God has a plan for your life. When you surrender and submit to His will for you, He will create in you a new mind, a new heart and eventually a new resurrected body. He will make you in the likeness of His son and our elder brother, Jesus.
Satan tempts us to believe that our old nature is still alive by bringing a compulsion to do something we don't want to do anymore. How we respond to that compulsion shows whether we have surrendered it to God. If the desire is still there, stronger than the desire to resist, we may (easily or resistingly) sucumb to Satan's seduction. It's Satan, not our old nature that tries to get us to believe thoughts relating to our old life. However, unless we still have a problem in that area and haven't completely surrendered it to God, he can't make us sin. He can only do what we let him do. Ultimately, it's what we want to do anyway but have been trying not to do on our own. When we aquiese, we become partners with the seducing demon.
The patterns engrained in our mind, will and emotions from our life on planet Earth are what constitutes our flesh nature. It is our soul life. The motivations engendered by this nature are focused on our ego gratification. Our world of ego revolves around our percieved notions of everyone and everything around us. Ego says, "Does this please me? Does this make me feel better? Do you understand me? Do you make me happy? Am I getting anything from this? What is my reward? Am I getting paid enough? You're not treating me well."
Where does Satan come in?
Satan revels in the ego. It's his domain. He can use any selfish motivation or desire you have to cause trouble in your life. He has almost free reign in the soul of a flesh-natured person. He can manipulate your thoughts, your will (decision and choice making) and your emotions to make you do things that respond to your needs and desires.
This is Christ in us, the hope of glory. This is the new mind and heart God gives us when we surrender humbly to his leading and regeneration process. It is not based on selfishness any longer but is focused on serving and loving others. It is God's presence in us and His motivation of unconditional love. It is the Christ consciousness which is God's gift to us through his son, Jesus.
We receive it by humbleness, surrender and obedience. "Except you become as a little child you will not enter the Kingdom". We have to give up our ego gratification thoughts and activities and trust God to meet all of our needs.
We can't receive it by speaking it because our unredeemed inner heart or belief system will counteract it. Our inner cup must be cleansed for the vessel to be purified. We will receive it when the inner conflict is resolved and we are no longer double minded. "A double minded man is unstable in all his ways, think not that he shall receive anything from the Lord."
We will know because we will have peace within no matter what is going on around us. We will rest in what God gives us without trying to attain more. We won't be in the "give me" game any more. We will praise God in prison like Paul did. We will have a new motivation that wants to give rather than take. We no longer tabulate up the scores and expect what is due us.
God has a pathway for each of us to follow. Jesus said he did nothing except what the Father told him. We have to humbly let God direct us each day. We have to die to the old way of life we led, accepting the way he has chosen for us to relinquish our selfishness. We can't make our old motivations better. "We can't put new wine in old wine skins without contaminating the new wine." The old wine skins have to be removed so the new wine of his love and freedom can flow freely in our lives.
There's no other way but to die. Jesus died and we died with him but we have to let that old dead life go. We can keep it fooling us into selfish striving all our lives and think we're a good Christian. We have to surrender and let God transform us. He will strengthen our will to make right choices and teach us wisdom to use His knowledge. He will transform our thoughts and beliefs to a paradigm of love. He will motivate us to do works of love, peace and healing.
our favorite old way of making ourselves feel better?
We learn discipline by walking through the valley without responding to the threats and arrows of the enemy. We face the temptation, we let the thoughts pass through, we let the emotions and feelings express themselves, yet we don't respond in our old pattern of accepting the gratification and getting caught up in the game. We just say, "Okay, there it is, I can't force it away because it just gets stronger when I do. So, I will (Make a strong conscious choice) to just let its energy flow through me without my usual response to let it gratify me." It sure does hurt when my ego doesn't get gratified. It kills. Literally. All those things I used to feel sorry for myself for and blame on others not treating me right....they all have to go. Can't nurse them any more and expect to receive the Kingdom. "Choose this day who you will serve, God or mammon(ego)".
This is God's grace and mercy for us. We get up and try again. Don't look back but move ever onward and forward to freedom. It will come but it is beyond us to make it happen. It is a work of the Spirit in us. Paul shunned the devil's attempts to engulf him in guilt and pressed on for the prize. It's the same for us if we firmly place our faith and trust in God.
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