Isaiah 55:9 For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so My
ways are higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.
If there would be one question to ask yourself...when reading scripture...when deciding how to handle specific situations...when thinking your thoughts...when opening your mouth...it would be, how different are God's ways than mine?
We were each created in God's image...however, the fall fell hard! It twisted, corroded and brought death to everything. It affected each person down to the cellular level. We have been profoundly affected by the fall. When God said to our predecessors that we would know (in the fullest sense of the word) the difference between good and evil, He was right!! From Hitler (at least closest to the worst evil) to babies being born with every abnormality imaginable (some of what evil has done)... evil is here.
We were created to live in a perfect world...and scientists even say the heart that beats in our chest was constructed so well that it was meant to beat indefinitely. But of course, with all that is against that happening, our bodies give out long before indefinitely rolls around.
Yes, the oceans and the universe still have untold possibilities for exploration...yet, scientists also say that the human brain has such an amazing capacity that we may never reach the end of what we can learn about it.
Yes....we were created in God's image, yet the fall corrupted what God created. Our nature, that was created in His image became corrupt...which of course affected how we think. This is why it is so important to question how much we want God's will more than we want our own. Because if we truly, down deep, really want what suits our own will, then that is what we will find. If we only want what feels familiar and easier, then that is what we'll find...as the old nature is what we are used to.
13You were indeed
called to be free, brothers and sisters. Don't turn this freedom into an excuse
for your corrupt nature to express itself. Rather, serve each other through
love. 14All of the law is summarized in a single statement, "Love your neighbor as you love
15But if you
criticize and attack each other, be careful that you don't destroy each other.
16Let me explain
further. Live your life as your spiritual nature directs you. Then you will
never follow through on what your corrupt nature wants.
17What your corrupt
nature wants is contrary to what your spiritual nature wants, and what your
spiritual nature wants is contrary to what your corrupt nature wants. They are
opposed to each other. As a result, you don't always do what you intend to do.
18If your spiritual
nature is your guide, you are not subject to the law.
19Now, the effects
of the corrupt nature are obvious: illicit sex, perversion, promiscuity, 20idolatry, drug
use, hatred, rivalry, jealousy, angry outbursts, selfish ambition, conflict,
factions, 21envy, drunkenness,
wild partying, and similar things. I've told you in the past and I'm telling you
again that people who do these kinds of things will not inherit the kingdom of
22But the spiritual
nature produces love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
self-control. There are no laws against things like that. 24Those who belong
to Christ Jesus have crucified their corrupt nature along with its passions and
25If we live by our
spiritual nature, then our lives need to conform to our spiritual nature. 26We can't allow
ourselves to act arrogantly and to provoke or envy each other.
Then, it is important as well to question our own interpretations of what God is saying in scripture...along with learning to trust God's Holy Spirit more than we trust our own inklings. Then in time, it will be hard to tell where our inklings end and the Holy Spirit's leading begins...because we want what God wants more, and have practiced distinguishing between good and evil. ~ Between what God wants and what our old nature wants.
Hebrews 5:14 Such persons are mere babes. But solid food is for
adults--that is, for those who through constant practice have their spiritual
faculties carefully trained to distinguish good from evil.
John 7:17 If anyone chooses to do God's will,
he will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my
So, what is God's #1 will for all His children? God's ways are so much different than the ways of the corrupt nature, to the point where they are quite evidently the opposite. Then, what is the opposite...or what are we to do instead?
Look again at Galatians 5:13-14
13You were indeed called to be free, brothers and sisters. Don't turn this freedom into an excuse for your corrupt nature to express itself. Rather, serve each other through love. 14All of the law is summarized in a single statement, "Love your neighbor as you love yourself."
Yes, love. Self-interest is at the root of the old nature, not other-interest. This is not saying we can't love at all, but our first and most comfortable inkling is self-first...and depending how we were raised and how much evil has already had an influence, our inkling might be self-only.
However, God didn't say to stop this sin or that sin...or to do this practice or that ritual...or to be godly or righteous...no, He said, "Rather, serve each other through love."
Loving others with God's love is not comfortable or logical for our carnal nature...but it is God's most important ethic.
The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments."
1 Cor. 16:14
"Let all that you do be done in love".
But, how about our sin? Don't we need to address that? Loving is fine, but how about SIN! My sin and their sin! I know this is also a concern, but God has a way to deal with sin that is unfamiliar to our carnal nature as well...that also involves love, so we'll talk about that next time...altho as you study and read through all the love verses (the ones above and in the URL below), you'll see much of the answers there...