Becoming Like Him

No Confidence in Flesh
Philippians 3:1-3 ESV

Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. To write the same things to you is no trouble to me and is safe for you.

Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh…

We live in a day and time when the Christian faith is under serious assault within the gatherings of the church and out in the world. The church has been turned upside down to where, for the most part, at least here in America, Christ is not honored as the true head of the church. Instead, the body of Christ has been turned into a business of men, marketed in the same way as any other business, and incorporated under the FEDS.

The church, in other words, largely has become very flesh driven, and driven by human marketing schemes and business techniques for how to build big “churches,” i.e. businesses. Thus, it is very customer driven, not Holy Spirit driven. Much of the gatherings of the church are thus designed to attract the people of the world to the meetings, by using worldly means and methods to draw them in.

Instead of confronting sin, they entertain it. The Bible has been replaced, as the foundation of our faith, with books written by mere humans. Worship has been reduced to a song service in these gatherings in which the godly and the ungodly join together in song. And, the gospel of our salvation has been diluted to make it more acceptable to human flesh – to the world.

So, we need to be on guard against the lies, the deceit, and the tricks of the enemy which have infiltrated the gatherings of the church via wolves in sheep’s clothing. We need to be in the Word of God daily, drinking in its truths, seeking God’s face, praying for understanding, and then obeying what the Word teaches us we must do.

And, we need to put off those fruitless deeds of darkness and put on Christ and his holiness and righteousness. Then, we will discern truth from error so that we can follow the truth and reject the lies; so that we can walk according to the Spirit and no longer according to the flesh; and so we can please God with our lives instead of living to please our flesh.

That I May Gain Christ
Philippians 3:7-11 ESV

But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

Flesh driven religion is just that, flesh driven religion. It is not genuine faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. So, if we want to have genuine believing faith in Jesus Christ, resulting in changed lives, freedom from sin, and the hope of eternal life with God, then we need to forsake flesh driven religion, and we need to be followers of Jesus Christ, instead.

He needs to be Lord of our lives. He needs to be the one driving us, leading us and guiding us in the way we should go, and we need to be following Him and His Word. And, we need to stop being followers of other humans.

We also have to let go of the “My Do It!” approach to life, and we have to surrender to Him and let HIM do it through us, as we yield to his Lordship over our lives. We have to forsake our idols, our sinful practices, and our control over our own lives, schedules, decisions and activities. And, we have to surrender our all to the Lord, and let him determine our steps.

In this way, then we will be able to gain Christ in the sense of developing close walks with him, going where he sends us, doing what he has called us to do, and walking in victory over sin. And, this is because we have given up trying to do life by the flesh, living by the “seat of our pants.” And, we have let God have his sway in our lives, instead. And, this is what it means to walk by faith, for genuine believing faith submits to God and to his will.

Genuine faith in Jesus Christ also dies with Christ to sin and lives with Christ to righteousness. It shares with Christ in his sufferings, in resisting Satan, in fleeing temptation, and in being persecuted for righteousness’ sake. Genuine faith in Jesus Christ desires him above all else and wants to be like Jesus in thought, in attitude, in speech and in behavior (deed, action).

So, if we want victory over darkness, and we want to walk in the light of God’s love, then we need to deny our flesh, die daily to sin, and follow our Lord Jesus in surrender to his will for our lives. Then we will be at peace.

I Press On
Philippians 3:12-16 ESV

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

The Christian life, though, is a process. We are saved, we are being saved, and we will be saved when Jesus returns and our salvation is complete. Some people call this a process of sanctification. The Bible talks about daily taking up our cross and following Christ, and by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the flesh, which is something ongoing.

In other words, when we trust in Jesus Christ as Lord and as Savior of our lives, we are not instantly perfect to where we never do wrong ever again, or to where we have perfect attitudes and heart responses 100% of the time. For, we are still clay vessels, but clay vessels in the Potter’s hands for Him to mold and to make us into his likeness.

Yet, lack of perfection is never to be used as an excuse for willful and continued sin against God. We are to no longer be those who make sin our practice. It should not be how we conduct our lives day in and day out. We should no longer be enslaved to sin to where it is still ruling us and we are consistently giving in to it. For, Jesus died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. He died that we would no longer live for ourselves, but for Him who gave his life up for us (See: 1 Pet. 2:24; 2 Co. 5:15, 21).

So, instead of using lack of perfect as an excuse to wallow in our sinful addictions, we should be pressing on, moving forward, letting go of our past lives of sin. And, in the power of God’s Spirit living within us, we should be walking in the freedom Jesus bought for us with his blood on that cross.

This is the path to maturity in Jesus Christ. It is the only way! It is the way of the cross. It is the way our Savior provided for us in his death and resurrection, and it is the way to eternal life with God. If this is not where you are, then please turn your hearts and lives to Jesus Christ today.

