I’ve been pondering over this thing of living by the Spirit of God, and getting practical real-life understanding and words around what that really means. I’m planning to explore various aspects of this as I spend time thinking, pondering, musing over it with God’s Spirit, the bible, my wife, and friends. I’m seeing more and more that there are really two options for us: live by the Spirit of God, or live by our sinful nature. The interesting part for me is that I’m realizing that MUCH of what has been considered normal living for followers of Jesus is actually living by the sinful nature, and I’ve been duped into not recognizing it as such. So for the sake of getting some clarity on the practical part of “what does this really look like” as God brings wisdom on it, I will likely draw some comparisons of the two in the midst of common scenarios for us believers today.
The focus for this research project came to me when I recently read this in Paul’s letter to the Roman believers:
“I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.”
“Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
I’ve concluded that I am living largely out of the sinful nature at this time in my life. Being a parent of small children (3 and 5), is helping me see this! But the good news is that there’s so much to look forward to as God pulls me more and more into living by his Spirit.
3 replies on “living by the spirit: the way of a believer in Jesus”
This reminds me of something I read about being a ‘new creation’ in Christ. The reading was about how we are a 3rd creature, no longer a flesh creature, not a spirit creature, but a new flesh/spirit creature. There are no others like us, not in heaven or on earth. Angels are not like us, un-redeemed humans are not like us. Only redeemed children of God are this new 3rd type of creature. We have a uniqueness that is unparalleled in both realms, and because of it, we have direct connection to both realms. We can tap into a power that moves us beyond our human understanding.
It al sounds so esoteric, so new-age, yet it’s a powerful truth of Jesus that the ‘church’ seems to be afraid to admit or teach. “Oh, lets not get to metaphysical, you’ll confuse people”.
I use to say, “I wish I could unzip this ‘Gordon suite’, and step out a Spirit man and rid myself of my flesh”. But on this journey, I realized that I don’t need to unzip and throw off my flesh suit, I need to focus inward to the indwelling Spirit, and allow intimacy with the Spirit to manifest out, becoming stronger than my flesh, overcoming my flesh.
Have you found it as hard as I have, to convey this concept to less Spiritually mature Christians?
Well, I hadn’t thought about it in terms of a 3rd creation, but I think I get your point. Perhaps another way to look at it is a restoration of who he had created us to be in the first place. Either way, I agree that the message of “old things passed away, new things have come” is powerful, something I need to be reminded of often. Thanks.
Hey, yes! That’s a great thought! We have been brought back to what He originally created in Adam and Eve; a flesh/spirit being!
After the fall, God’s Spirit was basically severed from mankind and he no longer had intimate fellowship with the Creator, no longer ‘walked and talked’ with God.
Now, through redemption by Christ, the Holy Spirit has returned, inside us, giving us back that intimate connection. We can now ‘walk and talk’ with God.
I truly believe in what Frank Viola says about God’s eternal purpose- that he wanted intimate fellowship with His creation. He began it in Genesis, and restores it fully in Revelations. But, we who have chosen life, get to partake of it here and now, halleluiah!
Ok, I’m sure you know all this, but I just like working the thoughts out seeing them live as words. 🙂