Saturday, March 7, 2009

The Cure for Spiritual Schizophrenia

If the definition of insanity is continually doing the same things and expecting different results; for the Christian; the definition of spiritual insanity might be continually doing things in the flesh; and expecting spiritual results.
Have you ever wondered why things aren't working for you spiritually? I have. But finally, after decades of failure I am starting to get it. It's all about flesh and spirit.
Here's what I've learned:
"But how?" you ask.
The answer is elegantly simple and lethal. You have to kill the flesh. Crucify it. Nail it to the cross.
"Well, I go to church every Sunday. I give offerings. I support missions. I take my elderly mom to the doctor once a week. I speak in tongues. I listen to Christian music. I write a Christian blog..."
Nonetheless, Your flesh has to die.
Submit everything to Christ. EVERYTHING. Not just Sundays. Your desires. Your plans. Your pride. Your time. Your money. Your career. Your hobbies. Your relationships. In short, your life. When everything is on the altar and your flesh is dead; the Spirit that raised Christ from the dead will resurrect you. When the Spirit takes control of your life, spiritual things will begin to emerge. It's really quite simple.
"Well, that's really hard. What if God tells me to go to Africa."
You'll go.
"What if He tells me to give away my money?"
You'll give it away.
"What if, what if, what if?"
Psychologists say that we will often stay in the same dysfunctional relationships until the pain of the relationship exceeds our comfort level. The question then becomes,
"Is the pain of your unsuccessful Christian walk exceeding your comfort level?"
For me, the answer was a resounding Yes. My ineffective Christian walk finally drove me to the cross. There were things in my life I had been unwilling to surrender. I was afraid. But I finally was able to give it all to Christ. I've now learned what Paul meant when he said "I die daily". (I Cor 15:31) I have always been a very willful person, so for me this means not having the final say. Letting someone else get the credit for something I have done. Refraining from saying that bit of gossip. Spending my day off helping someone else. Spending time in the Word instead of watching so much television.
Read Romans 8 again:
1There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
2For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
3For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
4That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
5For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
6For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
7Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
8So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
9But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
10And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
11But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
12Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
13For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
14For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
15For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
16The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
17And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
18For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

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