Weekly Devotional 2-8-21 Outward Manifestations
Recently, a friend mentioned that people often judge other people, and of course this is true. Not being sure where he was going with that disclosure, I mentioned that what we see a person do with his life is an outward manifestation of the desires and intent of his inward person, his soul. The body performs what the inward man desires. The body does nothing of its own volition. The body is the instrument of the soul.
Some will say, wait a minute didn’t the Lord Jesus say, “Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge you will be judged, and with what measure you make it will be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2)? Yes, He did, but if they would continue reading (verses 3-6), they would find that Jesus was talking about hypocritical judgments; no doubt having in mind, the Pharisees.
But what of the inward man, why does it desire what it does? That depends upon one’s relationship with God, or the lack thereof. If a person has a personal relationship with God, then his or her motives and desires will be God’s good pleasure. However, if he or she does not have a personal relationship with God then the desires of his or her inward man will seek those things that are not of God. How can that be? You might ask. Paul answers that question in his letter to the Galatians,
“11 And I, brethren, if I still preach circumcision, why do I still suffer persecution? Then the offense of the cross has ceased. 12 I could wish that those who trouble you would even cut themselves off! 13 For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. 14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” 15 But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another! 16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; there of” …. “24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:11-21; 24).
As we judge ourselves (forget judging others) we should each ask, what is it that excites my inward man (my soul)? Is it those things that please God, or those things that displease and dishonor Him? To help us judge ourselves correctly God has testified of His glory in nature; by His laws and by an infused conscience, a conscience that identifies to us, right and wrong. Not a right and wrong predicated on humanistic societal values, but predicated upon His communication to us, from His Spirit to our spirit, to our souls. None of us have an excuse. Even those in the most remote parts of the earth, those who have had no contact with the rest of the world, have a sense of right and wrong; a conscience that speaks to them of the One to whom they are responsible. They do not have His written law, but they have the testimony of nature and an infused spiritual light; a sense that He exists, and a sense that He is to be considered and worshipped, (John 13-9).
Man, however, because of sin, has elevated himself above God and listens to the dictates of the inner man; his soul which is alienated toward God. Unless God intervenes on one’s behalf the sinful desires of the inner man will be manifested in the flesh. This need not be. God has given a universal call to all mankind, “Come unto Me and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). If you are one that hears that call, answer Him and you will find that His will has become your desire. The things of the world and of your old nature will no longer be tasteful to you.
If this has occurred in your life, when you judge yourself, or when you are judged by others, the testimony of your life will manifest that your inward man, your soul, is right with Holy God.
“7Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. 8For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6:7-8).
Transforming; The Work of God on Behalf of Man