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Not with the flesh, but with the Spirit

do you ever have those bible verses that really stick out to you? and you're constantly thinking about them all day long, you get into deep thought and you're like, "God what are you trying to tell me?" yeah, i'm having that moment with a specific verse. i've been meaning to write this blog post for awhile and now i feel like it's the right time to do it. right now, i'm reading Romans. i usually take my time with each book of the bible. i like to examine and think about the context of the story. i don't like getting ahead of myself and i don't like speed reading through anything, so with that said, i was stuck on Romans 7:14-25.

"so the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. the trouble is with me, for i am all too human, a slave to sin. i don't really understand myself, for i want to do what is right, but i don't do it. instead, i do what i hate. but if i know that what i am doing is wrong, this shows that i agree that the law is good. so i am not the one doing wrong, it is sin living in me that does it. and i know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. i want to do what is right, but i can't. i want to do what is good, but i don't. i don't want to do what is wrong, but i do it anyway. but if i do what i don't want to do, i am not really the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it. i have discovered this principle of life - that when i want to do what is right, i inevitably do what is wrong. i love God's law with all my heart. but there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. this power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. oh, what a miserable person i am! who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? thank God! the answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. so you see how it is: in my mind i really want to obey God's law, but because of my sinful nature i am a slave to sin."

just to be clear: i'm basically gonna expose myself and the truth of being a human trying to cling on to Jesus everyday, all day. there's been so many moments in my life recently where i hit pause and i realize that a lot that i do is plain selfish. no, really though. living my life as a mother, wife, friend, daughter, i'm constantly wrestling with my sinful nature in contrast with God's perfection. as much as i grow with God, all of the prayers and intimate moments in His presence, i will always wrestle with my sinful nature. i'm wrestling with the flesh, whatever my heart desires, my ambitions, motives, all of that. what does the bible say about the heart?

"the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" - Jeremiah 17:9

"keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life." - Proverbs 4:23

yeah, i know i'm removing these verses from their original context so it can benefit my blog post, but the words are real and they work. i've come to a point in my life where i want to be wholeheartedly led by the Spirit. i feel myself stepping back, detaching from a specific moment, and saying "what does God want me to do?" i question a lot of my personality and what i want to do with my life because i want God to guide me. it's sorta maddening actually, but it's something that's helping me become more Christlike instead of Angelalike. also, reading Biblical Psychology by oswald chambers. man, that book. it takes me deeper into what our bodies, minds, souls mean. there's more to life than just living. i want to find more of Jesus. i want to discover Him in the little moments of my life, whether it's recognizing His blessings for me when i wake up or recognizing His convictions for me while things get tougher and harder. it's interesting because since we were born in sin, how do we know what is good for us? what makes us depend on our common sense and our certain way of living? i don't wanna butcher the lifestyle that i live, but i do wanna question it. is there any opportunity out there that God wants me to have? in that opportunity, how can He use me to spread His love to others and to love others? in what ways can i become more aware of His presence? will my wisdom become selfish and arrogant the more i depend on it? i'm thinking out loud. i do that a lot. overthinking has always been an issue for me, so instead of overthinking, i want to think directly in the light of God. overthinking leads to anxiety and it's something that i've been working on. anxiety to me means i want control. no matter what i'm trying to control, i want to make sure it comes out the way i want it to. selfishness in its entirety. this takes me back to, how do i know what's good for me if i'm letting anxiety rule me? i also have a problem with being too impulsive. if i'm that quick to make a decision on something that i haven't thought properly about, how can i make the right decision in a dire situation? 2 corinthians 10:5 says, "we destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ." i'm weak. as a human, i will always be weak, but God is strong. in my weakness, He is strong. oswald chambers says, "if his spiritual connections are not right with God, his bodily condition will, sooner or later, manfiest the disorganization." i cannot and will not depend on myself to live a "happy" life. what i'm saying is that there's nothing in us that is stronger and wiser than God. there's no knowledge above God because HE IS knowledge. how does my heart truly know what i wants if i'm constantly battling with my flesh? oswald chambers says again, "notice how God will wither up every other spring you have. He will wither up your natural virtues, He will break up confidence in our natural powers. He will wither up your confidence in brain and spirit and body, until you learn from practical experience that you have no right to draw your life from any source other than the tremendous reservoir of the resurrection life of Jesus Christ."

i pray that i'm led by the Spirit, with the strength of Jesus, throughout the days of my life.

a couple of my fave quotes from Biblical Psychology:

"Why was Jesus Christ so stern against unbelief? Because unbelief never springs from the head, but from the wrong direction of the heart."

"When he receives the Spirit the carnal mind is aroused, and the carnal mind clamors and will not yield to the Spirit. This war is described in Galatians 5:7, the flesh lusting against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, both demanding 'I must have the body at once.'"

"God does alter the desire to look at the things we used to look at, and we find our eyes are guarded because He has altered the disposition of the soul's life."

"When we are first introduced to the life of God there is a violent opposition to everything that used to be prevalent, and that it is so not a mistake, it is what God intends, because there is a force of a totally new life."


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