Life In The Spirit
Romans 8:1-16 is a wonderful passage that demonstrates the struggle of living in the world but trying to be separated from it all at the same time. This passage speaks to the law, power and witness of the spirit. Here, Paul speaks to the spirit-filled ways in which we can live in Jesus Christ by our faith in God. Conversely, he describes how we live if we choose the world over our relationship with God.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God.”
The picture Paul paints in this scripture is such a contrast. He clearly says ‘life in the spirit is this’ and ‘life without the spirit is this’. I think it’s easier for some of us to walk the straight and narrow. These few-and-far-between people sincerely focus on God so much that matters of this world don’t even bother them. However, there are others who simply cannot resist what the world can offer, and they get involved in it, and consequently, are overcome by the world.
And still there are even others who constantly struggle because they know the right path to take; sometimes they falter, and sometimes they are victorious. I believe that this is probably the way most Christians live today. They want so much to please God and to live such a healthy and pure life, but the world is all around them and their relationships with God are just not strong enough – on their part, of course – to withstand the seemingly irresistible offers the world shows them.
And the constant struggle we’re talking about will not be too much too bear every single day. Many days will be a piece of cake to live through and overcome; others are harder to conquer. I think it’s kind of like a roller coaster, just like the way life is.
So, how can you make the struggle easier to deal with on a daily basis? Well, I think the trick is to build and grow your personal relationship with God to make it so strong that it can defeat anything and everything the devil wants to throw at you. Ephesians 6:10-12 gives us a great recipe:
” Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.”
As Christians we need to remember that we have conquered Satan at the moment we personally invite Jesus Christ into our hearts. We don’t even need to worry about anything the devil throws in our paths to trip us because we have God with us who is able to do exceedingly abundantly over all with can ask or think – Ephesians 5:20.