As Christians, we are not immune to emotions especially hurt, anger, and frustration. However, we do have the ability to choose how we respond to the difficulties of life. Recently, I experienced several weeks of frustration. A lot of it had to do with the fact, I was surprised by my reaction to a difficult situation. I'm a Christian, I thought I was done responding to things this way. Didn't Jesus and I go around this mountain a few times before? I'm confused; did I not learn the lesson? Don't you hate when the old nature tries to resurface? It calls into question so many things. Whenever this happens, I tend to become disappointed, frustrated, and impatient with myself.
The frustration brought me to my knees, asking God for deliverance. After spending several weeks in prayer and pillows soaked with tears, I heard a gentle whisper inside, “whenever you are ready, you can step out of it.” I was perplexed and not sure how to respond to this word. Hum, what does this mean, "I can step out of it"? Unfortunately, it would be another week of emotional turmoil. I found myself crying on multiple occasions in the shower, asking God to intervene, and again I heard “whenever you are ready, you can choose Me and step out of this.” I expected the situation to change, but God was revealing the powerful truth: I have a choice! I was wallowing in my emotions allowing them to drive my actions. It's hard not too right? I am human, but I am also spirit. This is the tension we live in as Christians and I oftentimes need the reminder that I have the Holy Spirit to help me and I always have a choice.
The apostle Paul admonishes us to walk in the Spirit. He doesn't tell us to walk in the Spirit as though it is contrary to our new nature in Christ; but because it is our nature in Christ. “by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” II Peter 1v4 [boldface mine].
There has been a tremendous change beloved, but get this: It's an inside job! Paul wrote to various churches to remind them, and in doing so, he reminds us, our life is in the Spirit. We don't live in the time of the Old Testament, where the Holy Spirit comes upon us and leaves; rather, the Holy Spirit’s address is in us. Romans 8v9, “But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.” [boldface mine].
There was a time when we were bent towards sin. Our default was base; even when we did the right things, the motives were probably sketchy. Accepting Jesus Christ changed everything! Our Savior paid our sin debt with His body, efficaciously putting an end to sin and death. But He didn’t stop there, we were raised to new life in Him, robed in His righteousness, and given the Holy Spirit.
In Christ, our new creation "default" is in the Spirit. Did that register? Our new normal is in the Spirit. This doesn’t mean we walk or act perfectly, but our reality is one where we have a choice: we can purpose to walk in the Spirit or resort to walking in the flesh. Although we are hindered in an earthly suit, the Spirit of the resurrected Christ is in us, and we dwell in Him. Let's face it, life is challenging but we do not need to be subject to a limited or finite perspective. Although our feelings and thoughts might be valid, they don't have to drive our actions. We can release everything into our Savior's hands, not attempting to understand but embracing Who He Is and who He has given us in the person of the Holy Spirit.
In John 14v16, 26, Jesus provides insight into the work of the Holy Spirit, helping us and leading us into all truth. In John 16v7, Jesus expressed how it would be to disciple’s (our) advantage that he goes away so the Helper would come. Beloved, this is our present-day reality. The flesh will always attempt to exert control. Its snare is in its comfortability, familiarity, and ease. But we don't have to respond in our flesh. It is a powerful truth. We have the capacity in Christ to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit and appropriate our authority.
Child of God, we can receive wisdom and understanding at any given moment, for every situation. We have the ability to see with spiritual eyes shifting from the temporary to embrace the eternal. Life in the Spirit is not setting ourselves on autopilot but walking through life with the Pilot who created the plan and has the directions. We are not alone. Sometimes, it is easy to fall prey to our emotions and forget Who we have and who we are in Christ. Beloved, God loves us so much, he left nothing to chance. We have the Divine Guide.
Thank you for loving us. Thank you for making us new creations in Christ Jesus. Thank you for pouring Your Spirit into us. Help us receive the abundance of grace made available to us through Jesus Christ. Help us to abide in Your Word, respond to Your promptings and obey.
In Jesus Name, Amen.