Friday, May 20, 2016
Trials By The Flesh
When we come close to the Lord and develop our relationship with Him, we tend to feel like more and more hardships are hitting us--we feel physical pains, anger, frustration, sadness, and the lack of control in our life. And because of it, we tend to think God is trying our faith (trying who we are). But God is never the one trying and testing (trying) us - even though that's what it feels like:
James 1:2-3 and 12-14
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers trials; knowing this, that the trying of your faith works patience. Blessed is the man that endures trials: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tried, I am tried of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempts he any man: but every man is tried, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
What is being tested is our faith in who God says we are BY our flesh. It's our flesh that is fighting against who God says we are and the faith we have in that Truth. Our flesh is our own enemy to the Lord. And every time we stand in believing who we are in Christ Jesus, our flesh rebels.
It rebels in that it has had its own way our whole life, getting what it wants, when it wants, and itself believes it is the truth. But Christ Jesus came and said, nope flesh, the Real Truth is that Christ has made us Holy in our Spirit, and our Holy Spirit is who we are.
This is completely opposite to our flesh and our five senses. And because of that, it rebels because it no longer then is getting what it wants, when it wants, and without hindrance.
But now, we walk, not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (Romans 8:9). Because who we are is that Spirit person.
So since we ARE the Spirit, we face trials from the flesh to try and keep us from that revelation and walk in life. It tries in every aspect of life to keep control of our lives. And when it doesn't, that's when we feel the pains, the anger, the sadness, and all those things that do not make sense to us. These are growing-out-from-the-flesh pains. And we feel the anger of the flesh no longer being in control; or we feel the sadness of the flesh as withdrawal symptoms of it no longer having its own way.
So what is the flesh? It is our mind, body, and emotions that are contrary to who we are in the Spirit and contrary to everything that is the Lord. A product of this existing world which we have learned.
But we don't have to submit to the flesh. God gave us through His Spirit in us the free-will capacity to choose NOT to let our flesh make our decisions in life. Instead, He gave us that strength and ability to make a choice that is of our Spirit and not of our flesh:
I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.
Does this make it easy? Not always, because we have often lived so long in the flesh, we don't always know to change. But the Holy Spirit does, and He changes us as our relationship with Him develops. And He works that changing in us:
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
This is why we don't always understand why we feel the things we feel. So all we need to know then is that He is working out of us the old man flesh and renewing us to who we are in the Spirit. And when we "don't feel ourselves", it's not God making us feel that way, it's just our flesh rebelling against God.
So let's not avoid God when we feel tried, because it is not God that's trying us, it's actually Him that's revealing Himself in us and in our actions, behaviours, attitudes, and being. He is revealing to us right now His glory in us.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
Praise the Lord that I face this renewing and the pains (sufferings) of that renewal. because I am being transformed from the Glory of my Holy Spirit into changing my body and flesh into that same Glory.
2 Corinthians 3:17-18
Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
Our flesh are the strongholds that bind us. But He is the one that sets us free, because where the spirit is, there is freedom from the flesh!