Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Sidekick

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. -- Galatians 5:16

The more we seek God and seek to have our minds renewed by the truth and our lives transformed in that renewal, the less power the old nature has over us. 

Sometimes I think my natural, conscious mind, the one I’ve used so much and, God forgive me, been proud of now and then, is like the comic-relief sidekick in an old Western serial.  He’s kind of along for the ride, more trouble than he’s worth, and is prone to take undue credit for his part in a happy ending.  We would wonder about a heroine who was more taken with the empty bluster and bravado of the side-kick than the hero’s selfless courage, honesty, humility, and competence. 

The soul is the heroine.  She can listen to the spirit and love him, or she can be enamored of the flesh and his banter.  The flesh has a lot on his side in that he and the whole world system are in agreement and alignment.  They share a lot of values.  The flesh’s views get reinforced by everything in popular culture.  We are inundated with news and information and politics and all the rest telling us that the flesh is right.  All that matters is what can be experienced by the five senses, and you had better get it while you can.  YOLO.  I have to look it up every time I see it. 

If we live to the flesh, we are dead while we live – dead now in our sins and trespasses.  But if our heroine binds herself instead to the spirit, we enter into life.  It’s a good thing to remember that the life we receive from Christ, the only kind of life He has, is eternal life, beginning not when we die physically but as we turn and begin walking with and according the Spirit. 

One more thing about not gratifying the desires of the flesh, most of us have had the unhappy occasion to stumble and go wrong.  Even when it works out, even when I’ve gotten “my way”, I get no satisfaction out of it anymore.  I remember when sin was fun.  If wickedness had been as empty and unfulfilling when I was seventeen or eighteen as it is now, I would have quit a lot sooner.  Once you start walking in the Spirit, the old thrills start fading.  Part of that might be a natural result of the passing of time, but I see men and women my chronological age and older that still haven’t gotten the message.  It doesn’t mean that we won’t be tempted or that we won’t fall; we’ll just feel worse afterward, every time.


julie said...

Once you start walking in the Spirit, the old thrills start fading. Part of that might be a natural result of the passing of time, but I see men and women my chronological age and older that still haven’t gotten the message.

Yes, just so. Once I started reading the heavy stuff Bob recommends, a lot of the things I used to find entertaining - not just books - started to fall really flat. Or rather, they were always flat, but as a flatlander myself I hadn't noticed.

mushroom said...

We lived a pretty restrictive life for several years. We didn't go to the movies or listen to secular radio, and we were really careful about what we watched on television. We started watching a little more television, and I was shocked at how so much of it alternates between dull and disgusting. Vickie would say, "Another cop show." She did love "Blue Bloods", though. The Tom Selleck factor.

John Lien said...

I agree with what both of you are saying. I am avoiding much of the what the secular world calls entertainment these days. But it really isn't much of an effort. When I do go back for a peek, it seems to have lost the hold on me it once had.

I will confess though, I do enjoy AOSHQ. Not sure I want to give that up, yet.

Never go full Flanders.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

I reckon if we only did live once it would make sense to simply indulge the senses as much as possible, although it would still not satisfy amd would still ring hollow.

However, having tasted the Life the Lord offers, nothing else can truly compare.
My flesh may forget that sometimes but my mind, soul and spirit do not.

mushroom said...


There's stuff that taps eternal values and myth. And sometimes there's stuff that's just froth and fun. Fun is good.

julie said...

John, lol. You have to admit that sometimes it's fun to say, "Okee-diddly-dokee!"

Preferably when it's least expected.

But yeah, never go full Flanders.