“…you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption.” (1 Corinthians 1:30)
“In Him we have redemption through His Blood, the forgiveness of trespasses, according to the riches of His grace.” (Ephesians 1:7)
Not of This World: We Have a Choice
“But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” (Matthew 24:13)
Redemption is a choice. We can choose to walk with God in the Spirit, or walk in the world and in the flesh. We make this choice every day, whether consciously or unconsciously.
In the world today, it seems to be harder and harder to stay on track spiritually and to live with the fire of God blazing in our hearts. It is much easier to sleep and go with the flow of dissipation by indulging the flesh. We can bail out at any time. We have the opportunity to walk with God all the time, yet we often resort to a low-level of thought and action. We live below our spiritual potential most of the time.
The Lord says, “Even though the world seems to be filled with evil and hatred, you are not of the world. You have the ability to create an environment of love and respect. How you feel and what you do will make a difference in your atmosphere and it is more propitious to do what is good and kind rather than what is selfish and defensive. Let My Spirit lead you.”
“They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:16)
When I was in that anointed place in God, at that moment, there was no evil…His love permeated the atmosphere. There were no comparisons and not even the possibility of criticism or judgment.
“For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (2 Corinthians 10:12)
“And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-5)
What is that plank in our own eye? Is it not a haughty spirit, one that is critical and judgmental – not to mention hypocritical? We measure ourselves by using those around us as a measuring stick. Very often we come to the conclusion that we are not as good as some and decidedly superior to others. Hypocrisy is saying one thing and doing the opposite. It is being disingenuous, dishonest, untruthful and duplicitous. It is trying to make others believe you are something that you are not. This may be for the sake of acceptance or accolades.
Spiritual Perfection: Making the Better Choice
Our carnal nature tends to be prejudiced, judgmental, prideful, fault-finding and without love, mercy, forgiveness, or compassion. We can make a better choice—to walk in the Spirit and not fulfill the lust of the flesh!
“For it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure. Do all things without complaining and disputing, that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the Word of life…” (Philippians 2:13-16)
We need to forget about comparisons and instead try to live up to God’s standard, which can only be met when we live and move in His Spirit. His standard is one of spiritual perfection.
“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in Heaven is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48)
We can only move higher if the Spirit of God moves us and He will not move us when we are mired in the flesh.
“Who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:13)
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6)
“For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” (Romans 8:5)
“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” (Galatians 5:22-23)
“For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life.” (Galatians 6:8)
Reach for the Prize
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
“Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you. Nevertheless, to the degree that we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us be of the same mind.
“Brethren, join in following my example and note those who so walk, as you have us for a pattern. For many walk, of whom I have told you often and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the Cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.” (Philippians 3:13-19)
When we truly rise above the things of the earth, we will find that place in Spirit where there is only the pure essence of God.
“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Philippians 4:8)
Consider Love. We tend to think of love as a feeling of affection, but love is a choice.
“Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy and understand all mysteries and all knowledge and though I have all belief, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails…” (1 Corinthians 13:1-8)
We are reaching higher, going beyond religious discourse, to do something real in the Spirit.