Spirit & Instinct

To look at it one way, I see Christianity as saying that I should make a everyday choice to rise above living by the instincts of body and mind & an everyday choice to live by the Spirit – not just any, but the Spirit of God. How do you find this Spirit of God?

Oh, and as a hint from me to you: Prayer, persistence, and reading the word – when I’m not consistent about those things, I generally default to instinct.

 

‘But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.’ (Galatians 5:16-17)

‘…and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints’ (Ephesians 6:17-18)

 

Inkazimulo yakhe (for his glory),

Z.

Where Are You Sitting?

Where are you sitting?

(Edited notes from party of a bible at my sister’s house)
[All scripture passages quote/paraphrased from the ESV bible.]

Do you know where you are sitting right now?

[God the Father of Glory’s great might] ‘…worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.’ (Ephesians 1:19-21)

‘…by grace you have been saved — and [God] raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.’ (Ephesians 2:5-7)

I will ask you again, do you know where you are sitting?

The devil thrives on our ignorance and complacency. He creeps and crawls the earth, looking for every opportunity to devour us (by tempting us with worldly things).

‘Be sober- minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world.’ (1 Peter 5:8-9)

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32 – Jesus speaking)

If we are not satisfying things of the spirit, we are satisfying things of that flesh that was made from dust.

‘…then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.’ (Genesis 2:7)

‘The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
cursed are you above all livestock
and above all beasts of the field;
on your belly you shall go,
and dust you shall eat
all the days of your life.”‘ (Genesis 3:14)

‘But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.’ (Galatians 5:16-17)

We have dominion over everything worldly, dominion that comes straight from God the Father through the grace of Christ! Walk habitually in the Spirit so you will not forget God’s power in you, and your rightful place at his right hand.

‘And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.’ (Genesis 1:25)

‘By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world already. Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.’ (1 John 4:2-4)

‘I can do all things through him who strengthens me.’ (Philippians 4:13)

Again, be alert and watchful in the Spirit. You are Godly royalty.

Contradictions in the Bible

Why do I keep holding onto my faith despite finding so many contradictions in the bible? Because those contradictions always – always – turn out to be my own.

 

‘But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for work.’ (II Timothy 3:14-17)

 

‘…the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.’ (Hebrews 4:12)

 

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Matthew 22:34-40)

 

For Your Glory, God.

On Injustice

There is much injustice in this world. It’s upsetting to see it all around, let alone experience it as often as some people seem to (unfairly)! Lucky, privileged, blessed; there are a number of ‘nice’ adjectives that could describe my life so far. Ever the optimist, I have this hope that everyone will see the luck/privilege/blessings they deserve in life, especially people who’ve seen much injustice and unfairness. But there’s a flip side. I often find myself wondering when my pretty life will be ‘balanced out’ and what injustices I’ve yet to see. After all, it’s rude to be arrogant and life should be fair, right?

Sure, but…

“…God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” (II Timothy 1:7, ESV)

After a war of logic inside my head that must have looked from the outside like a Shakespearean soliloquy (okay, probably not), I can say to myself ‘hold on a second, why live in fear when I can just appreciate my life and try my best to share the good that I am given?’

We all seem to acknowledge that these ‘us-and-them’ barriers exist in some way or other, like the barrier between ‘fortunate people and unfortunate people’, and it’s very easy to get stuck on either side of those imaginary walls. As a chronic fence sitter (which is just as bad as being on either side), there are some things I have to say.

We are all blessed. There is something you have been given much of (despite what you don’t have). Find what it is and share it! Be it happiness, wealth, love, etc.; be humble about it but generous with it to the people who don’t have as much of it as you do.

There is something or other that each of us lacks, but that’s no reason to live in despair. Pray and be hopeful (‘keep the faith, baby’ as I once heard it in a school musical). When the answer to the prayer is ‘no’, move on to the things you are meant to be concerned about. There is always, always something to learn from the situation in which you find yourself. Strive for wealth of life, not of the material things in it; that is to say live for life IN abundance, not for a life OF abundance.

When you feel yourself getting too comfortable with the side of the fence you are on (even if you’re sitting on it), do something about it. I’d do well to remember this more often myself.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”(John 10:10, ESV)

For His Glory.

Edited from 3 March 2011

What’s the point of marriage?

It’s definitely been too long since I’ve even visited this blog, let alone posted something on it! Here’s my first post for the year (and in over 8 months!): it’s an article about what the point of marriage really is – complements of RELEVANT Magazine – with which I completely agree.

A little teaser: Sharing life with someone and raising children are two great joys that are plainly there for everyone to see (in healthy marriages, at least) but there’s a third thing many of us may be missing…

Here’s what RELAVANT has to say.

Enjoy, and I hope you learn something from it.

For His Glory.

Edited from 23 February 2011

Kristianity and Charma

There are a number of things I’ve been questioning (or, as I like to say, ‘marinating over’) of late. Sitting listening to a church sermon this evening, the pastor touched on something that brought it to my attention that most of my questions come from one underlying thing: karma. He made a valid point – despite my claiming to be a Christian, I had somewhat subscribed to the philosophy of karma – ‘If I do good, good will be done to me’… ‘Why me; what have I done to deserve this?’.

Sure, my questions still seem unanswered but I now know that I haven’t been forgotten or left to live life on my own. The God I believe in is greater than karma: I’ve done bad without wanting to, I’ve done good without even knowing it! Despite what I deserve though, what it really boils down to is what God has in store for me. And – correct me if I’m wrong – that’s spending eternity with Him (John 3:16), yes?

It’s almost impossibly tough to believe at times, but that’s where Christ comes into the picture. Salvation is something I could never gain on my own…

“Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” (Galatians 3:3)

For His Glory.

Edited from 13 June 2010

Psalms

“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes. The fear of the LORD is pure, enduring forever. The ordinances of the LORD are sure, and altogether righteous…” (Psalm 19:7-9, NIV)

 

Through many a rough time, reading through the Word has brought me much comfort (as well as much discomfort – a lot of it is tough to chew on!). It’s been especially so for me with the book of Psalms.

The works of the psalmist grab me in a way few other books of the Bible do. The matters at the heart of his writings really resonate with me – they touch on many of the issues I often stumble upon along my walk with God.

Of all Biblical figures, the psalmist – David – is the one to whom I feel I relate the most. The life he led was far from perfect (the same can be said of every biblical person, save One) but what I find outstandingly inspiring about it is his passion for God. I can’t help but wonder what creative ways he would’ve found to express it were he alive today.

Anyway, putting the focus back where it should be, God himself called David a man after his (God’s) own  heart (Acts 13:22; 1 Samuel 13:14). Call me crazy but I’d be over the moon were the Creator able to say something even vaguely close to that about me.

I’ve been trying to read through all the psalms and it’s taking me much longer than it should, but I praise God for what he reveals about himself throughout the Psalms. He’s ever there and always faithful. When I’m at my worst, I’ll still put my hope in him. When I’m at my best, I’ll sing songs of praise to him for who he is.

Don’t quote me on this but I think David also had quite good a sense of who Jesus was (going to be). After all, doesn’t all of scripture (as a whole) to point to him anyway?

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.”(Psalm 19:14, NIV)

For His Glory.

Edited from 3 May 2009