Allow the Spirit to change the way you think by reading His Word and asking for comprehension and discernment. He will give it!
9 …[the LORD] loves those who pursue righteousness.
14 The discerning heart seeks knowledge…
Changing the way we think will change the way we feel. Getting ahead of our feelings is important to overcoming sin in our lives. It’s part of the guardrails mentality. When the Lord commands the way we feel through how we think, we will be done with sin.
The tension comes from 1 Peter 4:1-2,
Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.
Let’s look at the passage:
- Christ suffered in his body- We find in John 17:19 that Jesus intentionally sanctified Himself, meaning that He set aside the cravings of the flesh in order to achieve the Plan. He then prayed that we would do the same.
- Arm yourselves also with the same attitude- Through the law we understood what we needed to do, but we had no power to do it. Through the Spirit, we have been given everything we need to live a godly life (2 Peter 1:3).
- Whoever suffers in the body is done with sin- The word, “suffers,” refers not only to pain and loss, but to struggle. We are to struggle with the cravings of the flesh to the point of pain and loss in order to overcome, which we have been promised that we would do.
- We live for the will of God- We see sin for what it is, a fleeting pleasure AND extremely destructive, and instead, crave the companionship of God. His love, joy, peace, hope and grace are always available.
So, where’s the tension? It’s in the verses that promise us that we will overcome.
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37. This verse is in the midst of a passage about great trial and suffering even unto death.
They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death. Revelation 12:11. This verse is self-explanatory.
We grow best when we are in trial and tribulation. In fact, the Church grows best in struggle and tension. Just ask the Christians in China. They asked that we would not pray for persecution to cease, but that they would be strong. Why? Because they are experiencing a great awakening over there! They have seen what happens to the Church when we experience generations of relative ease concerning the Gospel (for an example of what generally happens, read Judges).
Instead of calling our times “the last days,” I prefer to view them as a continuation of what happens in societies over a period of time, and as the Lord calling us to take up our cross and follow Him. Christians throughout the ages have experienced the same circumstances and have been called to the same renewal. Let’s be THAT generation!
Abba, I know that You are calling me to step away from politics and to focus my attention and energies on evangelship (a meshing of evangelism and discipleship). May I use Your Word guided by Your Spirit to set my guardrails in place so that I am not caught up in feelings. Anything that makes me angry or afraid needs to be run through the filters of Scripture. Help me to step back and see it coming. I know it takes failure and practice, so keep encouraging me, Holy Spirit! The best is yet to come. Amen.