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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Road Less Traveled...

“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:” (Deut. 28:2)

God promised blessings to Israel for their obedience but curses for their  disobedience.
Today I have been trying to wrap my mind around how Israel could walk away from God and the blessings of keeping the law versus the curses. Time and again we see men who did this throughout the Bible. I can’t help but wonder, “Did they KNOW God?” They knew about Him and saw all that He had done, but did they have an intimate relationship like Moses or Joshua or King David? However, even they messed up at some point and time (striking the rock, making a deal not to harm the neighbors who pretended to come from a distant land, and  Bathsheba). But God still loved them.

Don’t we all mess up or is it just me? I think that all of us will continue to be tempted to do wrong throughout our lives, but it is our choice to walk with the Spirit or in the flesh; to abide in Christ or try to thrive on our own.  

Paul summarizes this struggle: “So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in the sinful nature a slave to the law of sin” (Romans 7:25). Thankfully Paul didn't stop there. At the beginning of Romans eight he points out we are unable to defeat sin in our lives, God did this by sending Jesus to die on the cross.  We have been set free and are no longer condemned by our sin!  We are free to live our lives in accord to God's Spirit.  (Romans 8:1-4 : There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.)

The Holy Spirit helps keep us from sinning (Romans 8:11-12) When we chose to live and listen to the Spirit, it is possible to turn away from sinning and walking in the flesh. By turning away from sin we are walking in the Spirit. We are walking by faith and not by sight....and we make it our aim to please Him (2 Corinthians 5:7,9b).

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