This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind, having their understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart; who, being past feeling, have given themselves over to lewdness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But you have not so learned Christ, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus: that you put off, concerning your former conduct, the old man which grows corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.
Have you put on the new man?
Are you a changed person?
Is there a difference between you and your neighbour in the world?
If not, then you need to be looking at what you are doing wrong!
Are you alienated from the Life of God?
If so, why?
God has done nothing wrong.
He has done and does do all things perfectly.
If things aren’t right in your life then guess what, there is a problem with what you are doing.
You may ask how it is I can say this so bluntly.
Well, it all boils down to experience.
I have spent so much of the last 26 years walking in the flesh to know now what it is like to be on the wrong side of God so to speak.
Take another look at Jonah. He heard the call of God to go. He heard the instruction of the Lord to do such and such, in actual fact God told Jonah very specifically to go to Nineveh and preach the Gospel but he didn’t. What did he do instead? He reasoned in his own head that that wasn’t such a good idea and then proceeded to do all he could to avoid obeying the call of God on his life. He ran away from God. Not that that is in actuality possible but in his own mind it seemed like a good idea.
He was in the flesh. Jonah had chosen to go his own way. He was not prepared to obey the call of God that was on his life.
From that point on all hell broke loose so to speak. The more Jonah tried to get away from God the worse it got.
I know that feeling and now after 26 years of running the wrong way God has gotten my attention.
No I didn’t end up in the belly of a whale but I can tell you it has felt a lot like that at various times through out these last few decades.
I have known the pain it causes in ones own life but also in the lives of those closest to me.
In the verses at the top of the page Paul says that it is possible to be “alienated from the life of God….”
I know what this feels like. Jonah knew what it felt like. It is not fun at all. It can be very costly, spiritually, emotionally and physically.
I have known what it is like to be alienated from the life of God. I have known what it is like to be touched in all areas of life as the Hand of God reaches down to judge our bad behaviour as He attempts to get our attention and draw us back to Himself.
If we are in the flesh we are at enmity with God, we are enemies of God.
People, that is not a good place to be in.
Are you an enemy of God?
I was an enemy of God.
I spent the best part of 26 years living, breathing, walking and surviving in the flesh.
I knew what it was to receive Gods provision but not His blessing.
GOD WILL NOT BLESS THE FLESH.
There is nothing in our flesh that can please God, nothing!!!!!
There was no way that Jonah was going to know any blessing from God while he was running in the wrong direction. He was protected in the bottom of the ship and then in the belly of the whale but that was not a blessing. It was God’s provision not His blessing.
Only when we are in the centre of God’s will and walking in the Spirit can we know both provision and blessing.
There was ignorance and blindness in me and I was past feeling, I had lost any discernment that was on my life and all spiritual feeling was gone.
The time came as the Spirit of God worked on me, showing me my sin and convicting me of such, that I realised just how off the mark I was. I had lost sight of God in the midst of all the cares of this life.
I had lost focus.
My gaze was no longer on Him. The ‘old man’ as Paul calls me, had grown corrupt according to the deceitful lusts.
It is interesting to me that we also find Peter talking about corruption. Let’s look at what he says,
“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” 2 Peter 1:2-4
Peter says here that we can be partakers of the divine nature, how?, through the exceedingly great and precious promises that God has made available to us through Jesus Christ His Son. His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness.
There is one condition to all this amazing provision and blessing from God.
Peter explains that it is only possible if we escape the corruption that is in the world through lust.
Both Peter and Paul exhort us to escape the corruption that is in the world.
One thing I know from my own personal experiences, God will not bless what ever it is that we are doing in the flesh.
I don’t care what it is, if it is a business, a ministry, whatever, if it is not of God it is of the flesh, it opposes God and is an abomination to Him.
He will not bless your endeavours whatever they may be if they have not been birthed by Him.
The priority in God’s will for us is that we are partakers of the divine nature, the very nature of the Godhead, of Christ Himself. How can God then bless us and what we do if it is not first from Him and for Him.
If there is the slightest hint of self in what we do it is thus corrupted and cursed of God.
No sin or sinner can be in the presence of a holy God. No flesh shall glory in His presence.
Paul exhorts us at the end of the verses in Ephesians 4 that we are to:
“be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and that you put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness.”
True righteousness and holiness is in fact the very life of God Himself.
This life will only come to us if we are open to the Spirit to allow Him to speak into our lives and to exposes all that is not born of God.
Do you pray?
Do you fast?
When was the last time you chose to fast and pray and seek God’s face until you had a break through that changed your life radically?
How long has it been since you poured out your heart before God and asked Him in all sincerity to dig deep and expose the sin that has clouded your vision of Him, the corruption that has taken away your focus and has blinded you?
Remember, sin separates us from God. We cannot know the divine nature in us as our life source if there is sin in our lives.
Have you made the choice to separate from the corruption that is in this world?
Are you living in this world with your life being fed by the corruption of this world?
What are you feeding on? Are you feeding on that which is spiritual?
How much time do you spend in The Word?
How much time do you spend in front of the TV?
Is your spiritual life outweighed by the life of this world?
Have you allowed the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit of God, to have access to all areas of your life to shine His spotlight into every nook and cranny in order to expose and dig out all sin and corruption?
The Spirit of God says:
Come out from among them and be separate.
Be not conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
You must put off your former conduct, be renewed in the spirit of your mind and put on the new man.
This is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.