Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Feed the Spirit...Starve the Flesh

"Feed the Spirit not the flesh...feed the Spirit not the flesh!!!!" Makes me think of a scene in the Muppet Christmas Carol....oh, I'm digressing before I even begin! Seriously.....

Sometimes I beat myself up because of the selfishness that I seem to have little control over. I can have an awesome day in the Lord, great Bible study, intimate prayer, deep revelation. He can convict me, restore me, and lift me to the highest heights...and it only takes one incident, one moment, one injustice and all that spiritual food I just digested begins to sour in my stomach as the flesh starts taking over. It is so easy to forget the beauty of the moment. So easy to get sidetracked...so easy to start focusing on what I want instead of what God wants for me.

I try to focus on scriptures that tell me to focus on what is good, and lovely...and I resent the very words that will heal. This is the battlefield for my mind...every minute..every day.

Life has a way of feeding the flesh. People say things that hurt, finances crumble, relationships die. I place my worth in what others think and say and forget that God's esteem is so much more rewarding and lasting. My deeds will never earn the respect of others. No matter how much I do or say, I will never measure up. People will always complain, find fault, and point out flaws. As I struggle to please people, I l exhaust myself physically, emotionally, and spiritually until I am bankrupt...and still I am criticized. That's just human nature. It's what people do..even the nicest people do this! I do this to other people! So, why do people seek the esteem of others when all we have to do to receive God's esteem is to desire it with all our heart?

I only have to truly seek to please my God with all my heart. I don't have to perfect pleasing God...I only have to seek His esteem over others...and in that alone He will be pleased. In that alone He honors. What? Being honored by God? Isn't it supposed to be the other way around...well, that's just the kind of God He is! That in itself is a reward beyond measure...a freedom that has no boundaries...yet it is so difficult to do. Why?

Is it because it requires faith like a child? My sister read something to me last night that I have pondered over and over. As we mature in the flesh, we become more dependent on ourselves. As we mature in the Spirit...we become less dependent on ourselves and more dependent on God. We begin to realize just how helpless we really are apart from Him. I must be maturing because I am realizing more and more every day how little I can do apart from Him (umm His Word says that I can do nothing)....and I am discovering more and more how much I need Him..His words...constantly planted and deeply rooted in my heart, soul, and mind..feeding my Spirit and starving my flesh! That is where my strength comes from. That is how I will grow. It can't be in spurts...it has to be constant..when I wake up, when I lie down, when I eat, sleep, drink, sleep, drive, work, visit with friends, talk on the phone...

When I am not feeding the Spirit...I am not starving the flesh...so I must never stop feeding my Spirit. I know it and it's obvious in my actions, conversation, and thoughts when I am starving my Spirit and feeding my flesh.

I can't feed the flesh and be satisfied...anymore than I can make every person like me all the time. But I need only hunger for Christ and his esteem to be satisfied beyond measure.

So, why should it ever be a battle? Because I do not have to seek evil...it seeks me out. And, although God is there, sometimes He does not make His presence obvious because He wants us to seek Him out....and if I seek Him with all my heart...I do find Him..and I am filled. He hears my cries and He answers. Then, I have to stay focused (I can't even do that apart from a miracle). If I just glance away for one moment...I find myself feeding the flesh yet again.

This is my confession. This is the battle of every single God fearing human being. Read about it in the Word of God. Read about Daniel, Noah, Moses, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Sarah, Esther, Job, David, Peter, Paul.....God's prophets and apostles were not even exempt from being human.

This is the greatest thing because....Christ died. He took our punishment so therefore...there is no more condemnation...NO GUILT! NO SHAME! Nosireeebob! He took all that.

The only thing God wants for us to have about our mess ups is conviction and repentence...anything else is not from Him. Christ absorbed that on the Cross. Wow, talk about injustice. Okay...I'm starting to ramble...so what?

So, I mess up! So, maybe I talked too much or too loud. Maybe I say dingy things sometimes, maybe I do dumb things...alot! Maybe I gossip, and maybe I hurt people...maybe I get convicted..maybe I will repent...maybe I do desire to please God and maybe I want His esteem more than any other..maybe I don't...maybe I will grow deeper in Him with every forgiven mistake...and maybe I'll have to start all over again tomorrow...Thank God His mercies are new EVERY morning and His love for me never changes...He will never love me more than yesterday or less than tomorrow. He will never love me less than He did from the Cross, or when He was creating the Earth...or than in this very moment. He loves me perfectly...always has...and always will...and I can only love that way when I feed the Spirit and starve the flesh.

Oh God...make me hunger to please You. When my heart is focused on what people think about me, it is not seeking to please you...I am feeding my flesh.

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