Jesus before he ascended into heaven commanded his disciples in John 13:34-35 “A new commandment I give unto you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” God wants us to be true disciples of him by letting Him be the expressive factor in our life. In the same chapter as mentioned above vs 35 confirms this “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
It is sometimes quite easy to forget we are Children of God and seek to have things done our way without thinking of what the Lord expects of us. Let’s say someone was mean to me, the natural human instinct will be to reciprocate in one way or the other, either to satisfy my ego, to prevent the incident from recurring, to show the person their faults and the list goes on and on. In this situation, I am justified by my acclaimed right of action as my human nature is conformed to fleshly things- arguable facts or logic some might call it. when we seek to satisfy our flesh, we put aside the essential core of our existence and communion with God- The Holy Spirit. The moment you give your life to the Lord Jesus, the holy spirit dwells in you, he takes control of your spirit, overshadows it so that you become one with Him; as it is written in 1st Corinth 6:17 “for he who is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. It is by putting God first in our reactions to daily situations that enable us to grow as Christians and gives room to the express work of the Holy Spirit in us.
You might wonder how putting God first does affect our spiritual goal? Galatians 5:17 “for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things ye would.” The verse describes how the flesh and the Spirit is constantly at war and disagreement with each other. The flesh always seeks to bring us back to the old self, it always withstands and opposes our moving forward and growth in the things of the Spirit. By giving into the flesh we eat our own vomits, we accept back the dead man that should already have been crucified with Christ, we go back to our old selves, we grieve and strive with the Holy Spirit who is constantly drawing us back to God and constantly seeking to mould us into the image of Christ. By letting our flesh become a hinderance to the flow of God in us, we become Spiritually stagnant and static, walking in darkness. Nevertheless, we receive our sight and grow again when we open our hearts to the Spirit of God. God says in Genesis 6:3 “and the Lord said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh.” Have you ever experienced asking God for a particular thing and you feel He’s laid it in your heart that this isn’t His will? But you kept on asking, wanting, and finally out of your own doing, you got it. But when it came, you saw that it wasn’t good after all, you were better off without it. But again, your flesh desires to blame God; why couldn’t he have stopped this sad thing from happening?” we forget that the Spirit of the Lord will not always strive with us. But through it all, He desires that we live a fulfilling life in Christ here on earth, and He is able to use hindrances and obstacles for the glory of God in us- so that you can be a testimony to the transformation power in the blood of Jesus.
The question now is: How do we think of God first, how do we please Him first? And how do we subdue the cravings of the flesh? The answer lies in Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.” It has to begin with your mind, the way you think, the way you perceive, the way you process information will determine the way you react to things. Let your thinking come from a place of love. for example, there is a clear difference when reproving a person in anger or in love. anger tries to satisfy the ego, it is food for the flesh.
But let us take a look at what love is (1st Corinth 4-8) “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonour others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (8) Love never fails, but where there are prophesies they will cease; where they are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge it will pass away.”
So how do you renew your mind? You renew your mind in Love by reading Gods word and staying in close communion with the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit of the Lord overshadows you, you begin to function in love; because God is love. the transforming power of the love of Christ in you, empowers you to perform acts of love that you never taught you could, not even in your wildest dream. It defies all worldly reasoning and logic. it brings about forgiveness.
So, I encourage you; let your life, your reactions be all about Jesus. I pray the Lord gives you the grace to be Spirit mindful and conscious of His presence, even as you let Him be the forerunner of your life. Amen!