“Either Or”, Not “Both And”

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My friend Mike Foster was taught a song when he was a child. It goes something like this: The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy, is to make someone happy and bring a little heaven down here. Cute! The pathway to true happiness is holiness! But, we have to choose it exclusively. There are some situations that are presented in life as “either or”, when in reality it is “both and”. For instance, ‘Do you want mint and chip ice cream “or” cookie dough? At Thrifty ice cream, its “both and”- its called a double scoop. Thank God for that! Right? The spiritual choice of fleshly living or spirit filled living is however an “either or” choice. Fleshly living places under condemnation of God’s holy law. Spirit filled living gives us so much more and evidences our salvation by God’s grace. In a sense, one is characterized by hell on earth, the other, heaven on earth. Let’s agree to bring a little heaven down here!

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want.  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.  Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:16-24 NASB

Who could I make happy today and how? What areas of my thinking and daily practice are still influenced by my flesh (desire to please myself)?

God, as this day begins- Oh, I thank you for my precious grandchildren! What a delight they are! As I sit before You this morning would you bring to my attention areas of my life yet surrendered to You and the control of the Holy Spirit. I give You full access today. Thank you for day by day healing my ankle. In Your goodness and mercy would you expedite the healing so that my time in Hawaii would be unimpeded. As I consider our pastoral staff, (Noe, Joey, Steven, Zack, Sawyer, Patty, Lauren, Jennifer, Charles, Tim, Galen, Lisa, Taleah and especially Chuck) I want to pray for each today. Thank you for each of them. Would you protect and bless them so that they could shepherd and care for Your people. Help our church become more and more spirit filled and less and less fleshly.

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