12 So then, brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, 13 for if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. 14 All those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. 15 For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” 16 The Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, 17 and if children, also heirs—heirs of God and coheirs with Christ—seeing that we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:12-17 (HCSB)
Romans 8 is probably my favorite chapter in the whole Bible. There is so much to be taken away from every verse. I highly encourage you to read the whole chapter. In this passage Paul brings us this AWESOME truth! “We are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh.” I think if Paul was around today he would have posted that on his twitter and finished it of with #boom. But that’s just my personal opinion.
As believers I think we struggle to really grasp this truth. We tend to give way too much credit to our flesh. We often times listen to our flesh over the Spirit. Our Spirit tells us not to do something but our flesh says yes, so we do it. “But if we live according to the flesh we will die,” says Paul. He goes on to say, “But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
This is what this fast is all about. It’s not about starving ourselves or giving up stuff we like just check it off our Christian duty list. It’s about practicing putting to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit. If we can say no to food or certain types of food or social media or whatever you may be fasting from, how much easier will it be to say no to lusts of the eyes, lusts of the flesh, and pride of life (1 john 2:16) that we will face in the future.
What if we all decided that we were no longer going to be controlled by the flesh, but we were going to live by the Spirit? What would your life look like? What would LifeCoast look like? (Take a moment to answer these questions) Let’s not live by the Spirit for just these 21 days a year, let’s make this an everyday thing!
I dream that the Church as whole will no longer be people simply going through the motions or people who live like everyone except on Sunday mornings. But they will be a people who stand up and stand out. That people will look at the Church as the example, not the exception.
What do you dream?