There are only two good things about my husband being out of town.
One, I can burn my popcorn.
Two, I don’t have to change the user name when I log onto the computer.
That is about it.
Yes, I said burn my popcorn. I like to pop the bag a few seconds over, just a few seconds. I like my toast burnt, too. And my bacon. Odd, I know.
Anyway, other than that, I miss him terribly. I am a team player. And we are a great team. I always say that when he is gone I am chronically in a bad mood. Now, isn’t that something to be desired? I’m sure the kids are saying, “Oh Dad! Please go out of town. I love it when you are gone! Mom is so snappy and stress out! I love her when she is exasperated and cranky!”
This last trip was especially difficult because I had very sick kids. High needs, little man power. I was struggling. Now, realistically, I would say I was 60/40. Sixty percent walking in the Holy Spirit and in victory and 40% wallowing in my pitifulness, living in my flesh and walking defeated.
I know truth, but that doesn’t mean I live there all of the time. The flesh is strong and easy.
Living in the Spirit takes obedience and a willingness to die to the flesh. Dying to self is never easy or our first response. It is a decision. I read one time that, “to be a good mother you must divorce yourself.” Interesting choice of words. We all know what divorce is, but by definition it means “separation or severance.” I want to live severed from my sin. From myself.
As a parent, I will allow my kids to be in situations to learn how to react or respond. Controlled situations, at that. I wouldn’t allow them to be in danger if I could help it. But sometimes telling them not to climb on the counter just doesn’t do the trick. They have to climb up and fall off to figure it out. I am in a similar place. A place of God allowing me to choose Him, to choose love, to choose His Word over my flesh.
“So then, Brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, as to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:12-13.
There is so much I could say about this verse. I have four pages in my journal in regard to it. But this is what it boils down to…
Flesh you die.
Spirit you live.
Flesh in this verse means, “mere human nature; the earthly nature of man; apart from divine influence, and therefore prone to sin and opposed to God.” Wow. Reread and soak that one in.
Die means, “to become destroyed or ruined”.
Spirit refers to living in the POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT: the third person of the triune God, the Holy Spirit, coequal, coeternal with the Father and the Son. Also refers to the disposition or influence which fills and governs the soul of any one. The efficient source of any power, affection, emotion, desire, etc.
Live: to enjoy real life. a) to have true life b) be active blessed endless in the Kingdom of God. metaphorically to be in full vigour. To be strong, fresh, efficient. Ahh.
So, God, if I piece it back together you are saying that if I live by my earthly nature, apart from Your Divine Influence, I am opposing You and prone to sin. I will be ruined.
But, if I walk in the Power of the Holy Spirit and allow you to govern my soul, I will enjoy real life, be endlessly blessed in the Kingdom of God and full of vigour – strong, efficient, fresh.
I want the latter.
Living in the latter is truly a work of the Holy Spirit. It is not NATURAL to deny your own desires. You can’t just “try” to be patient, loving or nicer. Or even more, you can just try to love your spouse well, deny your urge to drink too much alcohol or overindulge in food. It is not NATURAL. The human nature says, “It’s all about you.” The Spirit says, “It’s not about you.” This is SUPERNATURAL.
I don’t want 60/40. I want 100%. I want my first response to be Christ. I can not, by my own strength, do anything well. Apart from Christ I can do no good thing. John 15:5 He is our 100%. We can be strong, efficient, full of vigour.
I want to die, so I can truly live.
How in the moments where the flesh is just so strong do you die to yourself and let Christ flow out? I find that when I'm mad or frustrated with my kids, I just want to yell at them. When I pause to pray for Christ's strength, I still don't respond well. For you, how have you learned to completely reside in the LORD and let Him flow from you in the times when the flesh is SO strong?