The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
Born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ live our earthly lives as executioners, that is, God calls us to "through the Spirit… mortify (put to death) the deeds of the body" (Romans 8:13). This refers to impulses and desires that originate in our flesh inhabited from Adam, or that which the Apostle Paul refers to as a "law of sin" (Romans 7:23). "The flesh lusteth against the Spirit" (Galatians 5:17).
Putting carnal deeds to death primarily involves slaying the thoughts that lead to such actions. Despite the presence of the Holy Spirit within our innermost spiritual being, thoughts still course through our brains contrary to the glory and will of the Lord Jesus. By the Word of God and the Spirit of God, we must identify and reject any notions or perspectives that conflict with His truth. Consider, for example, a resentful or bitter thought that comes to mind toward another person. We'll call him George. George has hurt us, acting toward us in a manner that brought harm. The issue is real and we've sought reconciliation with our offender to no avail. He simply won't acknowledge his wrong. Thus, when we think of George, painful thoughts come to mind, along with inclinations of spite and anger. Left unchallenged, the aforementioned bitterness and resentment will quickly ensue, resulting in "deeds of the body" that bring misery to ourselves and perhaps others. "To be carnally minded is death" (Romans 8:6).
Again, we are executioners. Something is occurring in our flesh that must be killed. Our spiritual selves in Christ, united to His Spirit, must arise by His leading and enabling to do something. "Awake to righteousness and sin not" (I Corinthians 15:34).
"Heavenly Father, these thoughts and inclinations regarding George are not of Your Spirit. I know this in accordance with the teaching of Your Word. I believe George has sinned against me, but I know that the Scriptures teach that we are to "let all bitterness and wrath and anger… be put away from you, will all malice" (Ephesians 4:31). I therefore determine to think in accordance with Your Word. Rather than stew in resentment toward George, I choose to obey the Lord Jesus' command to "pray for them which despitefully use you" (Luke 6:28). I will therefore pray for George, seeking to bless one who has hurt me. I do believe he needs to realize his wrong, and I pray that he will, along with whatever steps of repentance he needs to take. And if there is anything else I need to do, I trust You to lead me accordingly. However, I will not be controlled by fleshly thoughts and desires, but rather by the thoughts of Your Word and the leading of Your Spirit."
Replacing fleshly thoughts with thoughts based on Scripture empowers us to fulfill our role of putting to death carnal deeds of the body. How we think results in what we do. This means that as believers, we must have active and engaged minds that are always ready to serve as the executioners Scripture commands us to be. We do not have to be brilliant in order to walk with God (thankfully!). But we do have to think. Indeed, we cannot kill if we do not think in accordance with the Bible that identifies thoughts and inclinations condemned by our Lord. Moreover, the steps of faith and faithfulness we are called to take proceed from overcoming fleshly thoughts by replacing them with truth. In the aforementioned narrative regarding George, further steps on our part may be required. These steps won't be taken if we allow fleshly thoughts to remain alive in us. However, if we "think on these things," that is, on God's truth, we are far more likely to be responsive to the Holy Spirit's leading of restoration and reconciliation (Philippians 4:8).
Executioners. This might seem a somber calling of God's grace in Christ. However, putting to death the deeds of the body by killing thoughts and attitudes of the flesh prepares us for paths of peace that cannot be travelled apart from decisively killing any notion contrary to the glory and will of God. Or, as the Apostle Paul declared…
"For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds, casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ."
(II Corinthians 10:3-5)
Weekly Memory Verse
We give thanks unto God and our Father, praying always for you.