As we settle into 2019, we have a moment to pause, be thankful, and look forward. This year is full of possibility with God.
2018 got us out of hibernation mode. Hopefully you didn’t miss all the meetings. Praise and worship became stronger, closing the gap between us and God. Unbecoming social media got the boot. The world was shaken into a political, divisive frenzy. God’s people didn’t partake, so we seriously don’t care. Our Church made a historic transition without a side of drama. Charity became a much bigger part of our lives. Hurricanes came and went. Spiritual inhibitions just went. We learned five ways to keep our peace and how to cultivate it. Brother Nobles told us we’re in a battle of the wills and to prepare: the carnal nature is going down even more in 2019. He said to keep Romans 7 front and center and get used to seeing Romans 8—a lot. We celebrated triumphs. We heard messages that shook the old man (its days are numbered). Challenges, we had our share; regrets, maybe a few. We mourned great losses. We came together. We shed a river of tears. But we kept on keeping on.
New Year, Same Old Man
No no no. If we live after the flesh, we will die.
We cannot overcome in one day, but if we are not taking action against the carnal nature every single day, we’re on a losing track.
“If you aren’t struggling with your will, it’s because you aren’t bothering it. When you start resisting your own will, IT WILL FIGHT BACK.” –Brother Nobles
What Am I Doing To Help Build The Body Of Christ?
Brother Nobles said to ask ourselves that and other questions.
What do we want?
What is our desire?
What is driving us?
Make room in our everyday thoughts to remember why we do what we do.
Whatever we think about all the time becomes our treasure. If our first response is to deal with every situation and condition righteously, we will be an overcomer. Conditions will always exist. Handle them God’s way, not ours. When our heart is following the teachings, it will not steer us wrong.
When career, business, hobbies, and worldly treasures are in the driver’s seat, they steer us into carnality, which seeks to break away from righteousness and do its own thing.
“God can do more for your career and business that you can ever do. PUT HIM FIRST, then you’ll be successful.” –Brother Nobles
Anchor our heart in the confidence that when we let His power work in us, He will accomplish mighty things that we could never achieve alone.
The Prayer Of All Prayers
Yes, the one in Matthew 6. First of all, Jesus never said to use this prayer for religious or vain repetitions. He said to “pray after this manner”.
“Give us this day our daily bread.” –Matthew 6:11
Verse 11 is an exhortation to remember our access to the power of God in every situation. The key word is daily.
“Don’t wait until you are buried under an avalanche to do something, to call me, or to call the Ministry. Work on these things daily. Stay on top of it. Stay consistent. Ask God to give you something every day to help you fight, to give you answers on the conditions you’re fighting, and to feed your mind something that will give you a victory—-not after you are buried. Get your DAILY bread.” –Brother Nobles
I’m Not Blushing You’re Blushing
We’re all guilty. Everyone has an ego. In the October meeting, Brother Nobles taught on the pride of life and how the ego causes our spiritual demise. Forget the glory; it belongs to God. Focus on contributing, overcoming, and growing.
There is something in the deep waters of our descent into the humility of letting go of all that’s carnal—that is worth assessing. Picture yourself falling into spiritual deep waters immersed in God and letting go of what the world has taught is acceptable, and even preferable.
In the October meeting, Brother Nobles pointed out that what God deems evil often looks completely normal to man. Eating of the tree of good and evil makes us look normal to the world. But that doesn’t change the truth: it is evil.
Don’t Look At A Beautiful Starry Night With Sunglasses On
We’ll never see the beauty in battling our nature while looking through man’s eyes. We’ll never see overcoming and perfection through a natural lens. It takes looking at it through the clarity of God’s Word.
Man’s perspective has held us back from the profound serenity and peace in overcoming that is, in fact, attainable. Brother Nobles recently talked about how we can replace worry with peace. In 2019, challenge everything the carnal man has ever taught you. Scrutinize everything it ever gave you. Then, begin to let it all go.
Prepare to meet more of God’s people: take what’s in our hearts and put it out there in a way that people can receive it.
This Is My Flight Song
Take back my spiritual life song.
As the battle between the old and new man gets heated, picture the old man in an airplane in gradual descent from flight above the weather. Coming down involves negotiating a layer of turbulence. The body might vibrate, bounce, and shake as the mind experiences updrafts of anxieties, of unresolved emotions, and carnal thoughts. Our challenge is to avoid reflexively re-ascending to escape this experience.
Peace is about trusting that the safety of our spiritual soul resides just beyond the turbulence. Surrender. Invoke the Holy Ghost, scriptures, and teachings. Fight the good fight, and bring down the carnal nature.
If You Like Reading Other People’s Mail
You’ll love the epistles. Paul didn’t have email or twitter, so he relied on writing letters to the Church. Paul’s letters in Romans weren’t to just say hello or ask someone to clear out a guest room—he had important church business and was ensuring the Church stayed on the foundation Christ set. These letters to the Church, then and now, instruct us to focus on the most important thing—overcoming.
It’s Me. In The Flesh.
With clarity and conciseness, Romans 8 pinpoints our exact enemy. This chapter is our navigation through the tricky, deceptive, and subtle mind of the carnal nature. Use it to transcend our own thinking.
Romans 8 causes us to step up and take full responsibility for our lives. No one else is responsible for how we respond or react. No one else is to blame for our lack of overcoming or succeeding in Christ. We cannot be victims of external circumstances and win this race. If we fail, it’s all on us. We have the power to make the right choices.
We can choose to walk after the flesh or walk after the spirit.
We can choose to be free of the law of sin and death.
We can choose to mind the things of the flesh or mind the things of the spirit.
Romans 8 Is Spiritually Empowering
Circumstances and other people can play negative parts in our life and take us places that are hard, but when we blame anything but ourselves, we remain hostage to things outside of our control.
Brother Nobles asked us, “What choices will you make?” He talked about Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane and our own battle of the wills. Jesus agonized in the flesh, but then made the right choice. Brother Nobles showed us how we can substitute words like “determination” and “choice” for “will”.
Once we realize that every choice — even small ones — yield an outcome, we can decide which outcomes we want. No choice is free. Every choice is tied to an outcome. Every choice has meaning.
So many things are competing for our attention, to be our priority, and to drive us. Worship puts everything else back in perspective. It brings us back to God and closes the gap, which makes us feel like we can keep striving to overcome.
This Church Is On Fire
Barely one month in, the new year is still serving as a checkpoint for our lives. We see parts of our relationships, families, habits, and work that need to be evaluated. We have dreams about what is coming and plans for the year ahead. Like many homes being repaired, some things need to be restored; some things, replaced. There is beauty in the balance between the old and the new, between what was, and what could be.
2018 proved we could pull ourselves up over and over again. Most important, it proved we are united by unwavering determination to fight the carnal nature and strengthen the church.
Whatever God has in store for 2019, this generation, and this time—be ready, be available, and stay connected to the heartbeat of the church.
Our cups runneth over. Our future in Jesus is FULL of great things!!!