Can you believe we've been doing our study on peace for ten weeks now? Thank you to all of you who've sent me messages on the study. This is the last leg of the study--peace with self.
We'll start with Romans 8:5-8. "For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."
Those verses pack a big punch.
Peace is produced by the Spirit. It is one of the fruits of the Spirit. It is the opposite of the outcome the flesh produces. Going it our own way always leaves us unsettled and dissatisfied. Understand that "according to" in the verses above means agreeing with. So when we walk "according to the flesh", we are agreeing with what the flesh is telling us or if we are agreeing with the Spirit we are listening, believing and obeying the Spirit.
It is standing at a crossroads. The path we choose on any given topic or any given day shows who we're really agreeing with in our hearts. Sometimes our minds justify it as semantics. The first steps in each direction might look a lot alike. But beware, down the road they take a sharp turn from one another.
Flesh and Spirit. The two are always vying for our attention. It is a battle of mind, heart and will. Flesh wants you to fail. It fights against your Christianity. Why, just when I start doing well on a diet do I run to the pantry for a snack? Because the flesh that is in me wants me insecure and defeated so that I pour all my attention on feeling bad about myself instead of being about my Father's business.
Flesh wants us weak and self-centered. When we are self-centered we are not outreaching. We cannot be focused inward and reach out to others at the same time. We are rendered ineffectual. It seems like a such a clear decision to choose the Spirit yet we all struggle greatly with this. What could be at the root of the problem?
Let's look at Philippians 4:19, "And my God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus." We feel no peace if we feel our needs are not being met. We panic and run to flesh and try and make do on our own. We need to remember that God will meet all our needs.
This includes the need to feel loved and the need to have purpose. Even our emotional needs can be met through Him.
He will meet the need--if we let Him.
Be sure to come back next Friday for the last of our talks on peace. Whatever will we talk about next?