Romans 8:12-14 (esv)
So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Welcome back to Delving into the Scriptures!
Choose how you will live! That is what we are called to do in these verses – to choose the path that we will take, with full view of the consequences.
But the choice is not what we would expect with our human eyes. When the first choice is that we can live according to the flesh – we naturally expect that the other would be to live not according to the flesh. But as we have heard before – that is impossible (look up Romans 7 for more studies). Because of our sinful nature, and the weakness of our carnal bodies, we can’t ‘choose’ in our own power to free ourselves of sin. It just doesn’t happen. And if we try ourselves – through whatever method we choose – we are still living in the flesh, because we are still trying ourselves!
So instead of living in the flesh, we need to live by the Spirit. But what does that mean?
To live by the Spirit is to give up all control – and pass the control to the Spirit of God.
To help define what this should mean for us, lets start with what it doesn’t mean. It doesn’t mean to sit back and say ‘God, you’ve got it all, so i’m going to sit back and wait for it’. Whilst there is a time in our lives to wait – it is wrong to just sit back and ‘do nothing’. If it is time to wait, then we need to actively wait. That means that whilst we take no action, we are still praying and meditating on God and His will. Maybe it means whilst we have nothing active to go forward with we are preparing – spending time in Gods Word that we can know Him better, know His ways better, and be closer to Him that when the time comes for action, we are better prepared.
So what it means to live by the spirit is to have our hands on the wheel and be active in our lives – but to seek direction, continually, from the spirit of God. I have mentioned it here before – sometimes I will go around and just be asking even of the little things ‘what now God?’. It’s absolutely amazing, that many times even in the smallest of things – an answer will come. And that small choice will lead us to places of bigger choices, and lead us to always be in the right place – the place that God has called us to be.
Because Gods will is not always about the big decisions in life – for example, pretty much everyone prays when they are getting married – God help me choose the right one! But it’s the little daily things in life that also keep us in Gods will. You don’t need to make one big mistake – as list of small mistakes will get you to the same place.
So, the choice is before each of us – will we take control over our own lives, or will we allow the Spirit of God to lead and guide us not just in the big decisions of life, but in all things all the time?
God, I pray you will help guide us in your ways. Help us to see where your Spirit would have us go that we might always be in your will, always be in the place you want us to be ready to do the work you are calling us to do. In Jesus Name. Amen.