There is a way that seems right to man but only leads to death.  Many will live their lives making decisions based on emotions and the whims of their hearts.  They do not accept that our hearts are inherently wicked to the point of deceiving even ourselves.  Let us live with more wisdom, following not our own desires but the commands and desires of the Lord, not yielding to the sin that remains within us.

Where do you place your trust?  Whether life is going well or has become an utter nightmare, where do you find your security?  If we think for a moment that we are sustained by any of our worldly possessions or achievements, we should think again.  Those have never paved the way to everything life.

The bondage of sin was not only a master-slave relationship for us, but it was an addiction.  This process of sanctification is very much like the recovery of an addict.  It is a process of learning to live differently, to depend on what is good instead of what is bad, and to understand how to manage the desire to return to that addiction.

We have the option to live in the flesh or live in the Spirit.  Individually and corporately, it is critical for us to eschew the flesh and choose the Spirit.  Let us review some practical steps to have our minds renewed so that we live in the Spirit for the Lord.

I remember a professor of mine who hated when her students answered questions sheepishly.  She wanted us to speak our answers boldly and with confidence, sure in what we were saying.  That is how God wants us to represent him.  When it becomes difficult to speak up for God, He will give us the courage to proclaim his truth proudly and with confidence.

The good shepherd

It is critical for us to discern whether the shepherds who lead us here on Earth lead us in Spirit and in truth.  We can look at the example of our good shepherd as our measuring rod.  Those who are led by him will lead like him.

The wolves are out!

Test the fruit you see and hear.  Seek the Lord in his word for direction and correction, because we are not above being misled.  He tells us how we can know when a sheep is indeed a wolf seeking to deceive and mislead.  We are accountable for testing what comes our way before we choose to receive and believe it. 

Still we rise

Maybe victory is not exactly how we think it looks.  Maybe it's enough just to get back up.  Maybe it's enough just to take another blow and keep going.  Maybe just facing the day is its own victory.

Hurts, pains, wounds, scars.  They can serve a great purpose in this Christian walk, but they also can be unpleasant and uncomfortable, experiences we do not wish to relive and reminders we want to turn off.  The greatest thing about those wounds and their scars is that God promises that one day they will be no more.  They will fade beyond memory, outside the bounds of recollection and never to be revisited again.

God has removed the scales from our eyes so that we can see the world around us with spiritual clarity.  One area in which this is crucial is that of life's trials.  Let us ask for wisdom and strength that we would see those storms for what they are and address them confidently in the power and authority we have in the Spirit. 

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