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Remove the Hostility

Aggression, bitterness, malice, and spite are words associated with hostility. As opposing worldviews continue to clash, there is a growing movement to silence certain beliefs, opinions, and social media sites. In recent weeks, democratic, liberal, and progressive leaders have compared their political opponents to terrorists and white supremacists. While newly elected president Joe Biden promised to unite this country by reaching out to those who didn’t vote for him, Biden’s executive orders reveal a different message. Before the United States becomes even further divided, it’s time to remove the hostility toward those who hold opposing views.

For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratify the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their minds on and seek those things which gratify the [Holy] Spirit. Now the mind of the flesh [which is sense and reason without the Holy Spirit] is death [death that [comprises all the miseries arising from sin, both here and hereafter]. But the mind of the [Holy] Spirit is life and [soul] peace [both now and forever], Romans 8:5-6.

In a first century letter to the Church at Rome, the apostle Paul refers to an internal hostility. Similar to his letter to Galatia in Galatians 5:16-25, Paul reveals the ongoing spiritual battle that exists today within every human being. As individuals begin to feed their internal desires for temporary pleasures, sinful minds become hostile toward God. If this lifestyle is justified or rationalized by those who indulge their flesh, this inward battle is freely expressed to the external world. Instead of listening to the conviction of consciences, carnal minds seek to eliminate God from the equation. If God is removed, individuals can do or say whatever they want.

[That is] because the mind of the flesh [with its carnal thoughts and purposes] is hostile to God, for it does not submit itself to God’s Law; indeed it cannot. So then those who are living the life of the flesh [catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature] cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him, Romans 8:7-8.

According to the apostle Paul, the only way to remove this hostility is by yielding control over to God. However, when minds become under the influence of addiction to a specific sin, hostility will reign. Thus, the sooner souls begin to take their thought lives captive, 2 Corinthians 10:3-6, spiritual strongholds can be addressed. Like a patient waiting on a transplant list, human minds need the influence of the Holy Spirit to be renewed. Without this spiritual infusion, human minds will struggle to let go of the hostility that exists today. Therefore if you want to be an advocate for change, exchange any hostile feelings with the power of God’s Spirit.

by Jay Mankus

The Grand Illusion

As the 2015 NFL Draft approaches, Sports Networks are creating programming to feed the anticipation of football fans.  While channel surfing the other night, I stumbled across an interesting conversation on ESPN.  A pastor from California was talking to Jameis Winston, the projected first pick in the draft about temptation  Tainted by two seasons of off the field troubles, quarterback Jameis Winston has been a victim of the grand illusion, falling prey to the deception of temptation.

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely, but he who makes his ways crooked will be found out. – Proverbs 10:9

Known as the great deceiver, Satan has a way of making things look better than they really are.  Thus, the curious, unprepared and weak have a tendency to become repeat customers of the grand illusion.  Although the media will tend to label, make fun of and trash an individual for making poor decisions, there is a spiritual element that the addicted can’t cure on their own.  Similar to wearing beer goggles, sinful minds have a habit of justifying wrong actions, causing common sense to fade.

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.- James 1:22

On the outside looking in, its hard to comprehend why some struggle to get control of their lives.  Bad influences, stubborn hearts and wandering souls can spend numerous years under the grasp of the grand illusion.  Those held captive often cry out to the heavens, searching for improvement from their condition.  Depending upon the severity of one’s situation, regaining control may take a while.  However, if you lean on the Lord’s power, Philippians 4:13, freedom is possible with Jesus’ help.  May this blog motivate you to remain patience until healing is achieved.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

 

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