As I searched in the Bible app for the words “Humble” and “Humility” It was quite interesting (and convicting) how many books and verses came up (about 79 altogether). The reason for the search is because of how much I lack it. Humility goes against the very fiber of our beings. The old nature attempting mutiny in our hearts so we begin treating others in an ungracious, unkind way.
Mutiny really does sum it up. Though as Christians we are transformed into a new nature in Christ, we still sin and struggle daily. The flesh really does “refuse to obey orders and tries to take control away from the person who commands them”. It attempts mutiny on a daily basis.
But as spirit-filled Christians we don’t have to give in. We can put our faith and hope in Christ at all times, “putting to death all that is earthly in us” (Col 3:5). That cut-throat sin-nature can be put to death every moment when we trust Christ apart from our strength, finding our joy in Him and not in what the flesh demands.
But why should we? Don’t we have the right to be ungracious? Can’t we be proud because we deserve it? Aren’t we entitled? By no means. Paul sums it up ever so clearly:
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” (Romans 8:13)
In this wonderful chapter Paul really lays things out on the table for us. Life by the flesh is death, but life by the Spirit is life. One curious thing that I’ve overlooked is how he makes the clear distinction of where our source of power is from. Not ourselves, but the Spirit.
As you read the chapter it may seem very discouraging at first, all this talk of the flesh and putting it to death can be quite daunting when faced with our own daily issues. He makes it look easy, doesn’t he? But in the previous chapter Paul says “wretched man that I am”. Puts it in perspective. Paul dealt with sin just like you and I.
But with all this discouragement in our and Paul’s heart he ends the chapter with an incredible hope. He says he “considers that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us.”
Really? After all this talk of flesh and death and the Spirit, after being thrown into prison sick and tired in a hole in the ground he calls us to look ahead? To hope? Why? Because it WILL be worth it in the end. All the trials, all the heartache, all the brokenness, all the effects of the Fall are all going to be worth fighting and suffering for in the end.
So when our attitudes become ungracious, unforgiving, and unsatisfied, remember that Christ calls us to trust Him.
Trust Him and make war on sin by living by the Spirit. Put sin to death. Find your joy in Christ alone.