Search Me, O God
An Original Work / July 12, 2012

Based off Psalm 139

O Lord, You search and know me.
You know all that I do.
O Lord, You discern my ways.
I put my trust in You.
Where can I go from Your Spirit?
Where can I flee from Your presence?
Where’er I am, You are with me,
Guiding me in love.
O Lord, You search and know me.
You know all that I do.
O Lord, You discern my ways.
I put my trust in You.

O Lord, You made and formed me
In my own mother’s womb.
Your hands beautif’ly made me.
I give my praise to You.
My frame was not hidden from You
When I was made in the dark place.
All the days ordained for me
Were written in Your book.
O Lord, You made and formed me
In my own mother’s womb.
Your hands beautif’ly made me.
I give my praise to You.

O Lord, how precious to me
Are Your thoughts, O my God.
When I wake in the morning,
You are still here with me.
Search me, O God, and know my heart;
Test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offense.
Lead me in Your truth.
O Lord, how precious to me
Are Your thoughts, O my God.
When I wake in the morning,
You are still here with me.

Thursday, June 14, 2018 – Thank you, Jesus, for dying on that cross so we can be set free of our slavery to sin and walk in your righteousness. Amen!

19 thoughts on “Becoming Like Him

  1. Dear Sister Love, the sad situation of the church is not only in America. Here in Nigeria where we live and do ministry is almost the same. Many churches started well, in the Spirit, but later they grieved the Holy Spirit and continued to do ministry in the flesh. This is the result of an attack of the evil spirits of religion, the counterfeit ‘holy spirit’. People go to church, are very busy with ‘evangelism’ and ‘work for God’ but they are not born again. They do not have (and they do not desire) the assurance of salvation. They are active in the flesh but passive spiritually. The good news is that there is a faithful holy remnant who walks on the narrow way, the royal way of the Cross. This remnant is under the protection of the Holy Spirit. Against all odds they make exploits so ‘the truth is marching on’. By the grace of God our church is part of this remnant. No man can boast of the success we experience. To God alone be all the glory! Be encouraged sister!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Lia, Thank you for sharing that with me. Sad to hear that this false faith is so far reaching, but glad to hear that there are the faithful who are marching forward by the grace of God. Many of them are the bloggers we meet on here. You all are such a blessing to me. I thank God for you.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Let’s pay the price to encourage one another thru the power of the Holy Spirit! God is on our side! “How could one person chase a thousand of them, and two people put ten thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless the LORD had given them up?” (Deut 32:30)

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a powerful post Sue. I really like this you said “So, instead of using lack of perfect as an excuse to wallow in our sinful addictions, we should be pressing on, moving forward, letting go of our past lives of sin.” I often say grace doesn’t give us permission to live in sin, rather it enables us to live in righteousness

    Liked by 2 people

    • Oh, I am with you on that one. We have moved often, as well, and we, too, have had great difficulty finding a fellowship of believers who are walking by the Spirit and who aren’t entrapped in the world. So, for now, I have that here among my fellow bloggers, and this has so blessed my heart.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! All glory to God! Praise Jesus! Thank you, Matthew, for sharing that with me. It all comes from the Lord for his glory and praise. So glad God is using it to speak his message.

      Like

  3. It is hard to let the Spirit move in the church when decisions are made by committees and boards. Church leadership must consist of Spirit-filled people who seek God’s leadership and direction which is often at odds with the world. The biggest challenge I see is when the Spirit acts spontaneously and asks the church to respond immediately, too often the response is to take it to committee or a board for deliberation. We must build a church culture that is sensitive to the movement of the Spirit in the church body, a culture that discern with God’s wisdom and is ready to respond. Thanks for the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, the leadership of the church definitely sets the tone for how the church functions as the body of Christ. But who decides who the leaders are? Do the people get to choose their leaders? I think often that the leaders reflect the people who put them in those positions of leadership.

      Yes, we must be people willing to respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit, but we must also test the spirits to see if they are of God and pray for wisdom and guidance of the Holy Spirit, too, and within the church there needs to be unity of spirit, so some things do require much prayer and deliberation. But, I have also seen a quenching of the Spirit due to too much deliberation, too.

      Yes, I fully agree with your next to last sentence. Only it has to be done in the power of God’s Spirit through Spirit-filled believers in Jesus who have the mind of Christ and who are united in heart and purpose. You could do that in your home with a small group if you had people who wanted to do that. The church is the people of God, in other words, not what our culture often thinks of as church.

      Thank you for sharing. I appreciate your words of encouragement.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Dear Sue, I have nominated you for the 3-Day Challenge. I have found this experience to be very rewarding and I hope you will, too. Here are the rules.
    1. Thank the person who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
    2. For 3 days, provide a quote each day and why you like or chose that quote.
    3. Nominate one or more bloggers each of the three days for the Challenge and then send them a comment letting them know they have been nominated.
    (When you receive a nomination, if you’re too busy, you can do it later if need be.)
    Thank you for sharing your wonderful blog with the world.
    Please feel free not to participate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Vicklea. I just did that recently, and it was rewarding, I agree. I will pray about it and see if the Lord would have me do that again. Thank you so much for thinking of me. God bless you.

      Liked by 1 person

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