“It is the Spirit that gives life–He is the Life-giver; the flesh conveys no benefit whatever–there is no profit in it. The words that I have been speaking to you are spirit and life.” John 6:63
Ever wonder if you are doing something in the flesh? Ever consider whether what you are doing, as you go about ministering in Jesus’ name, is spirit driven or flesh driven? Sometimes I think we folks believe we are working with God in spirit but are doing so in the flesh. We pray with our minds focused on the horizontal effect–what God’s answers will do for me and my church rather than Him and His church. We plan, build, strategize, and politicize, to bring about what we believe will bring God glory and further the gospel. Ever wonder how much of our effort is spirit-filled? Ever examine what you say and do, write and think beneath the magnifying glass of the Spirit who gives life?
Are you furthering your education to get a degree? Burning midnight oil and studying to make an A? Planning lessons to make your point? Growing a church to build a better resume? Visiting folks to appease the pastor? Attending church to feel better about yourself throughout the week? Preparing sermons to fix some individual or group? Supporting missions, ministers, leaders and campaigns so goals are met and numbers increase?
If we answer yes to any of those questions, our actions are of no benefit whatsoever. Nada. None. Zip.
It’s only when we fall back completely and surrender every iota of our self-sufficiency to Christ, that the Spirit can fill us and use us for His glory. We can do nothing apart from Him and when we do something with anything other than Him in mind, we do nothing at all.
We might well wonder why we fuss and fume, bicker and bump into one another as we work to further the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We might wonder why we’re like magnets with two south poles repelling one another.
“For we are not wrestling against flesh and blood–contending only with physical opponents–but against the despotisms, against the powers, against the master spirits who are- the world rulers of this present darkness, against spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere.” Ephesians 6:12.
It is only when we are giving up ourselves to the whole counsel of God and allowing Christ to completely rule our hearts that we see the manifestation of the Spirit-Life. I think this means I have to give up anything that causes another’s focus to be on anything but Jesus and Jesus alone. Only in dying to self will Jesus manifest Himself in me. Sometimes I wonder why He would want to live within such a pathetic wad of flesh? Wonder why He would willingly suffer and die upon a cross to pay the ultimate price for God’s grace to pour out upon His children? Wonder why it seems so hard for us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice in honor of His sacrifice of obedience to His Father? I wonder. Do you? selahV