...my main question right now, is: are we really being led by the spirit at all times? which is what i want to believe. because the spirit is life. and i am alive. now and forever. did i go against the spirit and thus cause anxiety? Vivien
and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. And if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who indwells you. So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh-- for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, "Abba! Father!" The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him in order that we may also be glorified with Him. Romans 8:8-17
Notice how in the midst of this often confusing passage the simple statements: "However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you ... For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God." Those who are born of God are being led by the Spirit of God. Just consider how often our behaviors cause us to conclude that we are in the flesh. But Paul was quite clear in declaring that being indwelt by the Spirit of God negates that possibility.
You see, we have been taught to judge what it is to be led by the Spirit when the results fit the usual idea of good outcomes. Here, Paul ties it all together so that even suffering is realized as falling within that leading. Pay attention to the range of suffering that might otherwise cause us to assume that we've been operating in the flesh:
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Romans 8:35
Forget the fact that this is a Bible verse. To the people Paul wrote this, these would have seemed as very valid reasons to assume that they had been out of God's will, out of his favor, or living in the flesh.
For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39
Being led by the Spirit is all about that love of God. It's not just saying that these things can't separate us from God (as in a positional security sense), but that they can't separate us from his love. For this is the very stuff that has been shed abroad in our hearts, the very substance of our lives. After all, the fruit of the Spirit is love. Our being led by the Spirit is the continued presence of his love working in and through us.
And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28
Even the heartaches, the disappointments, the hurts, that is, that which is meant for evil is turned into good for us. And this is true despite all appearances that such outcomes demand that we must be in the flesh rather than in the Spirit.
That book "The Naked Pastor" is pretty good. but he talks alot about sin and our sinful nature, which he calls the flesh, and that at any moment we are either choosing to go by the flesh or by the spirit. this seems true, considering all the stupid things we all still do. but it doesn't resonate with my heart. I think God has a plan that is so big that when I try to figure it all out, it is hopeless. Trusting Him makes more sense. Vivien
I fully recognize that many Christians hold to the lie that we still have a sinful nature, but this is exactly what has been done away in Christ.
What I really think is that when Jesus said the road is narrow, he wasn't kidding. I want to start living again. and not to believe any lies. Vivien
Yes, the road is narrow, for it is Christ himself. The teaching abound all around us that would have us running to anything but Christ. Oh of course, Jesus Christ will be brought into the mix, but the truth is that anything else brought in ends up replacing him.
Love, Jim :)
Here it is: You said!!!!! "Being led by the Spirit is all about that love of God. It's not just saying that these things can't separate us from God (as in a positional security sense), but that they can't separate us from his love. For this is the very stuff that has been shed abroad in our hearts, the very substance of our lives. After all, the fruit of the Spirit is love. Our being led by the Spirit is the continued presence of his love working in and through us." I can't believe how DEEPLY ingrained we have been made to believe that everything is determined by our behavior. all the crap (shovel stuff) that is stuffed down our throats regarding our need to perform. I didn't see it. that I was determining my "success" in being led by the spirit by my desired outcomes. actually I did. that is why I was on a doom course.... which, is of course, a paradigm with only 2 logical conclusions. i am stupid, or God is bad. Jesus is the way out of all binary thinking. traps that is. God actually told me to leave the outcomes to Him and to trust him. to stop trying to figure it out. to enter into the mystery. His leading is love, not a step by step directional manual. how boring that would be anyway. and i would hate it. that's freedom. Off the continuum again! I am so happy. I wish you could know how much. yah, we will have trouble. as if not. sure i get tired of suffering. it seems i've had my fair share. But compared to what I have received in Jesus, Him, it is worth it. I see it now. That what ever we go through He will be there, is there. With abounding love. i knew this. i just got deceived again. not hard, considering how much i would love to have a loving companion. and i thought that after so many years of counselling and "insights from God, that i should be able to "pick" a good person. so what. I set myself up. If it takes more suffering to get that one after the 99 that 's ok with me. Eternity is a long time for God to share all his wonderful things with us. But right now I have the best thing. Him. And he has me. and you. Thanks!!!!!!!!!!!! Vivien