TODAY’S READING: PSALM 51:4-5
“Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Ps 51:5
Hi. My name is Claire and I was born a sinner. In fact, we are all born sinners. A stark truth - yes; an unfortunate fact - yes; a reality - yes. Romans 5:12 tells us that, “when Adam sinned, sin entered into the world…and everyone sinned”. We also read in Romans 3:23, “For ALL have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God” so there is no exception.
Yes, I was born a sinner! Isaiah 59:2 says, “your iniquities have separated you from God; your sins have hidden his face from you”. Sin has laid a blanket on me, separating me from God. What a difference from my relationship with GOD from before I was born! Psalm 139:13 onwards tells me that I was known by God as He formed me and shaped me in the secret place and my frame was not hidden from Him. Before I was born, I was in a close relationship with God; no hiding, no separation. He was forming me, shaping me, all my days ordained by Him, close, intimate and no iniquities hiding His face from me. Then boom! I am born a sinner. My sinful flesh comes forth into a sinful world; that ‘blanket’ of separation lying heavy on me. What a picture to demonstrate the struggle between the Spirit and the Flesh.
As Galatians 5:17 explains, the flesh and the Spirit want opposite outcomes, they are in conflict with one another. Fortunately, God already knew this and set forth His glorious plan for our salvation in Jesus Christ who died on the cross in our place to bring us into eternal life and back to a place of intimacy with God. That blanket of sin is lifted. John 3:3-6 tells us that we must be born again to receive this gift; born again of water and the Spirit. What beautiful words to hear - “born again”. I know I am born a sinner but when I am born again, I know I am born of the Spirit and not of the flesh, “for flesh gives birth to flesh; the Spirit gives birth to spirit”. Thank you, Jesus!
But here we see again the battle of flesh and the Spirit; the two opposites colliding and conflicting with one another. One (the flesh) causes us to be sinful and filled with sinful desires. It keeps us captive; only looking after itself and gratifying itself anyway it pleases. The other (the Spirit) causes us to be free from the penalty of sin and free from our sinful ways. He gives us life now and a guarantee of eternal life. He fills us with love, joy and peace and causes us to live an outward-focussed life and He brings us freedom.
So, we can see the flesh and the Holy Spirit cannot be equal in our lives. Just as night and day cannot co-exist, neither can the Spirit and our evil desires of the flesh. When we please our flesh, the Holy Spirit WILL NOT stay but when we walk step in step with the Spirit then the desires of the flesh CANNOT stay.
But we must be aware and be on our guard as the flesh will fight to survive; it wants the opposite to the Spirit and will fight to keep this control. We must be aware even more so in times like this when things are turbulent and unknown. We must make sure that we do not give our flesh the environment in which it can feed and thrive. Fear, anxiety, loneliness and isolation are just some of the things that can fuel the flesh.
So, what can we do? Galatians 5:24 tells us that, “we must nail our sinful desires of the flesh to the cross of Jesus and we must stay in step with the Spirit and His leading since we are now living by the Spirit”. WE MUST DO THIS DAILY but most importantly, we must make sure we are BORN AGAIN. We must accept Jesus into our heart as our Lord and Saviour because the beautiful thing is, He already has the victory over this battle; we just need to step into that victory. Let us change the narrative of our story from “ Hi, I’m [insert your name] and I am born a sinner” to “Hi, I’m [insert your name] and I am born again through the blood of Jesus Christ my Saviour; born of the Spirit not of the flesh; forgiven and walking in a second chance.” I pray this is the ‘new start’ of your story today.
• Do you know Jesus as your Lord and Saviour - are you born again? A simple prayer of ‘Thank you. Sorry. Please.’ will cement this:
- Thank you, Jesus for dying for me on the cross.
- I am sorry, God for living in my own ways and sinful desires, turned away from you. I now turn from those ways.
- Please come into my life by the power of the Holy Spirit and help me live for you. Amen.
• What desires or passions of the flesh do you need to nail to the cross? (Examples could be an emotional response? Fear, anxiety, anger, jealousy? Or a physical response? Something you are watching? Eating? Drinking? An addiction? Let the Holy Spirit lead you and guide you. Listen to His promptings and nail it to the cross.)