A lot has been said about how man responds to circumstances. Behavioral modification models try to manipulate our responses… and these only last so long. The embrace of cognitive or even external religious strategies always seems to fall short in bringing about mental and emotional health in trying circumstances. The problem is in the root of our behavior, not the fruit.
The origin and inspiration of our responses needs to be addressed in order to navigate our circumstances.
Listen to this comment by a man at the pinnacle of religious devotion as he wrestles with his responses to reality:
'We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? '
Romans 7:14-15,21,24 NIV
His deliverance came when he called out to a saviour and not a religious system! Listen to the proclamation of his salvation:
Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Romans 7:,25 NIV
I would like you to cast your eye on the unique name of Paul’s deliverer: Jesus Christ! Christ was not Jesus’ surname… it was a descriptive of what gave him his delivering power. Christ means ‘anointed’ and references that Jesus had been anointed with the Holy Spirit to bring deliverance to us. The very same Christ (anointing) that was the root of Jesus’ power has become the root of Paul’s victory!
'because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. '
Romans 8:2,4 NIV
A higher power is now available to us as a source of response… and listen to the consequential fruit it has in our lives:
'But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. '
Galatians 5:22-23,25 NIV
This weekend we will look into the power of keeping the Holy Spirit before me as a source of inspiration and sanctification… it’s going to be good!!!