Wednesday, December 13, 2006

That Flesh

This I received in my in-box today although it was obviously written
6 years ago. How timely is His hand. Child of the King....this is just
what we were discussing last night and ties in nicely with RoG's post
today. He keeps us connected, doesn't He? I love the threads of Him
that keep interweaving through us to each other and hopefully I guess,
out from the inside of us. Does that make sense? :) Sorry it is so long...
but hey....I didn't write just totally spoke to me today.

Grace Notebook

Maladjusted Flesh By John Woodward October 22, 2000

When I stroll down memory lane I am very blessed by my heritage
of loving and supportive parents, grandparents and great
grandparents. Humanly speaking, my life has been derived
from them and they have left contributions and influences that
have had a part in shaping my personality.

Some of these relatives, who have been promoted to glory,
gave items to me which I still have. For example my paternal
grandfather, A. M.Woodward, once gave me his bowling ball
and on another occasion his antique watch. More than these,
I treasure fond memories of his love, humor and generosity.

Allow me to let the bowling ball represent maladjusted flesh
patterns.(If you would see my score sheet at the bowling alley,
you might guess the connection!) The antique watch can
represent the well-adjusted flesh patterns.

The Bible speaks of the flesh as an inward spiritual nemesis:
"I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of
the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit
against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that
you do not do the things that you wish"
(Gal 5:16,17). The flesh (Self-Life) is a condition or way of living
out of one's own resources as if one is independent of God.
The flesh (ethical use) is both sin-stained and sin-trained.

We each have developed our own unique version of the flesh.
Bill Gillham has categorized basic flesh orientations:
"We can lump all Christians into three broad categories:
Yukky Flesh, Plain Vanilla Flesh, and USDA Choice Flesh.
The person with Yukky Flesh has been reared in an environment
where, no matter how hard he tried, he couldn't get his love supply
out of it by do-it-yourself tactics... The Plain Vanilla, or average,
Flesh person has been moderately successful, neither a roaring
success nor a total failure at getting his needs for self-esteem met.
The USDA Choice Flesh person is everyone's candidate for
Mr. Christian. His high self-esteem is a result of his skill at milking
love out of the world."

Michael Wells has described the programming of the flesh this way.
"Every sin that was committed, idol trusted, and identity message
received had to register in your mind, will, and emotions (your soul),
and therefore the complete history of your old nature is stored there.
When the old man is put to death and replaced with Christ's life
and Spirit, we are one with Him and He with us (John 17:21)...
We receive new spirits, but our old souls containing the old
information remain."

When we think of the works of the flesh, we primarily identify
unethical behavior as listed in Galatians 5:19-21
(the "bowling ball" variety ). However, there are behaviors and
attitudes that are more socially acceptable, yet still derive from
the flesh. The former might be dubbed "self-rottenness",
the latter "self- righteousness". The common trait is that these
characteristics derive from the flesh instead of by the indwelling
Spirit of God. God's will for us as believers in the Lord Jesus
is to replace our old 'self' qualities with Christ-like qualities;
this process unfolds as we walk in the Spirit.

The following lists contrast maladjusted flesh and the corresponding
qualities the believer has in Christ.

Maladjusted "flesh" may prompt you to feel negatively
[but the spiritual truth states that in Christ you are
the opposite.]
worthless [precious]
unwanted [chosen]
inferior [destined for glory]
emotionally blocked [free to feel]
depressed [overflowing with joy]
isolated [involved]
introspective [looking unto Jesus]
performance-based [accepted in the Beloved]
undisciplined [self-controlled]
self-condemned [Christ-esteemed]
self-rejected [totally forgiven]

God's directive to us is well stated in Romans 12:1,2: "I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies
a LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by
the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND, that you may prove what is that good
and acceptable and perfect will of God." (emphasis added)

The plan is to look closer at the "well adjusted" flesh patterns
(the "antique watch" variety). The remedy for every believer's unique
flesh patterns is to abide in Christ, which includes reaffirming our identity in Christ, presenting ourselves to God moment by moment as instruments of righteousness, and depending upon the power of the Holy Spirit.

Our aim should be that of 2 Corinthians 7:1, "Therefore, having
these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all
filthiness of the flesh [old programming] and spirit [deceptive
messages from the Enemy], perfecting holiness in the
fear of God."

"Bowling ball flesh" (maladjusted programming) will turn us toward
the gutter every time. Our only hope is to constantly yield to the
guiding hands of our Savior.

J.B.W.for Oct. 22, 2000; reissued/revised from Vol.2 #21

1 comment:

Walking Church said...

Cool to be in company of those who are in the Kingdom. Thanks for the comments at w.c. - I sometimes wonder if anyone is reading them. I am happy to know even if one person is ministered to - it is worth the effort. It is so often we never see the whole picture - we just our piece of the puzzle when asked to play. blessings...