Romans 8:12-14 Therefor, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
Remember the grumbles of the people towards Moses in the wilderness. Being challenged and stretched to believe God would provide for them seemed too difficult. Was slavery in Egypt really that comfortable, to want to return? It was what they knew, even after experiencing miraculous signs and wonders.
How often are we too comfortable in our old ways? We also have seen God work in our lives.
Recently I found myself telling our kids, “Anger destroys the one who is angry.” I ask them, “How’s that working out for you? Did shouting at me get you what you wanted?”
It’s not just our kids. We also wonder why our old ways aren’t getting optimal results.
This mirrored my own battle about to hit hard. A reemergence of an old destructive thinking pattern thrust me into hostilities I thought were already defeated. It only rearrested me with anger and resentfulness. A couple days before this trial, the Lord prepared me with a reminder. Test everything by the Word of God, and filter EVERY thought through prayer.
This mental battle left me emotionally wounded last time. I was adamant not to allow the enemy disarm my zeal for the Lord. Knowing I couldn’t fight by my own strength, I took it straight to Jesus. Through prayer I knew there was no obligation to let my thoughts dwell on something I could not understand.
Today’s verse encourages us that sin is no longer our master. We have no obligation to old urges. Nor do we have obligation to old destructive thinking patterns. For the Israelites, returning to Egypt literally meant returning to slavery. It wasn’t an option. For us, it’s not an option either. We press on following Christ.
Later the Lord confirmed truth on the radio. It spoke directly toward the doubt causing my anger and hurt. God touched my heart in that moment, and a couple other moments during this trial. His powerful Spirit guides us from beginning, every step of the way, through to the end.
Thank-You Jesus, for trials through which we can ONLY cling to You. Our obligation is not to the ways of our old self. Your Spirit works with the power displayed by Your passion for us at the Cross and Your resurrection. Holy Spirit carry us and lead us, Your beloved children. ~Amen.
For more on tossing old habits see Cast Off the Mud”