Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Put the Flesh to Death

Romans 8:13
Acts 16:19-25
My natural inclination after being dragged about, stripped, beaten, and otherwise misused, would certainly not be to hold a prayer meeting. I imagine it wasn't the natural inclination for Paul and Silas either. I wonder how long they prayed before the words changed from the "please help me get through this", which I'm sure I would have started out with, to the praise which they sang to God. Whenever I read about people who have overcome their natural inclinations and chosen to praise the Lord despite impossible circumstances, I know they did so through a strong faith and by working with the Holy Spirit. It is natural to respond in certain ways to trials both minor (woodchucks won't leave my garden alone) and major (dragged about, stripped, beaten, imprisoned, martyred). Our natural inclinations, however, are not the life God invites us to live. He offers us an alternative. We need to put those inclinations to death and choose the far better response of the Holy Spirit, living and active and working within us. I pray that God will continue to help me put my natural inclinations to death and that if someday I am faced with persecution and even martyrdom that I will be true to God and overcome those natural inclinations.

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