Sun am 22 November 2009 – Kobus Swart
Heb. 4:12; Phil. 2:12-16; Phil. 3:12-13; Phil. 4:9-19; 1 Tim. 6:6-10; (Gal. 1:6-8)
Each confessing, believing Christian has a ‘spirit man’ on the inside that needs to be nurtured and grow. The soulish being too often still dominates the spirit man in you, that determines your reactions to pressure? Roots of insecurities, suspicion, unforgiveness and bitterness must be dealt with as you allow the proceeding Word to penetrate your being and divide between soul and spirit (Heb 4:12).
A big one in today’s evil and perverse generation is the spirit of discontentment; never feeling what you have in life is enough. Commercials on TV, for example, appeal to this root of dissatisfaction of what you have and who you are. It makes you do things and buy things and lust after things.
What about being easily offended? Jesus said, “Blessed is he who is not offended in Me.” The religious spirits were always offended by Jesus. Check out if any of these things mentioned are still deeply rooted into your soul life. Your soul life should by now have been separated from your spirit and dealt with by the Word. The spirit man must be free to develop and rule the soul man. That is why the fruit of the spirit includes things like self-discipline (Gal. 5). The fruit of the spirit should reflect in your soul life. The spirit man should become so strong and so dominant in your life that the reactions from the soul will not prevail. Eventually we shall be saved, spirit, soul and body. We are three-part beings. All we see is the outer man, the clay pot, but Paul, says we are not to know each other after the flesh.
Change does not simply come by changing your circumstances. The best change comes when you can rise above the circumstances because of the change inside. God prepares a table in the presence of your enemies (Ps 23). There are exceptions (like Sodom and Gomorrah) when God wants you to move out.
Satan would like to find a platform in you, and the Bible says, “Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him]” (Ephes 4:27). Jesus said, “The ruler of this world comes and finds nothing in Me”(Jn 14:30). No platform, no room for Satan to trigger offence, unforgiveness and bitterness. Jesus was clean and without sin. Don’t blame circumstances and everybody except yourself. When you are easily offended, easily lose your temper and are constantly discontented, unhappy with what you have and who you are and where you are in life – get rid of that platform in your life which invites that kind of battle and warfare of the enemy. Teach yourself to be contended with who you are in Christ. This does not mean your spiritual growth must ever stop. Avoid stagnation! Continue to hunger and thirst after God. You can never settle down and say you have enough of God; otherwise you are on your way down. “Lord, I want more of You” (Phil. 3:12-13).
Do all things without grumbling and complaining (Phil. 2:12-16). Paul was contented with much and with little. But there was one thing he was never contented with: he pressed on to the goal of the upward call of Christ. In Phil. 4:9-19 we find a complete picture of Paul’s attitude. He was never consumed by lust; never had ambitions to get what he did not have. Always contented and God always supplied his needs.
“But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we have food and covering, with these we shall be content. But those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a snare and many foolish and harmful desires which plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Tim. 6:6-10).
May the Lord give us a contented heart!