But To the Will Of God

Text:I Peter 4:1-7

This passage starts off with a few very interesting phrases.  First, is the challenge to arm ourselves as the same manner of Christ.  The second is the one who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.  Let us look at the second phrase first and take the challenge of living according to the will of God not the weak and feeble flesh.  

What God is telling us is very simple.  Suffering the flesh does not cause one to cease from sin but rather is the evidence of the choice that one has made.  God is reminding us of the fact that we can live by the flesh of the Spirit but we must choose one.

If you and I choose the flesh, we must remember that this path leads to death and destruction, Rom. 8:5, 6.  When Hezekiah had his back against the wall and faced a much larger and very successful army of Sennacherib, God reminded him of the strength of the Lord over the flesh, II Chron. 32:7, 8.  The flesh indeed lost and the Spirit of God lead Israel in a great victory that sent King Sennacherib running home in shame and defeated.  We must remember that if we choose the flesh, it is very weak and limited, Matt. 26:41; Psalms 146:3; Jer. 17:5-9.  

When you and I choose God over the flesh, there will be suffering indeed but great peace and victory.  With obedience to the call of God always comes strength and peace like we can never know in the flesh.  We also need not let fear and doubt be our guide.  We can follow the Spirit of God whole heartedly and never look back if we choose, Rom. 8:1-17

We must choose to walk after the Spirit, Gal 6:16; Ps 20:7.  God also gives the resurrection power to those who will obey and live in the Spirit. The Spirit brings life and peace that will outshine the suffering and dread of this limited, physical world. When we choose the Spirit, our bodies will be quickened one day and death and sin will be defeated. We must remember the King is indeed coming back soon! May the Lord find us faithful when He rolls back the clouds of mankind and rides triumphantly on His white horse. May we live by the Spirit and not the flesh! Choose wisely.

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