GOD DID NOT WANT YOU TO SPEND YOUR LIFE FIGHTING WITH YOUR FLESH.
Jesus came, died and resurrected so that you wouldn't have to fight that battle anymore; as did those in the Old Covenant. In the Renewed Covenant (aka "new testament," God promised to write His Word on our hearts.
The gift of the Holy Spirit is more than about speaking in tongues. It is about transformation and renewal of your mind. It is meant to set you free from the negative cycle of battling your faults to earn God's love. Let me repeat, it is to set you free from the negative cycle of battling your faults to earn God's love.
Yeshua/Jesus, has betrothed Himself to us and His gift to His bride while she awaits for His return, is The Holy Spirit.
Many people don't know why they go to church. You go to church to gain greater permission to seek God outside of church. It's like that friend you met at church or a social gathering. At first they were a stranger, then an associate you said "hey" to every Sunday. At some point you sought permission to talk to them outside of church (got their number, met for lunch, etc.) Once you connected with one another outside of church you became more than just church associates connected by geographical location, you became friends. Think about it, once that happened, your relationship deepened more than with other people you see at church. You begin to share parts of yourself with that person, they know you better than others, and a relationship is formed that is mutually beneficial. This process is a blessing in the natural and very much in the spiritual.
Apostle Donnie Clark recently taught on this concept: if you are not spending time with Jesus outside of church, the two of you are not friends. Friendship is about connection and give/take. If you only take and not give back then you are a burden, not a friend. So are you just asking God for things with no intention of meeting His desires as well? Your relationship with God needs to be mutually beneficial. You might say "God has no needs"; well He does and He doesn't! He does because God has chosen to desire you, yes you. He desires you to know Him and spend time with Him. He offers you Himself. He doesn't really have needs but God knows others who are friends of His who may have needs that you can help with. Ever have a friend who was able to help you with something because that friend had a friend who was skilled in your area of need? Isn't that wonderful?! This works in tandem with Him being your Father because in the natural as you mature, your relationship with your parents change. There is a shift in dependency and being "friends" deepens your relationship that although they are no longer responsible for you, they will love helping you because you have a mutually beneficial relationship built on love and respect. You in return, don't hesitate to meet the needs of your parents, after all, they poured into you for many years when you were a helpless child.
This is the Good News, the Gospel
When we build a relationship with Him as you would a friend, meeting with Yeshua over coffee or taking Him along on a jog are "Secret Place" encounters. Consistently seeking the presence of God causes us to be transformed and renewed. We are transformed and renewed by the written and Rhema word of God.
God did not want us spending our days and nights fighting and overcoming temptations of our flesh. We will at times and we are empowered when we do so, but we were not meant to live a life where all we look forward to is subduing our flesh. No! Jesus said fear not, I have overcome the world. I'm tired of churches that build a doctrine on this idea that you need to not go here, there or do this or that because you will "fall into temptation." In other words, yea your "saved" but Jesus still left you weak and pathetic so here are some crunches and a wheelchair, you won't be able to walk on your own otherwise.
The people of the old testament demonstrated that we as humans are capable of making some really hard and awesome decisions for the glory of God but they also demonstrated that we are capable of great evil and prone to eventually give in to fleshly lust. The laws of God are meant to be guard rails and guides for us, however, because of Jesus we are free from the "burden" of the law. We all feel the burden when we try but we can't, we just can't do it right. Any of you reading this who werein church (as in no longer) but had been caught up in sin know what I mean. You were made to feel like if you didn't "straighten out" you were going to hell when you die or worse, God doesn't really like you. That is the burden of the law. See, that's why people rapidly drop away from holiness or hell ministries. They feel "well, I guess I just don't love Jesus and never can." Or they start to question the very existence of God to avoid the idea they are waiting to die and go to hell. I mean that can't be fun so I would rather think there is no God too.
Jesus' blood testifies for us and justifies us (See Romans 8:29-31 and Galatians 3:5-14). If we are needing justification that means God knows we will do wrong, but we are not judged by it if we confess it and ask God to help us. Repentance is the changing of the mind and usually that doesn't happen overnight BUT miracles happen all the time where the presence of God is allowed to operate fully - I'll save that for another post!
Do you see why "get your life together or go to hell" messages does nothing to heal the hurting?
Jesus knew how to help the hurting, people who appeared to everyone else to be just flithy sinners. God does not see your sin as the problem, He sees your mindset as the problem. When you keep giving in to sin its because you see the sin as doing something for you. Once that mindset is eliminated you won't even see the sin the same. That is powerful and life-changing. So while you (and the Holy Rollers) are upset with yourself because you desire unholy things, God just wants you to surrender it to Him and diligently seek Him. He wants you to recognize that He has a better way for you. This doesn't just apply to sin, we may be at a place where what we do is lawful but is it beneficial?Don't get me wrong...this is not easy. I struggled with this until I heard the Spirit say "You are not your desires." Many of us confuse our desires as being a reflection of our core being. That is because it feels good when we fulfill our desires. However, that is actually a lie, you are not your desires, friend. That revelation freed me. Yes, I may want to go to a nightclub and dance all over some hottie, and that would bring me a measure of joy but that is not a reflection of who I am, and therefore doing so or not doing so, is not going to bring me into a place of complete authentic peace and joy. Even if said hottie marries me and I get to dance with him in the sanctity of marriage every night, I have placed my joy in the hands of this relationship with this man. That means at any moment my world can be turned upside down if he doesn't consistently participate in my desires. See how we set ourselves up here? Yes, I would love to eat whatever I want everyday, but that measure of fulfillment is not worth the consequences and a few hours will past and I will forget the joy it brought me.
We get into this mindset I think from a young age. We desire something and feel good when we receive it and therefore associate getting our desires with fulfillment. So we surround the idea of happiness with the attainment of "things." Whether that thing is a car or a lover or status or whatever.
Thankfully, Jesus wants our joy to be full. So He teaches us that fulfillment is not in getting stuff but fulfillment is found within Him. See, once you stop searching for people and things to fulfill you and instead seek Him, He transforms your mindset. That's the beginning of finding your peace at the core of self because you have chosen to make your home in Him. So you are centered in Him, and He, in the center of you, and that is a place of calm and fulfillment. You were made by Him, and He knows exactly how to bring you joy but He wants you to find your greatest peace and freedom within yourself- while He is there. I call it your Centeredness.
Hope that makes some sense or at least intrigues you enough to start seeking Him for your peace and freedom. As I seek what I call "centeredness", I'll keep you updated on my journey. To Love and peace!
Desiree Cummings is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Liturgical Dancer, Fitness Enthusiasts and Foodie that has been impacted by the goodness and love of Jesus. All these things are woven throughout her writings.