This article is written for the actual Ecclesia or (Ekklesia) of God – the narrow way Christian or disciple. Too many; what I have written will appear shocking, in that I have exposed an innermost sin struggle; for the entire world to see, yet I still can claim to be moving in the righteousness of Christ within me! The accuser of the brethren loves to expose such things; so I figure to beat him to the punch!
I awoke this morning hearing my Lord, as I am with him spiritually and move dependent upon him, more and more now, as I see no good dwells within me naturally.
As I smoked a cigarette with my cup of coffee, I thought to myself: was it these smokes, which caused my heart attack ten years ago? No, came the quick reply – “I” caused it/allowed it: “thus saith the Lord.” – “I just threw that part in” to make it sound like the Old Testament God in speaking to me….
Anyway, as I just started my computer; its desktop Bible verse appeared as Walk in the Spirit. Gal 5:16, and this is just one of many examples of the spiritual man walking in Christ – verses the natural man, who does not hear or listen to the Lord, “if” they have indeed started with him…
This spiritual life operates on a completely different set of tracks, than the natural man, whom leans to his own understanding of times, events and even Bible knowledge.
I remember that my brother kept a jar of my cigarettes on his desk, at work at the hospital. This allowed all the doctors to see it – and they would have naturally asked him why they were on display at his desk..?
In his self-righteousness, he could then reply; and tell them the story about me, and “my event” building himself up in the world, (and his profession) for the entire world to see…
Yet the Bible tells us that God looks upon our “heart’s/spirit” and not the exterior, which is what the world looks upon.
The “sin of smoking” is blatantly obvious for the entire world to see – especially today! They think, moron, imbecile, degenerate, _______, you fill in the blank – so forth and so on.
Yes, and the Bible also says not to defile the temple of God; I am painfully aware of this too! Yet the bigger issue to God, is our innermost heart/spirit & soul towards him. The inner working of one’s communion with him, as opposed to apart from him; (independence) while walking in the natural, or carnal.
One is obvious to the world, and the other is not. This is why I have chosen this example to write about, despite exposing my own “sinful carnality”… Most men attempt to hide the evil they do from the light of day, so to speak. Even worse are those who attempt to make their sinful behaviors acceptable to the world, as with homosexuality in the world today; for example.
Again, the issue is sin, and what causes “you”; the most damage in separating your walk with the Lord? The paramount question for me personally, (believe it or not) is not my smoking; as I currently have the liberty to choose to do the habit, or not to do it, concerning my own personal conviction in the matter, (via the Holy Spirit) in separating my walk from my Lord. Although admittedly; I wish I had not ever started the habit.
The reason I was moved to write this article this morning, was not to beat myself up, or to give the world a reason to attack me; (which would be masochistic) but rather to use my sin struggle in showing the sharp contrast of the spiritual man, with the natural/carnal man who walks in their own understanding. Nor have I written this in an attempt to try to justify myself in the least. But rather, to point out just how different the “mindset” is between the natural man, and the spiritual one.
The difference is spiritual (of what spirit is someone of?) as in 1 John 4.
The “churchmen” uses their natural understanding of the scripture to move and function, and behavioral modification to appear as acceptable to the world around them. Whereas, the man of God, simply moves and functions in that which he has been given to do, without the trappings that most “Christians” measure people by…
We who are with Him, and naturally move in him by grace, are hated by those who do not; and never the two shall meet in fellowship!
This is why it is written in: John 15:18-27 (ESV)-
The Hatred of the World
18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘they hated me without a cause.’
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.
So, the ones who have not the Holy Spirit of God, and the ones who have chosen the broad road, away from Him; will hate those whose flesh is made manifest in Jesus Christ.
In other words, does your flesh manifest that Christ has come within you? Or do you move in independence of him, and away from your salvation, who is Christ himself, in you?! Remember, this is a heart/spiritual condition, not a four brained calculated one, which the natural world moves in, independent of the Father. Even by those who have been given the chance “to become” sons and daughters of God; and to enter in with Christ, on the narrow road, as an actual disciple.
What I call “church righteousness” kills and attempts to replace Jesus Christ in us; (which there is no replacement of) and can destroy one’s spiritual walk “in” Christ, Jesus. Our spiritual death occurs when we who know him, abide in a different vine than: “the one which has already been ransomed and paid for”, by way of the cross!
This is why the Apostle Paul called such people “enemies of the cross” the foolish Galatians, who having started with Christ, became diverted to doing what typically amounts to doing religion about him; instead of simply abiding in him, for those whom had been graced with initial illumination.
In closing, there is an election unto salvation; yet Jesus repeatedly warned his disciples to enter in “the narrow way”, (spiritually) which leads to life; in following Him. Whereas, the ones who choose the broad road: in having a love for the world, people and things of this world (supplanting Christ) leads towards destruction; and being “cut off and burnt”, instead of just being pruned by the Lord, within the sanctification process.
The bottom line is; for us who have started with Christ, will we finish with him (the remnant)? The scripture teaches that most will not; and ultimately end up in the lake of fire, with the rest of the world, who loves something more than the truth – that they ultimately “MIGHT” be saved, by way of the cross.