Friday, March 4, 2011

The Flesh Has Its Own Affections (Part 1)

Just when you think that you have arrived in the faith and call yourself mature, the Holy Spirit enlightens you with some stuff that has kept you still lingering in the wilderness. The mere idea that the wilderness isn't at all a pleasant place tells you of how much flesh you still have to conquer or crucify depending upon how mature you truly are. Let's deal with the wilderness concept first before tackling the main focus- the flesh.

There are plenty accounts to choose from in the Word to understand the concept and to pin point where our maturity level is. If for whatever reason you read this and cannot see where you are in this whole scheme of getting you where God intended, then your time in His presence is lacking. To put in perspective, I use to think that there is no one on the face of this earth knowing who God is would ever act like the children of Israel when coming into the Promise Land. I mean, He was so active in their lives to the undeniable point. No one could ever convince them that it couldn't be any other and still all of the complaints (Exodus 16 & 17 KJV). It was as if there wasn't ever a time they could be satisfied. Yeesh! Shut up already and just be content... oh wait, we never did anything remotely close to that - right?

Back to the scriptures, David ran to the wilderness to get away from Saul who was trying to murder him and the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. In both cases, if given the opportunity to choose either sets of shoes (sandals) to be in, which would it be? Yet, in reaching a certain level of maturity, the wilderness is inevitable. In the wilderness, things don't happen the way they use to. The trying of your faith, testing, patience, and contending with the feelings of having a temper tantrum await you. Friends start acting different, it seems like everything is against you and your prayers are like mere words that you can understand rather then your Spiritual language you were practicing before the change of your immediate environment (the wilderness). Because the circumstances didn't change, you, of course, start to believe that what you have been doing must change as well. Why? It is what men have preached as of late: "You cannot believe for better if you keep doing the same thing." My answer to that is, heaven and earth will pass away but the Word shall remain (Matthew 24:35 KJV). God tells us to state our case and remind Him of His Word. His Word cannot return to Him void. So when you have done all you can - stand therefore. It is that standing allowing patience to have her perfect work that is contending with what you truly believe. How long have you been in that place waiting for answers?

How long did David run asking Saul why? David could have sliced Saul in two instead he showed him a piece of his garment that he cut while Saul slept. David was trying to convince Saul that he was not the problem (1 Samuel 24:9-11 KJV). The woman had a 12 year issue of blood and spent all she had to physicians, yet when the opportunity to touch the hem of Whom, she believed has the answer, she went for it (Luke 8:43-47 KJV). 12 years she waited to get her issue resolved, yet she had to be at the right place and at the right time to get what she was looking for. Jesus was led into the wilderness where the enemy made his attempts to take Jesus in the realm of fear. Yet Jesus maintained using the Word and resisting any urge to do anything other then being the task of Lord and Savior for us all. That's three examples of wilderness living that could have gone so wrong but because of commitment and submitting to what God has called of them, they were able to come out from the the trouble, issue, and temptation.

Though the wilderness may not be literally a dessert land, it may very well feel as if it is depending on your  social, financial, and spiritual status. Someone who use to reside in a 5 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom house that has to downsize to a 2 bedroom apartment could be the upgrade someone else is hoping for. God looks to see if you can still be joy filled in a place of abase or abound. Can you still speak of His praise when matters don't seem praise worthy. God told the children of Israel when they come into that place of plenty for them not to forget Him. When they have wells that they did not dig and those houses that they did not build to remember Who it was that made those provisions (Deuteronomy 6:10-12 KJV). To come out of the Valley of the Shadow of Death is being satisfied knowing that God is the Author and Finisher of your faith (Hebrews 12:2 KJV).

No comments: