So many of us struggle to overcome bad habits, addictions, and things we feel are binding up our minds. Do you try to deal with it by studying the Bible more? Going to church more? Trying to place rules and regulations on your behavior? These are typical attempts to overcome the sin in our lives.
In reference to Romans 8:12-13, some might say, “I have to put to death the misdeeds of my body…”. “I’ve got to crucify my flesh as it says in Galatians 5:24.” But how is it even possible to crucify yourself? If you tried to lie down on a cross and pound a nail through your wrist, even if you could somehow endure the pain, you're only half crucified because you won’t be able to strike the other nail. How do you put to death the misdeeds of the flesh? Romans 8:13 says it is by the Spirit.
After capturing the ark of the covenant from Israel, the Philistines placed it in the temple of their fish god, Dagon. The next morning, the Philistine priests got up to find Dagon had fallen down before the ark (see 1 Samuel 5) They stood Dagon up and went on their way. The next morning, they entered and saw Dagon, facedown on the floor again, but now with his head and hands broken off. At this point, you would think the priests would have said, “Something's fishy here. This isn't working." But, instead, they chose to side with Dagon. They stood him up, patched him together, and said, "The ark's gotta go.”
Precious people, the way to gain victory over whatever it is you are struggling with is not by trying to ‘topple Dagon’ on your own, but to bring in the ark. The ark represents the presence of God. Whatever your Dagon might be, you need to bring in the Spirit of the Lord. How? Love the Lord. Get up tomorrow morning and before your feet hit the ground, drop to your knees, and give your life to Him. When He whispers in your heart during your coffee break, "Pull away and talk with Me…” just do it. When you're deciding what to listen to or look at during lunch, do what the Spirit tells you to do. Allow the Spirit of God to fill your heart and you know what will happen? You'll lose interest in the stuff that dominated and controlled you--not because YOU wrestled with Dagon, but because you brought in the ark and allowed its light and truth to influence your life.
That's why Romans 8 is so thrilling! Too many believers are trying to fight evil habits and tendencies on their own, with their own strength. That is exhausting and it won’t work! If you walk into a dark room, you don't scream, karate chop, start teaching about, or rebuking the darkness. YOU TURN ON THE LIGHT!
Bible study, church, small groups, and Christian practices along this nature are incredibly helpful. However, it is crucial to learn how to recognize when the Spirit is speaking and leading in your life if you expect to be able to walk in the Spirit… “For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.”
Peace and joy my friends.
Kevin Weston 5-5-2020
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