If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you... (Rom 8:11 ESV]
YES, I know I said "crap"...it felt weird to write it, but it's truly what it is.
Maybe you're like me. You got crap in your life that you're tired of. You question why you can't "just do it!" like the pastor or the spiritual giant in your church.
Q:How do I experience the most abundant life?
A: listen to worship music, be with JESUS!!
Q: How do I stop doing the things I don't like and regret?
A: Read, pray, JESUS!!
Q : How do kick ____ in my life?
A: online sermons, quiet time with JESUS!!
Maybe you're like me. I rehearse these type questions about my life, my inadequacies over and over and finally resort to firing back some surface-level, all-inclusive answer to satiate my unrest. Try ot pump myself up because victory is just over the horizon.
I never arrive at the horizon! But, I ALWAYS end up at the scriptures.
The hope and truth it shows me, was better but far different than I thought...
"For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. ... For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot. ... (Rom 8:2, 5-7 ESV)
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." (Rom 8:13 ESV)
GOOD NEWS!!! You can stop trying harder...set the eyes of your mind in the right direction.
Remember 3 things from this chapter:
1. "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. ...
2. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you..." (Rom 8:1,9 ESV)
3. The JESUS and the SPIRIT are interceding on your behalf (Rom 8:27,34)
Finally, the scriptures defines life as being glorified like HE WAS!
Immense majesty, thundering power, waves of love, gut-squealing joy. With one provision...suffering with patience.
"[Since we're God's] then heirs--heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us... For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience." (Rom 8:17-18)
And God's heart is for us! (even while we were sinner Christ died) so bad stuff doesn't mean direct punishment...LIFE REDEFINED is that GOD gives us all things good in a spirit of grace no matter what's going on.
"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? ...
Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died--more than that, who was raised--who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us [not condemning]." (Rom 8:31-32)
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? As it is written, "For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered." No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:35-39)
Set the mind from the spiritual perspective that Jesus died and made you a child of God. Who literally, graciously gives you everything you need and loves you enough that when you suffer and go through things, it burns away the flesh and draws you to HIMSELF.
He satisfies us. We must stop choosing second best - it only gets us to the crappy places. Set your mind on the Spirit, and like Christ demonstrated, it brings amazing life through the inevitable suffering that we are stuck in.