I love it when you’re just reading along and suddenly you see something that jumps out at you, a reminder of what a well thought out plan God made so that we could walk with Him and talk with Him daily as Adam did in the garden. A story of redemption, one that bridged the wide gap between God and man and restored us to our rightful place of communion with Him. He made us to be rulers of everything on this earth, that sin would not have dominion over us anymore. A long awaited sacrifice driven by the love He had for humanity, His creation. He wanted us to rule over sinful desires, not let them rule over us. He even gave us His Spirit to lead us into that truth just as Moses led the people from Egypt, yet we deny Him that leadership, thinking we know a better way.
Romans 8:5-8 states; People who live following their sinful selves think only about what they want. But those who live following the Spirit are thinking about what the Spirit wants them to do. If your thinking is controlled by your sinful self, there is spiritual death. But if your thinking is controlled by the Spirit, there is life and peace. Why is this true? Because anyone whose thinking is controlled by their sinful self is against God. They refuse to obey God’s law. And really they are not able to obey it. Those who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God.
Following our own way leads us into deeper despair and darkness where following God’s way leads us to life and freedom. Our way leads to hopelessness, a sense of circling the same mountain over and over, wondering if there’s a way out. Following God’s way brings peace and hope, safety and ease.
Verse 9; But you are not ruled by your sinful selves. You are ruled by the Spirit, if that Spirit of God really lives in you. But whoever does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to Christ.
What does that mean to have the Spirit of Christ? Well, it clearly states that Jesus was the Son of God and that Gods Spirit was in Him, so when we accept Jesus as our sacrifice for sin, we die to ourselves and freely give ourselves in service to Him, God. A free slave of right. A laid down lover of the ways and purposes of the King of kings and the Lord of lords. Jesus came to do the will of the Father, now it’s our turn. We lay down our plans, hopes and dreams so that HIS plans, hopes and dreams may come to pass on the earth.
Verse 14-17; The true children of God are those who let God’s Spirit lead them. The Spirit that we received is not a spirit that makes us slaves again and causes us to fear. The Spirit that we have makes us God’s chosen children. And with that Spirit we cry out, “ Abba, Father.” And the Spirit himself speaks to our spirits and makes us sure that we are God’s children. If we are God’s children, we will get the blessings God has for his people. He will give us all that he has given Christ. But we must suffer like Christ suffered. Then we will be able to share his glory.
‘Now Sandy, you were doing real good until you included that very last verse. I don’t want to suffer like Christ suffered. I don’t want to end up on a cross being crucified for things I didn’t do. I don’t want people to ridicule me, accuse me, kick me out of church. Can’t I just skip my way through life like everyone else, not making waves, just being ‘normal’?’ Sure you can! No one is forcing you to follow after God. But if you want the blessings God has for His children, you must get out of the boat and learn to walk on water. You must allow the Spirit of God to speak to you and you must be willing to obey.
I encourage you to read the entire book of Romans because Paul shows so clearly what this journey is all about. From the beginning, God had a plan and that plan will soon be revealed. I don’t believe that everyone will be on board with His plan. There will be those who just will not give up their desires and plans for Him. Let me close with these verses just to give you something to think about, verses 28-30; We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. These are the people God chose, because that was his plan. God knew them before he made the world. And he decided that they would be like his Son. Then Jesus would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters. God planned for them to be like his Son. He chose them and made them right with him. And after he made them right, he gave them his glory.
Though the cost be great, O God, I will work for you. This world is not my home, you’ve purchased my freedom with great cost to yourself and your Son was the ultimate sacrifice. If He who knew no sin could die for me, I who sinned greatly and was forgiven can live for you.