The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
"Heavenly and Earthly"
While inhabited by the Heavenly Spirit of our Lord, and while being "not in the flesh but in the spirit" regarding our innermost being, born again believers remain in earthly temples and an environment wherein we experience the realities of the present world in which we live.
"We have this Treasure in earthen vessels" (II Corinthians 4:7).
Heaven and earth unite in believers, albeit not yet perfectly. Conflict exists between our spirit and our flesh. "The flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh" (Galatians 5:17). On even our best days of walking with the Lord, we still feel the contrary inclinations and impulses that tempt our flesh. We also face the same challenges of difficulty, pain, problems, and weaknesses known by every human being who walks upon the paths of a fallen world. We are a Heavenly people, and should be guided and enabled by power from Above. However, we feel and experience the earthenness of our vessel. No less than the Apostle Paul testified to the challenge:
"But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed" (II Corinthians 4:7-9).
"Troubled… perplexed… persecuted… cast down" testified the Lord's chief Apostle. Of course, let us not forget "yet not distressed… not in despair… not forsaken… not destroyed." Paul well knew that life in Christ, as presently experienced, does not involve the elimination of earthly realities, but rather the overcoming of them. Indeed, as one author wrote long ago, "Christianity is not simply the Treasure. Nor is it only the earthen vessel. Christianity is the Treasure in the earthen vessel." Nothing could be truer, and the longer and more faithfully we walk with our Lord, the more we will know how true. "We must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God" (Acts 14:22).
Let us not expect in this life to reach a pinnacle of spirituality whereupon we do not feel the reality of this present world, or no longer experience the very real weaknesses and susceptibilities of our earthen vessel. No such pinnacle presently exists. We rather walk in the confidence and affirmation that we are a genuinely Heavenly and spiritual people in our innermost being and selfhood. "Ye are not in the flesh, but in the spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you" (Romans 8:9). The grace of God in Christ accomplished that miracle for us and within us when we believed. However, according to His perfect wisdom, our Heavenly Father determined that we live in earthen vessels and in an earthly environment that, for the present, will greatly challenge our awareness of who and what we are in Christ. He secures such reality for us, and the more we know and remember our Heavenly being in Him - in the very midst of our earthen vessel - the more we will know His power to overcome.
"Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh."
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith."
(I John 5:4)
Weekly Memory Verse
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.(Proverbs 30:5)