Awareness, Come Follow Me, Come Unto Christ, Devotional, Lifestyle, Mindful Recovery, Spirituality

What Instinct Drives You?

But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ; How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
~ Jude 1:17-21 ~

Let temporal things be in the use, eternal things in the desire.”
~ Thomas à Kempis, The Imitation of Christ

Why is he writing? Well, he’s writing this letter to warn the church not to stray into these strange doctrines, these false doctrines that were bothering the church, because the result of these false teaching was to bring about a worldliness in the people who believed it. Because they’re worldly-minded, that’s what he tells us, he challenges the church to be different, distinct from the world. These false teachers are worldly-minded. It means that their mind is set on worldly things. It also says that they are devoid of the Spirit.

That’s the key to what he’s writing. See, those who pursue worldly things do so because they don’t have the life of the Spirit. The life of the Spirit is the difference. That’s what changes lives. Simply going to church doesn’t change a person’s life. There needs to be the reality of God. See, simply going to church is not going to do it. It’s like, yes, you see a friend, he’s dressed up in his gym clothes, so you say, “You’re going to gym?” he said, “Yes, I’m going to gym.” You say, “Hey, have a great workout.” He says, “I’m not going there to work out.” “Well, why you’re going there?” “I like watching other people workout.”

What good is that? Spiritually speaking, it’s the same thing. What good is it to watch other people worship? What good is it to watch other people have faith? He’s telling us that there needs to be a spiritual reality in us and it gives us this theme in verse 3, “I felt it necessary to write to you appealing that you would contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered for the saints.”

~ Rich Jones – Standing Firm in the Faith Sermon – Calvary Chapel Hillsboro July 16, 2017

I am always in need of spiritual guidance and direction on my life. There were several moments in my own life where I needed such guidance. Mainly, such guidance was needed at critical moments in life. This acute awareness became a reality when such guidance had become a pressing issue for me. Living a mindful and spiritual Christian life became a personal pilgrimage where I had to come to accept the reality that I was driven by the wrong instincts and needed to adopt a better way of living life.

We either become slaves to those desires of the temporal things of this world – our passions, our needs, our carnality – or, we become slaves to the desires of those things that are spiritual and true. Today, one may see members of society more focused on their enslavement to self. Their personal instinct is not to follow God and instead follow their own internal logic. Such logic becomes distorted perspectives driven by ego and false sense of self. This self-guided person makes decisions from an emotional needs basis. Satisfying cravings for self-esteem. They give into physical impulses. There is no eternal or spiritual aspect of such choices. No urge to submit oneself to the authority of God. Their own needs matter more than the willingness to put others’ needs ahead of their own desires. Despite any supposed highest moral behavior, they’re driven from within, where the Spirit of God does not dwell.

I was such a person. And too often do I find myself lapsing into instinctual decision making. Though I desire God’s guidance, and ask for it, there are those times that I do not wait for it. My decisions are based on what my internal logic says. Is it guided by the Holy Spirit? Or do I serve my own emotional needs, self-esteem cravings, physical impulses, and present-life interests? While I may have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit am I willing to be driven by such authority?

Knowing that I am driven by my own internal impulses and reasoning, I am merely settling for second best. Even if such were shaped by years of discipleship, they are still subject to sin and deception. I can use them to God’s glory, yet can’t bring myself to trust them. I must always submit myself to the guiding mind of God and trust in His will and care for my welfare and spiritual well-being. I must trust in God fully and wholeheartedly.

Thus, I do not need to follow the patterns of this world. I am not left to figure things out on my own. I am not ruled by my based and carnal desires, or even those noble ones. I have not been abandoned to my own moral codes and higher philosophies. I am called to follow Jesus Christ. To follow Christ means I need to submit my instincts over to Him and follow Him diligently.

The instinct that drives me today is one that is spiritual and eternal. It is giving myself over to God’s care daily. It is learning to hear his voice and responding in faith and confidence. Through the power and authority of the Holy Spirit, I am comforted, strengthened, and encouraged.

By what instinct are you driven today? Are you struggling with your own impulses and sense of reasoning? Have you abandoned your own faith? What call is God placing on your heart today? Do you desire to feel God’s presence known in your life and are you willing to fully submit yourself, your desires, instincts, and will over to Heavenly Father’s care? What is preventing you from doing so?

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—Thank you, Damascus Way Recovery