What is holding you captive today?
Are you hurting with physical illness? How about a broken relationship? Or a financial crisis? Or maybe even an addiction? Life is not easy but we do not have to live defeated lives.
How do we break the cycle of a defeated life?
There is a very real battle raging all around each of us daily. You may not even be aware of it but you are definitely living in the middle of it. I’m talking about the spirit world – light vs. dark.
Paul tells us in Ephesians that we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood, meaning other people. So if we are not fighting against people, who are we fighting? The evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world. Satan and his minions.
Be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
When we realize the force behind the attacks on our lives and when we see them for what they are, it’s easier to rise above. And knowing that we are not fighting against people is a life-changer. So that person you work with who makes you crazy? Guess what. It’s not about them. That family member who hurts your feelings? It’s not about them.
When we act out in meanness and hatred we need to understand that what we are seeing is a result of what is controlling us.
When our heart is focused on Jesus, we will show the fruit of the Spirit which is good. When our focus is on the world, we are going to show the fruit of the world which is not so good. Look at the wording in verse 17 of Galatians 5 below. Like I mentioned above, there are two forces that are constantly fighting with each other – and these two forces are good and evil or light and darkness. Look at the impact on our lives each world can have. This is big!
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. 17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. 18 But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division, 21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
How do we move past living in the flesh toward living in the Spirit?
Over the next week, we’ll focus on answering this question. Here are the points we’ll explore.
- Knowing God.
- Knowing God’s great love for us.
- Knowing and understanding the finished work of the cross.
- Knowing who we are in Jesus.
- Knowing our assignment.
I’ll finish today’s post with this glimpse of what our assignment is from Isaiah the Prophet:
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me,
for the Lord has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted
and to proclaim that captives will be released
and prisoners will be freed.
Here is my prayer for all of us today:
Thank You for being good – all the time. Thank You for showing us Your love in and through Jesus Christ. We are so very blessed because of Jesus. We ask that You bless Jesus in return. Your ways are so mighty. Help us to see You and dig deeper this week as we explore more about our calling, our identity and our purpose. Expose things that we need to see so that we can move toward freedom. Create in each of us pure hearts and renew steadfast spirits within us. Grow our compassion and love for one another. Bring people to us who need to see light. Use us in mighty ways to impact Your kingdom. For all this and so much more, we are forever grateful.
In Jesus name we pray.
Stay in the Light and the Love Always,