In the last blog post I touched on the idea of extreme or excess thinking that is more subtle and less "in your face." It is often the more unassuming things that sneak into our lives and have big impacts because we don't see it coming. When you've become hardened to the Holy Spirit in your life you especially don't see it coming and unfortunately it then has the opportunity to develop deep roots and you become its prisoner.
I've been reading in 1st Corinthians 10 about the cravings and desires of the Israelites. As in the photograph above, they chose the evil side and craved to indulge their sinful natures and to laugh at the idea of self discipline. This often feels good, seems fun and care free in the short term. There are 4 major sins that defined their excess and sinful choices:
- Sexual Immorality
- Testing God
- Grumbling & complaining
They worshipped idols, participated in sexual orgies, and questioned the goodness and plans of God in their grumbling and complaining. Now, these are physical activities that are done through our choices in the flesh but have real spiritual consequences. It is important to understand that what we do; how we think and live in the natural impacts the spiritual. Just look back at chapter 9 vs.11 when Paul says, "If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you?" Now, yes on the surface he is talking about financial support, but, it doesn't take a degree in rocket science to see there is a connection between the spiritual and the natural realms.
Today at work I was having a conversation with a colleague over a simple business arrangement. The conversation reached a point where I would normally back down, get centered in my spirit man, and put back on the shelf to process later in the day in wisdom and reach a well thought out and Spirit led decision. However, this time I sensed it was time to let it go but I let my flesh take me further with several more comments that caused things to end in a way that was less than ideal. Now, please understand, nothing negative or demeaning was said in any way, nor was there an over the top tone of voice. The exchange just simply went farther than what the Lord intended and I knew it. This was something that happened in the natural, like many things throughout the day, that had a spiritual impact. The Lord, in his grace, taught me an important lesson through the sting of it all.
It truly is my craving / desire to have Father God sit upon the throne of my life. He deserves to rule as king right in the midst of all my thoughts and actions, through all the common stuff that I encounter on a daily basis. I crave to be sensitive to the Spirit's leading and conviction so that I may practice and learn self discipline and self control. Every time I go beyond that threshold of conviction; when I go a few steps too far is when I grieve my King. I'm so thankful that he is a loving Father with open arms to receive me when I realize what's happened. I learn and grow from these moments. That is called abiding in transformation and that is right where he calls us to be.