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A Spiritual Breakdown of Transformation

At halftime and following the conclusion of any televised sporting event, commentators try to break down what actually happened. There are certain plays in a game that are highlighted to enhance their overall analysis. These replays may be paused or repeated a couple of times to show why this particular play was successful. Radio broadcasters often refer to this as the turning point of the game which shifted the momentum. The attached song provides one of the best breakdowns of a spiritual transformation.

But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). 17 For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature); for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do, Galatians 5:16-17.

The apostle Paul addresses the internal tug of war which goes on when someone places their trust in Jesus for the first time, Romans 10:9-11. In a letter to the Church at Rome, Paul confesses his own struggles to deny his own former way of life. Despite being told by Barnabas and other disciples of Jesus on how to live out his faith daily, it was much harder than Paul thought, Romans 7:15-17. In the passage below, Paul provides a solution by setting his heart and mind on things above.

If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory, Colossians 3:1-4.

The lyrics of Love Break Me by Oceans Above serves as a prayer as well as a spiritual breakdown of transformation. Rain is used to suggest that like erosion washes away loose soil, the Holy Spirit needs to erode what remains of your old self. Colossians 3 makes a transition in verse 5 with a call to put to death your old self. If you allow this nature to stick around, Romans 8:5-8 speaks of the hostility that exists toward God. As you listen to Love Break Me, may the love of Jesus in your heart result in a spiritual transformation.

by Jay Mankus

Evil Functions Best When No One Believes in It

According to the Bible, a crafty serpent brought evil to the earth, Genesis 3:1-7. The oldest recorded book describes a fallen angel who roams throughout the earth, Job 1:6-9. An Old Testament prophet writes about the day Lucifer was kicked out of heaven, Isaiah 14:12-15. Another prophet highlights the beauty of this anointed cherub prior to his fall from grace, Ezekiel 28:13-15. As time goes by, more and more residents of earth refer to Lucifer or Satan as a fairy tale, a fictional character or part of mythology.

You believe that God is one; you do well. So do the demons believe and shudder [in terror and horror such as make a man’s hair stand on end and contract the surface of his skin]! – James 2:19

As long as the source of evil in the Bible remains merely a figment of your imagination, this is the way the Devil likes it and wants it to be. When good things happen in life, most people credit accomplishments, blessings and rewards as a sign of hard work. However, when bad things develop in the form of defeat, hardships and trials, questions are raised upward toward God. The more people blame God for their problems on earth, evil functions best, disguised by ungodly beliefs.

But He gives us more and more grace (power of the Holy Spirit, to meet this evil tendency and all others fully). That is why He says, God sets Himself against the proud and haughty, but gives grace [continually] to the lowly (those who are humble enough to receive it). So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you, James 4:6-7.

Since the fall of mankind in the Garden of Eden, all human being are born into a sinful nature. The earthly brother of Jesus refers to this inner desire as an evil tendency. The apostle Paul devotes an entire chapter to this internal tug of war, Romans 7:15-18. Unless you become open to the power of the Holy Spirit via a personal relationship with Jesus, Romans 10:9-10, evil will continue to ravage souls. Part of any spiritual awakening involves recognizing the bad, evil and sinful habits within you. Until evil is associated with the Devil, powers of darkness will continue to fly under the radar.

by Jay Mankus

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