Isaiah 33:14-36:L22, Galatians 5:13-26, Psalms 64:1-10, Proverbs 23:23
Today is the 20th day of September. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is a pleasure, of course, every day and an honor to be here with you for lots of reasons. You’re very cool and I think it’s awesome that we can be together like this and we’re a community all over the world taking the next step forward and the very reason that we’ve come together is to do that, to allow God’s word to speak to us. So we’re reading from the Christian Standard Bible this week. Isaiah chapter 33 verse 10 through 36:22 today.
Okay. So, we talked about two different paths and two different outcomes in the book of Isaiah. Yesterday and we see the same kind of thing today in the book of Galatians, two different paths and their outcomes - the path of the sinful nature the path of union with the Holy Spirit. So, Paul wrote, for the flesh desires what is against the Spirit and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh. These are opposed to each other so that you don’t do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit you’re not under the law, right? So, two paths that are opposed to each other and are going in different directions that will end up in different places. So, we can see that we can choose the path that submits to sin, because it’s fighting for control. But how do we define that? Are there signs that reveal whether we’re choosing that path and whether we’re submitting ourselves to sin. According to Paul, there are. And in his own words. the works of the flesh are obvious - sexual immorality, moral impurity, promiscuity, idolatry, sorcery, hatreds, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambitions, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and anything similar. So, let’s just spend just a moment. And that’s a pretty good list. And we need to process it. And we can understand how sexual morality or lustful pleasures or drunkenness and wild parties would make the list, right? We’ve probably been warned against these since we entered puberty, but what about jealousy? What about envy? What about outbursts of anger? Have we ever considered that these are walking the path of the sinful nature? And we might think well, what’s the big deal? Everybody gets mad. For Paul, the big deal was that these do not lead us into anything other than more bondage. So yeah, you’re free to become in more bondage if that’s what you want to use your freedom on. But put in those terms it’s awfully counterproductive, right? And Paul is trying to contrast and reveal a freedom in Christ Jesus that is a boundless, right? So, let’s think about it. How free have you felt when you are burning with jealousy or comparing your life with someone else’s in envy? How free does that feel? I mean, did you get like the sense of complete wholeness the last time you had an uncontrollable outburst of rage? Right? When was the last time lust gave you this deep sense of spiritual joy? According to Paul, if these behaviors dominate our lives it’s because we’ve chosen the path of the sinful nature, and he tells us where the path leads. He says, let me tell you again as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the kingdom of God. So, some stuff to think about. Thankfully, Paul didn’t say that anyone who fails in these areas is hopelessly lost. Rather, the person who lives into that way of being, the one who walks not path will not inherit the kingdom of God. So, are we walking that path? If we are then it’s not gonna probably end where we had hoped it would. But, like we said, this is a contrast, there is another path that was outlined in our reading today, the path of the Spirit. And what does that path look like? Paul said, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. The law is not against such things. Now those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another. So, we can see the contrast pretty starkly and we can decide which one of these paths is heading in the direction that we were hoping to end up in because we’re going to have to follow the path that leads to where it is that were trying to go, right? Otherwise, we’re not going to get there. And this is often the case with the Scripture. The Bible continually shows us that our thoughts and our words and our deeds become the path we are walking and it reveals to us where those paths are leading so that we can understand where we’re going and that our choices have outcomes. So we’ve considered the path of the sinful nature and the path of walking in the Spirit. What path are you on? What path do you want to be on? As has always been the case, the choice is ours.
Father, we invite You into that because if we’re going to be honest we’re going to have to confess that we’re trying to walk both roads, a little of this a little of that, a little for You, Lord, and a little for us. I’ll give You my worship but I’m going to hold onto that bitterness because I think it defines me and gives me permission to lash out at other people for the deficits that I feel inside myself. This is childish behavior Lord and we confess it. You are inviting us to grow up in You, You are showing us the path that leads to life. You’ve told us in advance that it’s a narrow one and few find it. And is it any wonder that we’re so distracted? But we want to walk the path that leads to life, following Your Holy Spirit, allowing the Spirit to plant the fruit of the Spirit in our lives so that it grows up a bountiful harvest and overwhelms the weeds that we keep nurturing. And we confess we’ll never…we’ll never be able to do it in our own strength. We simply are not capable. And that’s not what You’re expecting. You’re expecting that we would surrender to the fact that we can’t do it and allow Your Holy Spirit to come and guide us. And our job isn’t to figure everything out. Our job is to be submissive and surrender to You, trusting You, knowing that You will only lead us into the truth, knowing that You would never do something that would hurt us. Everything that You would do in our lives is only for our good always and forever. We trust You Lord. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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