Thursday, November 22, 2007

The Sword, and The Flesh

If the bible is your coping mechanism, will it always be easy to read it? Will it be as exciting as the addictions you had in the past? Will you think about it night and day, and will it give you a thrill every time you open the pages?
When I was healed, I began to read the Message every morning. It was revolutionary for me. Of course, there are other good translations, and the Message is really more of a paraphrase, but the revolution was that: I'd read my bible before.... I knew some of what it said.... but NOW, it was more than just religeous or mysterious. Now my eyes were open, and I could see that it was TRUE. It was alive now, and made sense.
But! Later, when I was finished the Message, my sister in law gave me a Life Application Study Bible. An NIV. I was rather in awe of it, and so grateful. At that moment, I felt like no one had ever given me anything that so touched my spirit!
So I started reading it from the beginning- I figured if I'd read through the New Testament, now I ought to read through the Old. Yet now I was finding it more difficult. At first, it was very exciting, and I really loved Genesis! But as I went on, it got a bit slower. And then I got lost somewhere in the minor prophets! Argh.
What was going on? I was a Christian, I loved God, I was excited about His Spirit! But I would sit down with my bible and feel like I didn't really want to read it! Was I going through a desert, like the children of Israel did?
What I didn't know then, that I know now, is that we all have a flesh. It means that you live in a body. Your body is just your house- your transportation while you are on this earth. People from every age and people group have understood this, and some cultures have gone to very extreme efforts to provide for that afterlife (like building pyramids, or burying the emporer with all of his soldiers). So we have an understanding that we are a spiritual being, but for now, we live in a temporal body. A body that is bound to the earth.
Now, this body of yours is animal in nature, and it is familiar with sin. It can do it easily. Even a 7 month old baby yields easily to selfishness, expecting his mother to carry and fuss over him, when there is really nothing wrong. He just doesn't want to be on the floor. He wants someone to entertain him, and to make his flesh feel good! A two year old will readily memorize the word MINE! And she will declare it regularly in public settings. Children endeavor to manipulate, and control. It is not a temper tantrum, it is an effort to get the chocolate bar! (Or even a result of having been given too many chocolates previously.)
So when you read your bible, you are doing something spiritual, not fleshly, and your body doesn't like it! There is some immediate gratification to reading your bible, but your flesh (your body) will often put up a fuss. You can live in the spirit (like God does), and not pay attention to what that flesh is contributing, but every so often your flesh will still offer up a suggestion such as:
Why don't you sleep in, you really need the extra sleep...
Why don't you just get out of the house, missing it for one day won't hurt!
You're really getting too religeous anyway- that bible is getting in the way of your marriage.
Surely God doesn't expect you to be like those disciples in there, what about real life?
Didn't you forget to make dinner?
And sometimes it's even worse than that, because we are not the only spiritual beings on the planet! There are demonic enemies in ambush, with their only intent being to keep you from reading your bible.
Why? Because the bible is spiritual food! It is a weapon!! If you start reading your bible regularly, you will realize what Jesus Christ has done for you, and also start recognizing what the devil has stolen from you (your peace, your joy, your life)! Then he will have had it! Once you start using the scriptures to stand up for yourself, and to pray for help to the Lord, the enemy will be disabled in your life. He (the thief) only comes to steal, kill and destroy. He wants you depressed, miserable, and divorced, because he hates you. He hates the children of God.
Yes, you are a child of God. The bible says that God loved the world so much, that He gave His one and only Son, so that whoever believes in Him will not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16) It means that Jesus died for everyone, everywhere, everywhen. And if you believe this, you will be saved. You will gain your full rights as a child of God.
Now to survive on the earth, where there is a battle between good and evil, He has given you His word- His covenant.
Is it going to be easy to partake of that life saving Word? Sometimes. But even when it's not, it is always worth it.
Reading your bible is truly worth it.

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