Daily Devotional

June 27, 2019

Tug of War

Romans 8:5-6
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.

Written by: Marshall King

Remember growing up playing the game of tug of war? The objective was to pull the members of the other team across the line before being pulled across the line by the other team. Rope burns and sore muscles were part of the battle. In the end, the last team to survive was declared the winner. Who knew we were really being taught a life lesson?

Merriam Webster defines tug of war as: “a struggle for supremacy or control usually involving two antagonists.” In today’s teaching, the two opposing parties are our flesh (our own desires) and the Holy Spirit. Both influence our thinking. They are in conflict with each other. It is a daily struggle.

All of us are sinful by nature; our flesh is bent toward being sinful. Thank you Adam and Eve!   As Christians, we constantly face the choice to follow Jesus or to take a detour and give in to following our flesh. The worldview teaches us to live life to the fullest, fulfill the desires of our flesh, and ignore the consequences of making bad decisions. The reality is all of us suffer the consequences of bad choices. Unfortunately, it is part of the learning process, painful as it may be.

Paul teaches in Romans 12:2: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed [spiritually changed] by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—His good, pleasing and perfect will.”

Renewing our mind is made possible through reading and applying God’s Word. The Holy Spirit helps us understand and apply the teaching to our daily life. Our job is to listen to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, obey, and remain in Jesus.

More Devo 6.27Thought of the day: Remember, God wants to bless you more than you can ask or imagine. He loves you as you are, not as you should be. In this life we will never be sin-free. As a Christian, focusing your mind on God and being controlled by the Holy Spirit should result in sinning less and living with contentment and peace. What fruits of the Spirit are you seeing in your life? What is keeping you from completely surrendering to the Holy Spirit?

Prayer: God, thank You for giving me Your Word and the Holy Spirit. Thank You for being patient with me and loving me during the times I choose to live according to the desires of my flesh and disobey You. God, please reveal to me any blind spots or offensive ways that are hindering me from being controlled by the Holy Spirit. I want to confess them and repent of them so that I may enjoy the fruit of the Spirit and the abundant life You offer through Jesus.  Amen.


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