We think we are living an authentic Christianity. We think we are okay. We think we are getting by on the faith that we have. We think it's good enough.
We are lying to ourselves.
It's not good enough.
Grace is seen as a free ticket, but for those who are pursuing Jesus as they should, it is a great power propelling us forward, giving us a desire to go higher, deeper and wider with Jesus.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (Romans 8:1)
I dare you to read that with your eyes open,
not half asleep,
not skimming through but
with eyes wide open.
... who do not walk according to the flesh
but according to the Spirit.
Who is in control of your day? How much thought do you give to Jesus? Who are you living for? What desires are propelling you forward?
Who do not walk according to the flesh.
We don't even know enough to ask ourselves the right questions. We actually think we are okay; that what we are doing (which isn't much) is somehow pleasing and honouring to Jesus.
As if the God who gave us his everything is pleased to accept our nothing.
Are you ready for this?
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)
"What? I don't understand. What you are saying? Are you saying I am carnally minded?"
You tell me.
"What about grace?"
Grace is not a free ticket to let you do whatever you want because whatever you want is always going to come from the flesh and if you live by the flesh then you have nothing to do with Jesus.
There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.
There is more.
For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:6-8)
"Well I think I am okay. I don't think I am carnally minded."
That's because most of us don't give it a thought. We do what we think is best, which is a pretty good definition of what it is to live by the flesh. We think that a half-effort is good enough.
Jesus said it isn't. He said all or nothing. Yes, that is right. To live by the Spirit means that we have held nothing back and our only longing is the will of the Father.
Does that describe your day?
No? Mine neither but the Spirit smacked me across the head with this scripture and I for one am paying attention.
This is not fun and games boys and girls. This is life and death for eternity. This is serious relational stuff. Jesus has called us to something higher and greater than what we have been willing to live.
What will you do with this? Whatever you do, don't go back to getting by.