Why would God save us and make us His, but not remove our sin nature? Why make us work for godliness?
1 Don’t envy evil people or desire their company. 2 For their hearts plot violence, and their words always stir up trouble.
19 Don’t fret because of evildoers; don’t envy the wicked. 20 For evil people have no future; the light of the wicked will be snuffed out.
God wants people who want Him. Jesus “gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us his very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds, eager to do what is good.” Titus 2:14. In order for us to have free will to choose Him when He came to us extending salvation to us, He had to allow us to continue to choose Him as long as we are on this earth. Our saving grace is the Holy Spirit who lives in us giving us both the desire and the power to do His will (Philippians 2:13). Robin calls it the “want-to to want to.” I call it “our higher desire.”
Today, we will put off the low desires of our sinful nature and put on the higher desires of our spiritual nature:
- Entitlement –> Selflessness
- Pride –> Abandonment
- Pride –> Humility
- Impatience –> Kindness
- Selfishness –> Self-denial
- Sloth (laziness) –> Diligence
- Anger –> Compassion
- Lust –> Pure thoughts
- Spite –> Forgiveness
- Rage –> Gentleness
- Hate –> Love
- Gluttony –> Temperance (moderation)
Daunting, isn’t it? Only the Spirit can give us what we need to accomplish this task. His grace is available for the asking! The benefits of working with Jesus on these areas of our lives are:
- A certain satisfaction; it’s the right kind of gratification. We can “hear” the Spirit say, “Well done!”
- Fellowship with God–it’s the very reason for our salvation! In His presence we receive His love, His joy, His peace, and His hope for what is to come.
- Fellowship with others enhanced
- Influence increased –> Aroma (people can smell Christ on us–interesting concept, right?)
- Ability to hear the Holy Spirit more clearly
- Knowledge and experience (experiential knowledge) increased
- Moral authority: Believability; our stance brings conviction to wrong-doers
- More opportunities to be witnesses for Him
It doesn’t matter to us anymore that people think we are “Jesus Freaks” (to use a phrase from the Jesus movement in the 70’s). We hope to change their minds as Jesus changes their hearts!
Let’s be about the Father’s business today, which is aligning ourselves with Him and His Plan, making ourselves available for His use. WOW! What a calling!
Abba, You are the BEST BOSS! I love working for You. Your benefit plan is out of this world! Not only that, I get to experience You here on this earth, too. May I allow Your Spirit to have His way in my life. May I heed the direction of Jesus as He leads me along the straight and narrow path. May I allow Your Spirit to empower me to be righteous, holy, blameless, and zealous for You. Lead on, my King! Amen.