The Spirit of God

Holy_Spirit_-_Sky_Dove

Romans 8:12 KJVFor as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God

This temporary world that we live in, the things that we are exposed to and see with our eyes and hear with our ears, work themselves into what our worldview becomes as we stumble through this life that we have been given, and there is darkness around us, both within and without.

Most people can see what is wrong with others but it usually takes a while for us to recognize that all that is within is not all good. You don’t have to be a serial killer or a rapist to recognize how we are absorbed with self. What people think of us, what others like or dislike about us and our determination and efforts that we make to change their supposedly false perception.

There are also people who appear to be warm and outgoing, whose zest for life is to serve others. But it really doesn’t matter where on the scale you register, really good or really bad or anywhere in between because left on our own, we all look through a prism of sorts, we all have our own preconceived ideas and ways in which our reasoning is formed and our actions are justified.

I was reading through Galatians yesterday and came across this verse in Galatians 6:5 KJV “For every man shall bear his own burden“. The Amplified Bible gives a slightly expanded version of that particular text, it reads as follows “ For every person will have to bear [with patience] his own burden [of faults and shortcomings for which he alone is responsible].

It struck me that we all have individual and unique faults, in other words, while some of my shortcoming may be the same as yours, both of us probably also have faults different from one another. I may have a short temper, you may be prone to boasting and we both may have a strong dislike for criticism. So many of our “faults” are kept in secret, known only to us when no one else is around. So our perception of one another can be quite off track when it is based only on outward appearances. Not only can our perception of ourself be wrong but humans have a tendency to justify the wrongs that we do so that for all intents and purposes, the wrongs that we do are not actually viewed as being wrong but justified because of our needs or special circumstances. But the short story is that we all have faults.

How we form many of our perceptions about people is by their outward appearances, how they act and what they say. Some people can mask their true inner feelings very well and appear outwardly as well rounded and amicable people.

But God doesn’t look at what we exhibit outwardly, our looks, our stature etc, He looks at our heart, which means in essence that He looks at the motivation behind what we do and what we say. He looks at the actual intent or the purpose behind the action or statement.

1 Samuel 16:7 NIVBut the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.

Can you imagine having your every thought and action scrutinized for it’s true intent? Can you imagine what it would do to our perceptions of ourselves and others if we knew exactly what we and others were thinking and why they were thinking it or why we were thinking what we were thinking? I wonder how long it would take for us to change our opinions about ourselves and others to whom we engage on a regular basis? But this is what God sees. This is what God knows. This is what He thoroughly understands. Do you see a problem?

Isaiah 55:7-9 NIV reads:  

7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the Lord, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

8 “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
    neither are your ways my ways,”
declares the Lord.
9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
    so are my ways higher than your ways
    and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

As members of humanity, our perception of being a “good person” is normally based on what other people judge as being a “good person”. Joe is a great guy, he is always happy and willing to help out whenever he is needed. But nobody sees Joe beat his wife.

Jesus showed us what God sees, Jesus shows us reality from God’s perspective. And as we read the words that Jesus gave us we quickly come to the realization that our perceptions are faulty, our perceptions fall short of the whole truth as God sees it.

John 8:12 NIV says” “When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 3:18-20 NIV Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.”

Matthew 5:27 NIV “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.

And you know there is more ……

So what we are looking at here, when we turn to Jesus to basically save us from ourselves, is a whole new way of seeing, a whole new way of reasoning, in short, a whole new perspective. That’s where God’s Holy Spirit helps us, leads us, strengthens us, because God’s Spirit now lives in us, and as we grow in Him, as He forms Himself in us, we become more like Him and less like our old selves.

Hebrews 10:14 NIV “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Justified (made perfect) by faith in Jesus, while being made holy.

Galatians 2:16 NIV reads: “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

3 Comments

  1. As humans, pride is in all of us. God hates pride because it causes us to put ourselves first and everything else second. Part of growing in Christ is learning to put that pride aside, recognize it when it rises up and subduing it. Not an easy task.. We are blind to our own pride – it masks itself from our view. The Holy Spirit is will reveal our pride to us, but we have trouble listening to Him. The key is getting our eyes off of ourselves and onto Jesus. You said it well here.

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  2. Pete is so right. And confessing pride to God is an ongoing process of repentance in my journey with Christ. Thanks for this excellent and challenging post, Bruce! I can always count on you to shoot straight and to do so with grace. God bless you, my brother!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Grace.
    Thankful for that. I would be toast, by now.
    Not nice, golden toast, either.
    Crisp.
    Burnt.
    We also need grace for one another. Rules can amount to behavior modification as well as performance based approval. Jesus did not impose this on anyone. Why do we? I guess we think we know better, or something.
    As we go through this human existence, we should stand and walk with one another, giving a soft place to land when someone struggles or falls. After all, as you noted, no one is better than another. We each have our struggles.
    The Father knows it. He still chooses unconditional love and grace.

    Liked by 1 person

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