chance? The next choice is just around the corner. Promise. And God still loves you. Just wants to fill our wounds with His very own Holy Spirit. Instead of the nasty stuff the Flesh holds on to.
But He won’t do it without our agreement. Not His style.
Free Will, baby! Would you have it any other way?
The devil had his say Lord, but no longer.
Rain on me today, Lord, wash me, make me new.
Help me love the other broken people,
not expect them to be careful of me and my needs.
Help me trust Your love.
Help me do Your Will.
Rain on me, Lord, rain Your will on me.
I lift my face to you, wanting only what You want.
. Let Your truth wash the rest of my worldliness and flesh from me.
Let your Love make me what you wanted me to be all along.
Help me to serve You, no matter where you call me.
Or don’t call me.
With my weak and wounded will, I accept Your perfect one.
Your holy rain.
–The Patron Saint of Misfits
Take 2 and call me in the morning 🙂
Ephesians 4:26 ESV Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger,
Galatians 5:16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.
Galatians 5:19-21 ESV Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19 ESV Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality,
James 1:19-20 ESV let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.
Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Romans 12:19 ESV Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”
Romans 12:2 ESV Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.