We do not think the way we used to think, the things that used to entice us are now abhorrent to us, but this mortal has not yet put on immortality, and so we cannot say those words yet in all truthfulness. The world still draws us, its offerings have not completely dissipated within us, but we can recognize what the Holy Spirit is performing in our lives, and we are in agreement with Him.
“He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.” (Psalm 23:2) I ask you to contemplate this today, just because the Lord Jesus Christ is leading us does not mean we have to follow, the flesh, that old nature in us that still desires the world has no inclination to follow the Lord, He is not going where it, where that part of us wants to go.
If you were to attempt to explain Romans 7:25 to a philosopher or psychologist, they might attempt to have you committed, or at least held for observation for a while, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” My friends, there is not just a duality within us, but to borrow a terminology from horse racing, there is a trifecta going on, but one of those inside of us is going to lose. Our mind, our flesh and the Holy Spirit.
“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16) if, and only if you have forfeited your life to Him and I might add been diligently studying the Word of God, for how else would you know about Him unless you read His Book?
That seventy percent or so of people who attend church but are not saved, how many of them can expound upon anything more than the most rudimentary aspects of the Scriptures, how many can give a description of what the word grace means, or what it is to be transformed by the renewing of our minds? If you are not saved, you cannot hear the Holy Spirit, much less heed His calling in your life. Perhaps they would attempt to employ the excuse of “I go to church; therefore, I am applying Romans 10:17 in my life,” “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” But there is an even more obvious sign, one that I have never sought but have experienced more than once, those individuals seeing you as “holier than thou,” of questioning their faith, of being superior to them.
It is much more difficult to hold a conversation meant to edify someone with the lost than it is with most who sit in the pews with you, and just from my own personal experience, I have met pastors who have asked me to “tone it down,” and then usually attempting to say that that one is a weaker brother. A weaker brother who has been sitting in the same pew in the same spot for how many decades now?
It makes me wonder who is attempting to do the leading in their lives, them or the Almighty.
“My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation.” (James 3:1) It is one thing to be taught, it is quite another thing to apply what one has been taught.
Those who have been crucified with Christ do not think as they once did, the thoughts can and do occasionally rise to the surface, there is absolutely nothing we can do about that, except this, ask the Lord to make us willing to be followers. The old line is applicable here, you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. He will lead you to the still waters, and you may even follow, who would not? But will you go just as willingly beside Him when it is time to apply Psalm 23:4? “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”
The Lord does not lead us as much as He compels us. His Sovereignty, our free will.