Unleash Your Inner Warrior
“The reason why many are still troubled, still seeking, still making little forward progress is because they haven't yet come to the end of themselves. We're still trying to give orders, and interfering with God's work within us. ” —A.W. Tozer
When we talk about the old nature, or the flesh, or our personality, or soulish nature, we are referring to a lost person who only has life through having physically been born. But the moment we are saved, the old man is crucified with Christ, and we gain a new spirit by a spiritual birth! That is why believers are called born again! However, we are told that we will face conflict between our flesh and our new spirit. Galatians 5:17 says “What your corrupt nature wants is contrary to what your spiritual nature wants, and what your spiritual nature wants is contrary to what your corrupt nature wants. They are opposed to each other. As a result, you don't always do what you intend to do.” Since our old nature is at work against our new nature, we must renew our minds, earnestly desire holiness and live by the fruits of the Spirit. We are told specifically what to avoid and oppose in our walk, and what to cherish and cultivate.
1 Thessalonians tells us to stay away from every kind of evil. Philippians 4:8 urges us to fill our mind with thoughts of all things good and holy, and goes on to describe what these things are.
Think on these things: Let these be the thoughts that guide our thoughts and direct our motives.
Paul indicates that we do have the power to control our thoughts and we are therefore responsible for them. If we keep our thoughts in order, and keep our spirit life in order, then all else will follow. In Matthew 23:26 we are told to first clean the inside of the cup and the dish, and the outside will become clean too. This means that while our outwardly motives may come across as pure, the inside can stay absolutely filthy, and our motives may be corrupt. But if we clean the inside, and our hearts and spirits are renewed and cleansed, then there will be a refreshing! We can carry on in newness of life. When we renew ourselves on the inside, it comes through every layer. Just like light, our renewed nature shines through for all others to see. We cannot be obstinate, and be Christian only by appearance, and then harbor our sin on the inside. Why should we stubbornly refuse to give up our old lifestyles? Do we think it would be easier to live as we currently are, than to walk in newness of life?
“Such is the nature of evil. In time all foul things come forth.” —The Hobbit, Desolation of Smaug.
We must function out of our 'persona', our new nature! We do this by renewing our mind. We must ask God to renew our mind, and devote time to Him each and every day. Since He has told us that His grace is sufficient, we must come to Him for our daily bread. Note, that just as the manna was enough for the Israelites each day, so Christ is our daily bread. It’s not a once a week practice, like filling up a tank at church on Sundays so we can run on it for the rest of the week. It’s also not a once or twice a year tradition, where we get just enough of Jesus at a Christmas or Easter service to last us the entire year. It is a daily process of submitting to Him, renewing our minds—it is relational. It is a relationship with the Lover of our souls.
“The terrible thing, the almost impossible thing, is to hand over your whole self—all your wishes and precautions—to Christ. But it is far easier than what we are all trying to do instead. For what we are trying to do is to remain what we call "ourselves," to keep personal happiness as our great aim in life, and yet at the same time be "good.” —C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
If you’re wondering why it seems that whenever you get closer to God, and become more mature, that suddenly all the muck begins to surface: it is because God is stirring up the dregs to get all of the negativity and nonsense and sin out of you. He shakes you up so that you can see that you still have things to work on together with Him, and that you must rely on Him for everything. You cannot be perfect out of your own strength—only He can be perfect in you and through you! So when that negativity and nastiness begins to surface, don’t run and hide in shame. He is drawing those things to the surface because He wants to get it all out of you, because He desires for us to be made into perfected completeness. He loves us too much to let us stay in our sinful nature. He loves us so much that He desires nothing more than to see all the impurities burned out of us—but it is a process that we must submit to. Submit to God and His refining fine, and be refined like gold.
Excerpt from Mere Humanity: Becoming a Mature Christian in an Immature World
© Michèle Aimée, 2015
About the Author
Michèle is a warrior with a passion for God, a deep love of writing, and a fire for combat training. As a warrior, she understands that when she is given orders, she must follow through.