Have you ever bought a car, then suddenly start seeing that same car model everywhere?
It's not like someone started putting more of those cars on the road—it's just that your vision changed.
Now that the car model is relevant to you, your vision changed to pay attention to it.
I've started paying more attention to the differences between walking in the Spirit versus walking the flesh lately because it's an issue that is highly relevant to us as disciples of Christ.
Although we Christians are designed to walk in the Spirit, too often, the enemy deceives us so that we continue to walk in the flesh as we don't know the Lord's power.
How can he get away with that?
Just this past week, after meditating on Romans 6:11-13, I drew a picture of how the enemy gains access to us.
I hope this picture will change your vision forever so that you see his strategy.
With that revelation knowledge, you can shut him down.
Take a moment to study the chart on this page and note the difference between the supernatural and the natural.
I'll explain each perspective in more detail in a moment.
God speaks through our spirit, which communicates to our soul (mind, will and emotions).
We can perceive spiritual things only through a mind renewed by the Word of God.
Think of it this way: Television and radio signals are transmitted over the air all around us. But we can't see these signals with our natural eyes, can we?
The only way we can know what they are transmitting is to get a television set or radio that can translate the over-the-air signals into a picture or sound that we can perceive with our senses.
In a similar way, studying and meditating on God's Word transforms us spiritually so we can perceive what the Lord is transmitting to us.
As our minds are renewed, we choose to submit our will and emotions to the Lord's purpose. Our souls can then ensure that our bodies remain under subjection to spiritual direction so we use them to glorify God.
This is how a Christian is designed to operate.
Here is how the enemy gets access to us—through the back door. His strategy is to bypass our spirit and go straight for our soul (mind, will and emotions).
Because He knows that emotions often drive us, he wants to get us "all up in our feelings." He wants us to act quickly, impulsively.
When he directs our attention toward that which tempts us, our desire for it increases.
Driven by emotion, we choose to submit our will to that which our heart desires.
Being flesh-driven means using our bodies merely to please ourselves, not to please God.
That is why it is possible for a believer in Christ to be in just as much bondage as an unbeliever.
If their minds remain un-renewed to God's Word, then they have the same old mind as they did when they were unsaved.
As a result, they are unable to perceive God's voice when He tries to direct them to act wisely.
God's grace gives us the ability to overcome all power of the enemy!
James 4:7 says, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you."
Here is how you can put this Scripture into practice:
1. Submit to God
One way of looking at submission is "under the mission." In the same way that a soldier puts their personal desires under the mission to protect their country, so we put our personal desires under the mission of advancing God's kingdom.
You have been called for such a time as this. What an honor to have the opportunity to glorify our Lord and Savior.
The more you focus your thoughts daily on glorifying God in your choices, maintaining a thankful heart and renewing your mind to God's Word, the more you can enlarge your vision to see God's handiwork in your life and hear His voice.
2. Resist the devil
The dictionary defines "resistance" as "the refusal to accept or comply with something; the attempt to prevent something by action or argument."
Since the devil tries to gain access to you through the backdoor of your soul (mind, will and emotions), you need to shut that opening to him.
Pay keen attention to the direction of your thoughts and emotions.
Your thoughts are like little steam-powered engines. The more you direct energy into a particular train of thought, the more you'll want to go in that direction.
Through deliberate attention, you can direct the steam into what you want to do and re-direct it away from what you don't want to do.
While this takes work, you can set up your environment to make this easier.
So question yourself: What is your will leading your body to do?
Will that action steal from you, kill or destroy? Like any criminal, that is the enemy's fingerprint!
If you still find it hard to discern the difference between Spirit-led or flesh-driven, then seek the Lord's help in prayer. He will honor your desire to follow Him.
One of the ways to tell if a decision is from God is if the outcome will be consistent with the fruit of His Spirit.
Is it one that is ultimately working in you love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control?
Or does it lead to unrest, guilt, shame, condemnation or wanting to hide?
Here are two Scriptures I recommend you mediate on to further renew your mind and enlarge your vision:
Likewise, you also consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts. Do not yield your members to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but yield yourselves to God, as those who are alive from the dead, and your bodies to God as instruments of righteousness.
I also recommend meditating on Galatians 5:19-25, which describes the works of the flesh versus walking in the Spirit in detail.
Ask God in prayer to open up your understanding as to how his Word applies to your daily decisions. He will show you the truth, because He loves you and wants His best for you.
I hope my picture shows you how the enemy gains access to you clearly— through uncaptured thoughts and unmanaged emotions.
When you learn to manage your thoughts and emotions under control of the Spirit, you can protect yourself against the enemy's influence in your life.
Once 240 pounds and a size 22, Kimberly Taylor can testify to God's healing power to end binge-eating. She is an author and the creator of the Christian weight-loss website takebackyourtemple.com. Visit today for inspirational health and weight-loss tips.
This article originally appeared at takebackyourtemple.com.
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