It takes effort! Moment by moment, day by day

It takes effort to stay in the Spirit. It is not automatic. Just because we are Christians and go to church is no guarantee that today we will remain in the Spirit. It’s day by day, moment by moment.

It would be nice if it didn’t take any real effort to remain in the Spirit. But then, would it have any real value? Doesn’t anything of real value take effort? The truth is that if we want to remain in the Spirit, it does take effort, and lots of it.

If we could remain in our little church bubble, be surrounded by our church friends all the time, this would allow us to remain in the Spirit, right? Wrong. This would be an illusion to real life in a real world full of sin and every ungodly thing. We are to be in the world. Christ was, and we are no different. “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” (Jn.17:18)

So, if we are living outside of the box (the bubble), and rubbing shoulders with the ungodly, we will be subjected to all kinds of sin and every thing imaginable under the sun. We will be tempted and tried daily. This is to our benefit if we indeed want to grow and not remain a babe in the faith. I can truly say that in all my years walking with God, it has not let up. It has only gotten more fierce as I go. It’s one thing to remain saved, yet another to try and fulfil God’s purpose while on earth. Two battles. One to remained saved, the other to fulfill your God given purpose on earth.

But, it is God’s purpose and will that we remain victorious and live in His Spirit moment by moment, day by day. Our “being set apart” (a continual process of sanctification) is God’s will. (See 1Thess.4:1-12)

What are some Keys to overcoming this flesh in this world?

What is the only way to “put to death the deeds of the body?”     By the Spirit!  “Therefore, brethren, we are debtors – not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if (by choice) by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Rom.8:12-13)

We must always be reminded that the real battle is in the mind. The battle starts here. Any sinful action always is proceeded by a sinful thought.

So what is the key to overcoming in our thought life?   Remaining in the Spirit. “bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” (2Cor.10:5) This is only possible through the Spirit. It’s the power to overcome!

It takes effort. The flesh wants nothing to do with effort. It’s weak. Weakness has nothing to do with effort. When I am weak, I want to do nothing.

“Therefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober,” (1Pet.1:13). This word “gird” has to do with “intensity” and “repetition”. Can you see the fight?

A transformation takes place when we renew our minds moment by moment. “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” Why? “so that we can prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” (Rom.12:2)

Another Key that takes effort is that we must “put off” and “put on”.  “that you put off, concerning your former conduct (your former living) the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts. And be renewed in the spirit of you mind. And that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.” (Eph.4:22-24)

This verse is key. It has a lot of good stuff in it. There is the effort of putting on and off. The putting off of our former living in the lusts of the flesh. There is the effort of allowing the Spirit to renew our minds. Again, this is a moment by moment, day by day effort. Then there is the putting on of the new man. This man is and was, created like God according to true rightness and holiness.

How about some more effort of “putting on?”  “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” (Rom.13:14). What better to put on, but Christ. Not only that, but we should not give way to the flesh. We should not provide for it. We are not it’s provider! It continually wants to lust after any and everything. It’s very nature is LUST. Why is that? Because it can never be satisfied. So why shouldn’t it lust?

Initially, we were baptized into Christ and did put Him on. (Gal.3:27). But, we can’t bank on that one initial baptism and so live to cater to the flesh and it’s lusts. There must be a daily crucifiction to the flesh. Actually, moment by moment, through the Spirit.

Like I have said many times, the greatest battle that one will ever face, is that of the battle of flesh and Spirit.

If we stay in the Spirit, we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”  This is the key!  “For the flesh lusts (it’s desire is against the Spirit) against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; (The WAR) and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (sounds like Rom.7:15). “But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the (this) law.” What law is he talking about? The law that the flesh is against the Spirit. This is the law that Paul is referring to. (Gal.5:16-18)

So, the bottom line is that it takes effort on our part. We have everything we need in Christ. We have God’s Holy Spirit indwelling within us, which gives us the power to overcome the flesh. Each day and moment, we must take out the sword, and by the Spirit, put to death the flesh.

We can expect no power, no victories, no overcoming, no going forward, unless we fight in the Spirit!

“He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name (seems like it may be possible) from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.” (Rev.3:5)

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2 Responses to “It takes effort! Moment by moment, day by day”

  1. timbob Says:

    Good morning. This is a most needed admonition; to continuously strive to walk in the Spirit. Drifting can be ever so subtle and before we know it, we’re out of sorts and wondering “whoa-what happened. (I speak this from experience.)

    Your statement about the perils of remaining exclusively around Christians (or should I say “church folk”) is most important. In all honesty, I’m closer to the Lord Jesus when sharing the gospel in that troubled park north of the bus station in Kalamazoo than when I’m sitting in our church. It will sound backwards to many, but it’s the truth.

    I apolagize for not getting by here more often. Time is in short supply these days and the situation with Matthew is becoming almost impossible to manage. This household is in serious need of miraculous intervention as things are reaching a breaking point. And yet, situation such as this will cause us to draw closer to Jesus.

    Blessings always in Jesus name.

    timbob

  2. Richard Says:

    Timbob,
    Good to hear from you bro.
    I’m the same way as far as your comment on “closer to the Lord”. And of course, why shouldn’t we be? When He walked this earth, He did the same. We are in the same spirit of Jesus when we do. Isn’t that awesome!
    Wow! I will be praying for Matthew and the fam
    God bless you brother!

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