Ever had a best friend? You laugh at the same jokes. You enjoy doing the same things. You never run out of things to talk about. It’s wonderful. Then, you make a new friend. So you decide to get both your friends to gether—it should be double the fun, right? Wrong.
You discover your two friends hate each other, and you’re caught in the middle. When you spend time with one, the other one sulks. Neither friend has anything nice to say about the other. Being in the middle is miserable. So what can you do?
You have to choose one. One will be your best friend. The other friend will still be a part of your life, but in a limited capacity. You won’t spend as much time together or communicate as often.
That’s kind of how it is with your “bestie”—God. He’s friends with your spiritual nature. According to biblical expert Lehman Strauss, we all have three natures–spirit soul and body. Think about it. Do you ever feel conflicted or torn about a decision? Part of you wants to go to the gym. Then again, you really don’t feel like going, so you don’t. Later on, you feel guilty because you know you need to exercise to reach your goal. Does that sound like only “one” person is involved? Your spirit-man loves God and wants to do the same things God does. Your natural man (soul or carnal-man) wants to do the opposite. And, your body just follows the commands of either your spirit or soul!
Romans 7:21-24, Living Bible
“It seems to be a fact of life that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love to do God’s will so far as my new nature is concerned; but there is something else deep within me, in my lower nature, that is at war with my mind and wins the fight and makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. In my mind I want to be God’s willing servant, but instead I find myself still enslaved to sin. So you see how it is: my new life tells me to do right, but the old nature that is still inside me loves to sin. Oh, what a terrible predicament I’m in!
There’s no dilemma when you realize this truth: Your spiritual nature can dominate your soul and physical nature. Why? Your spiritual nature comes from God (1 Peter 1:22-25). When you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you become born-again with a new spirit that has access to God’s nature and power (Luke 10:18-20). Your new best friend, God’s Holy Spirit, moves into your house (your physical body) and begins to regenerate your soul (Titus 3:4-6).
Romans 7:25, Living Bible
Who will free me from my slavery to this deadly lower nature? Thank God! It has been done by Jesus Christ our Lord. He has set me free.”
You have control over this process by the act of your will…
Romans 12:1-3, New Living Translation
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”
- You decide how much you submit to God.
- You decide how often you will pray.
- You decide how often you will read the Word of God.
- You decide how much you will get into God’s presence.
- You decide how often you will go to church.
The nature you feed the most becomes dominant and controls the other two. The more you obey your higher nature, the faster your spirit-man will grow.
Romans 8:5-9, Living Bible
Those who let themselves be controlled by their lower natures live only to please themselves, but those who follow after the Holy Spirit find themselves doing those things that please God. Following after the Holy Spirit leads to life and peace, but following after the old nature leads to death because the old sinful nature within us is against God. It never did obey God’s laws and it never will. That’s why those who are still under the control of their old sinful selves, bent on following their old evil desires, can never please God. But you are not like that. You are controlled by your new nature if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that if anyone doesn’t have the Spirit of Christ living in him, he is not a Christian at all.)
When you obey your higher nature, you choose to become friends with God. It’s time to choose.
James 4:4, The Living Bible
“…Don’t you realize that making friends with God’s enemies—the evil pleasures of this world—makes you an enemy of God? I say it again, that if your aim is to enjoy the evil pleasure of the unsaved world, you cannot also be a friend of God.”
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