How can a person tell if he is a Christian, which is a follower of Jesus Christ, His Spirit, and His teachings? #2
16 To those who have no sense [to keep their desires under control] she says, “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 17 But little do they know that the [spiritually] dead are there, that her guests are deep in the realm in the [already spiritually] dead.
How can we tell who the people of God are? Let’s look at it from an individual perspective. Yesterday, we looked at meeting Jesus. Today, we look at our desires.
2. Once you met Jesus and received the Holy Spirit, your desires began to change: The Spirit begins to grow spiritual fruit (Galatians 5:22-23) in your life.
- You desire the love, joy and peace that come from being in fellowship with Jesus;
- You begin to sense the nudges and the restraining pull of the Spirit as you walk through the day helping you become patient, kind, and good;
- You realize over time that God is conforming you more and more into the likeness of His Son as you become faithful in walking with Him, gentle in spirit with everyone, and having self-control in all areas of your life.
I’m not saying that your old desires won’t rear their ugly heads, because they will. But, the Spirit in us causes us to realize that when we lean toward those old desires, there is a tension between us and Him. It’s like a wheel that gets out of balance, or a string on a piano (each key has two or three strings) gets out of tune with the others. We crave harmony, so we begin to adjust our desires to match His desires. In fact, if we make our desire to make His desires our desires, then we know that He will make it so. Psalm 37:4 says, “Commit your way to the LORD and He will give you the desires of your heart.” Committing your way to Him is making His desires your desires.
This process is called, “sanctification.” It’s a churchy term that means that we are being remade into the image of His Son, Jesus. It’s His process and His doing; we simply do as we are led by the Spirit. We “pay attention to the tension” and get rid of it so that we can make beautiful music together with the Spirit!
How can we have victory over our sinful desires? We don’t have to! Christ already has. In fact, “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have [through Him] nailed the passions and desires of their sinful nature to His cross and crucified them there” Galatians 5:24. We already have the victory in Christ Jesus! The next verse tells us how to live,
25 If we are living now by the Holy Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit as He leads us in every part of our lives.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself!
Abba, please plant deep within us the experiential knowledge that we have been crucified with Christ. We can die to our passions and sinful nature and live for You because Your Spirit empowers us to do just that! It’s hard, but it’s worth it. Just experiencing Your love, joy, peace, hope and grace when we are in tune with You and walking in step with You makes it all worthwhile. Thank You, Abba. You’re awesome. Amen.