March 25, 2007
Preached in Wisconsin by Jewel D. Williams
2. What does the things of the flesh look like? What does the things of the Spirit look like? In other words, what does it look like when you are functioning from the flesh or from the Spirit? Lets look at few practical applications that the Lord took me to.
Giving. Fleshly giving states:
I’ll give to you as long as I get something back.
I’ll give as long as others see what I am doing, so I can get praise.
I’ll give something, but not my best.
Spiritual giving states:
I will give my best.
I will give without expecting to receive in return.
I will give from the desires of my heart for God and not to please me.
What about control?
Well there is no fleshly control. The flesh says, I can do everything I want no matter who it hurts or how it makes others feels, as long as it makes me feel good, it’s all good.
Spiritual control states:
I will take control over fleshly desires.
I will release control of myself into God’s hand.
I will not pursue anything that will hinder my walk with God or others. One more practical application is Love.
Fleshly loves states:
I love you as long as I get something in return.
I love you as long as you give to me
If I don’t get something, I’ll stop loving you.
Love is only useful when it is beneficial to me.
I love you as long as you appeal to me, but if something else comes along better, I won’t love you anymore.
That is fleshly love!!
Love through the Spirit states:
Because I love you I will be patient, longsuffering, I will love you unconditionally, I will love you with a godly love, because God loved us when we were his enemies, so I will love you even when you refuse to be at peace with me. I will love you and place your needs even above my own comfort. What I desire for myself will not be above what is best for you, because my actions are motivated by love.
Now let me make a footnote here. Spiritual love is not sappy love. It is a thought out choice and action. It is also a firm love. Meaning that there are times when godly love says, I love you enough to try to warn you of your sins, but if you refuse to turn I will love you enough to allow you to deal with the full consequences of those actions. See God loves us and continually calls us back to a right relationship with him, but if we refuse and sin, he is just to forgive us, but he does not remove the consequences of those actions. I believe it is because he is allowing us to understand more fully why we should not be disobedient. When for instant our children do something wrong, we can love them and try to correct them, and we should forgive them, but we should not remove the consequences because they teach them a lesson that you are responsible for what you do. You reap what you sow.
Speaking of love let me dwell here for a moment. Do you know we Christians are breaking God’s heart? First let me address the married people. In the beginning there were two things that God made that were perfect. Marriage was one, we know this because God made Eve and took her to Adam. He also made work. We know this because he told Adam to name the animals and put him over the care of the land. When sin entered, that which God made perfect was marred. Adam and Eve before the fall were able to be one. They were a physical example of the unity of the Trinity. God the father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit are three distinct persons with distinct characteristics and purposes, yet they are one in the Godhead. They are one in spirit (there are not three God’s but one God) and they are one in purpose. Marriage was to be the same. Adam and Eve were able to be one with each other and one with God. They walked through the garden with God and were not ashamed to be naked in front of each other or God. In other words they were completely open and transparent with each other and with God. They were one in purpose, to please God and follow his commands. They were one in spirit, because they were connected to each other through their worship of God and they were one in personhood, they were walking together and not in two different directions. Sin changed that.
When sin entered, marriage became one of the areas where Satan hits the most. He knows the purpose God created marriage for, that it was for a good thing, and he tries to destroy it because if he can destroy the marriage, he can destroy the family and the purpose God has ordained for it. Sin makes marriage burdensome for some and for others it seems it is impossible to obtain the goal of a good marriage, so they quit (divorce). It is the same thing with work sin marred it. We now think of work not as something God created for us to bring him honor and provide for our physical needs, but for our own self-promotion and self-expression. We rarely think of work as something God gave us to honor him. And we have become obsessed with our own status that we allow work to become our god’s instead of the true God. We allow our pursuit of work to move God out of the way and to move our families out of their places of importance. This again is how Satan tries to destroy the family. In the garden, fellowship with God was first, then fellowship with each other, then work. Sin has changed all things around. Work is first, maybe family and sometimes, God not at all.