I encourage each of you, as I am encouraged each day by our Lord, to follow Christ in Spirit and not according to personal desires. “For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2:16) Many will claim, “Once saved – always saved” and all the while never realize that just because they may have made a verbal pledge does not mean they have a personal relationship with the Lord. Satan would have them believe this, but in the end Christ will surely tell them to depart from Him because He never truly knew them on a personal basis. We must be spiritually reborn (born again) whereby the Holy Spirit transforms us from dead citizens of this world into alive citizens of heaven. Although we remain sinners, we no longer have to struggle alone to overcome the desires of our flesh as the Spirit, who now lives within us, is here to help us to overcome our weaknesses.
Therefore, once you have truly fully surrendered your life to become a true citizen and servant of the kingdom of heaven you become a foreigner here in this world. God knows our true heart and those who make a verbal or temporary promise to become a servant without a full surrender remain dead in their sin in a world they refused to reject. However, for those who are true believers, “I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from the desires of the flesh, which war against your soul.” (1 Peter 2:11) “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the desires of the flesh.” (Romans 3:14) Each day is a blessing and opportunity to serve either heaven or our flesh, whichever we decide to hold onto. It is not too late to repent of your life in this world if you are reading this. Yet, one day soon it will be too late for everyone who holds onto this world and its fleshly desires.
Nevertheless, for those who have made a full surrender and enjoy citizenship in heaven we have a hope for our future we do not deserve. A hope not earned, but instead freely given from the one who freely gave His life for us, the Lord Jesus Christ. “Otherwise, Christ would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But now He has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of Himself. Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment, so also Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.” (Hebrews 9:26-28) Thus, “Whom have I in heaven but You? And on earth I desire no one besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.” (Psalm 73:25-26)
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh craves what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are opposed to each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and sorcery; hatred, discord, jealousy, and rage; rivalries, divisions, factions, and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us walk in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying one another.” (Galatians 5:16-26)
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