A Heart of Vigilance

February 23, 2016

 

1 John 5:18-21

We know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the one who was born of God keeps him safe, and the evil one cannot harm him. 19We know that we are children of God, and that the whole world is under the control of the evil one. 20We know also that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true. And we are in him who is true—even in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

21Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.

A Heart of Vigilance

I love this scripture, because it tells us the truth about who we are and where we are.  It lets me know that “in Christ”  I have been delivered and set free from that state of sin that I used to live in.  That it is not my residence or state anymore as a believer in Christ.  We all really need to know and acknowledge that in our hearts.  We are not sinners any longer we are saints.  We don’t continue, as we used too, in sin.  We are in the safety of Christ, and in Him there is no sin.  We now abide in the life and the vine of Christ.  He is the tree of Life.  Sin, which has its fruit in death, cannot abide there.  We are still surrounded and living in the midst of a world that is enveloped and living in the evil one.  Sin and temptation do surround us, but that is not where we live and that is no longer who we are.  

Romans 8 tells us, that in Christ we have been delivered from the lower law of sin and death, which resulted in condemnation and fear of judgement and have come into the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.  What that tells us is that His Spirit has come to indwell our beings.  In the light of that truth we are no longer subject to the lower law of sin and death if we abide in the law of life in Christ Jesus.  When we said “yes” to Jesus coming into our hearts, we said “yes” to his Lordship and His control of our life, but understand that His Lordship and Life working within us, He has still made subject to our will and choice.  We understand that we were saved that day in our spirit, but the process of salvation is an ongoing work of grace that is transforming us spirit, soul and body into His will and likeness.  Our residence, as believers, is now living out of His Spirit within us, but every day we make choices to yield to His spirit when our soul may still experience that drawing of the darkness and world that surrounds us.  Every day we need to be solidified in our identity “in Christ”, because the devices of the enemy is to pervert and rob that identity from us to bring us again under that former identity of the flesh.  

Let’s refresh ourselves again on who we are as spiritual beings in Christ and no longer that former person of the flesh.  Romans 8:5-17 draws a contrast of this picture for us. “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. 6The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; 7the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. 8Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.

9You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ. 10But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness. 11And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you.

12Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation—but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. 15For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” 16The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.”

You may notice that a lot of what is being said here deals with the state of mind, what spirit controls it and where we set it.  What we all, as believers,  need to be mindful that the Spirit of God is there with us to help us abide in Him, but we still have the choices and the will to open our hearts to other influences.  

It is like when someone comes to your home and it is secure and locked, but someone rings the bell and through a compelling plea, you unlock the door and let them in.  That is temptation.  They seem nice and friendly enough, but once they gain access they begin to steal from you and take your mind and heart from Christ.  They begin to refocus you on to their agenda, which, secretly and deceptively, is to rob you of the peace and security of your home.  They steal your identity in Christ as they give you there’s.  Oh, did I mention the friends they brought in with them.   When we open a door to the enemy he wants to come in like a flood.  He is always looking for the those avenues of access to distract and appeal to our former affections.  

This is why we walk daily in the Spirit, maintaining vigilance as we keep our eyes on Christ who now is our life and identity.  We are the instruments of His glory and righteousness and each day we submit ourselves afresh, not being conformed to the world, but transformed through the renewing of our minds.  Our minds are the gateways of life and death.  It is where our hearts are.  

“Dear children, keep yourselves from idols.” (1 John 5:21)  Those things and affections that would turn hearts from Christ.  

True repentance and the blood of Jesus allows us the access to return if and when we stumble in sin.  Father is never there to condemn you, that is the doing of the accuser, He is always there to restore you to wholeness and right relationship.  

Guard your hearts. 

Blessings,

#kent

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