The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
(a repeat from 2019)
God calls born again believers in the Lord Jesus Christ to serve as executioners, that is, 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 inherited from Adam, which is presently inhabited by a "law of sin."
"I delight in the law of God after the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members" (Romans 7:22-23).
Putting fleshly deeds to death largely 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 may come to mind, along with inclinations of spite and anger. Left unchallenged, 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).
Our Father calls us to carry out the death sentence He has decreed on temptations to follow resentful inclinations of the flesh. The law of sin in our flesh elicits thoughts and responses that must be killed. The "new creature" we are in Christ, united to His Spirit, must arise as executioners by His leading and enabling. "Awake to righteousness and sin not" (II Corinthians 5:17; I Corinthians 15:34).
"Heavenly Father, these thoughts and inclinations regarding George are not of Your Spirit, and not sanctioned by 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 walk 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 bless the one who has hurt me, as the Lord Jesus commanded. I do believe George needs to realize and repent of his wrong, and I pray that he will, along with whatever steps of repentance he needs to take. Moreover, 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 of bitterness, but rather put them to death by replacing them with the thoughts of Your Word and the leading of Your Spirit."
Replacing fleshly thoughts with truth empowers us to fulfill our role of putting to death carnal deeds of the body. How we think results in what we believe and what we do. Believers must have active and engaged minds always on the ready to serve as the executioners Scripture commands us to be. We do not have to be brilliant in order to walk with God. But we do have to think. We cannot "mortify the deeds of the body" if we do not think in accordance with the Bible that identifies impulses and inclinations condemned by our Lord. "Finally brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report, if there be any virtue or if there be any praise, think on these things" (Philippians 4:8).
Putting to death the deeds of the body by killing fleshly thoughts and attitudes prepares us for paths of faith and faithfulness that cannot be travelled apart from decisively executing any notion contrary to the glory and will of God. In our present lives, our Heavenly Father calls us to through His Spirit carry out the death sentence on the law of sin that remains in our flesh. He calls us to be executioners.
"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
Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Philippians 1:6)