“….now the Lord is Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s Glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, Who is Spirit.” – 2 Corinthians 3:17-18
The flesh is restricting, it’s bondage – with all its demands and whims that are often conflicting/confusing and turn your attention from God to self (a most common form of idolatry). The flesh is bound to this world (we do not take the flesh with us in death and the flesh is not part of the “image of God” since God is not of flesh); and this world is under the control of the enemy (due to the curse of sin) (John 16:11, John 12:31, John 5:19 2 Corinth. 4:4). Therefore anyone living by the flesh is not free. They live in bondage.
The Spirit is God and is not restricted by the world. Spirit is not in bondage to the whims and demands of flesh because Spirit has no flesh and is not infected by sin. Spirit is all holy (1 Peter 1:6), all knowing, all powerful, all strength – none can compare to Spirit and none can lead, guide or question His methods for He is the Creator of all things and has designed all according to His purpose (Jeremiah 32:17, 27). Spirit does only the Will of God (John 16:13). The world (those who operate in the flesh) does not know, or accept, the Spirit (John 14:16-17). Those who accept the Spirit (sincerely) die to their flesh (and are freed from bondage) and live by the Spirit which brings freedom in Christ (Galatians 5:16-25, Romans 8:5-15).
Once we accept the Spirit into our lives and willingly allow Him to work in our hearts God literally pours His Spirit into His children who continuously seek Him. He also continues to increase our glory in Christ, as we continue to humble ourselves under His Mighty Hand and submit willingly to His LIFE TRANSFORMING POWER!
SUBMISSION TO GOD = OBEDIENCE. OBEDIENCE TO GOD = BLESSING! (Deuteronomy 28:2)
As we submit to God he transforms us into the image of His Perfect Son, Our Messiah, CHRIST the ONE TRUE KING! If that’s not enough to get you praising, I don’t know what is! To be made perfect like Christ by the hand of God – that is one marvelous gift!
While God does His work of transforming us, we should do our part by, ” renouncing the secret and shameful ways; … not use deception…nor..distort the Word of God…” and instead, ” set…forth the truth [of Christ] plainly…” (2 Corinth. 4:2). Our lives should plainly reflect our commitment to Christ so our witness for Christ will be effective. If we say one thing, but live another we distort the Word of God and we are deceptive [ and hypocritical] because our words do not match our actions (and don’t reflect our faith).
It is important for all believers to understand, in the midst of our transformation from the old self (our flesh) to the new self (Spirit/Image of Christ) we will endure hardship... “we are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinth. 4:8-9)
Change is not always easy. Just as we didn’t fall into sin and being led by the flesh overnight, neither will we come out of it overnight. It’s not that God Himself makes it hard – rather the enemy, who desires to keep us in the flesh and separate from God. He will do everything he can to keep us from returning to Christ, and once we return, to keep us from staying in Christ victoriously.
Don’t be alarmed when it seems like the more you desire to live for Christ, the more things come against you – this is temporary, this is common – but you can overcome because Christ already has. All of this is done to transform us into the image of Christ and free us from the bondage of sin, ultimately allowing us share in the resurrection of Christ into Eternal Life with our Father and Creator – El Elyon “God Most High”, the Great I AM! HALLELUJAH!!!!
So, fellow believer and brother or sister in Christ, have faith! Most of all remember these things during those difficult seasons in Christ when you are tempted to give up, turn back and forfeit the work Christ has begun. HE, Christ, is faithful to see it through to the end (Phil 1:6) BUT YOU MUST BE WILLING TO ENDURE AND SEE IT THROUGH WITH HIM!
Trust God, He is faithful in His promises! The transformation from flesh to Spirit in Christ is not an easy path, nor always a comfortable one – but, it is the most REWARDING! I speak as a living testimony …God stripped me bare of all I had accomplished in my flesh – apart from Him – and now that I have learned submission and obedience (and most important to Him – TRUST) He is blessing me in ways that I could never (and have never) imagined – spiritually and physically! It’s so worth it….it’s so worth it…it so…so…soooooo worth it! I can’t stress this enough.
Stay the course my friends, you are NOT alone.
“Therefore, we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is sen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen, is eternal.” – 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
“Let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” – 2 Corinthians 7:1