Whose Influence?

  "So I advise you to live according to your new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves." Galatians 5:16

 

Most of us know what the term "DUI" stands for; Driving Under the Influence," usually of alcohol or drugs. To be charged with this is a serious matter, and means that everything about the person was impaired, totally influenced, by the alcohol or drug they used. I recently heard pastor and writer Robert Morris make an interesting analogy for this in the spiritual realm. We are all living under the influence of something and someone. The question for us then is; under whose influence do we live?

We are all born into this world with a sinful nature. One that the Apostle Paul says, "loves to do evil." That nature which is rooted in our flesh, rebels against that very idea and truth. We refuse to believe that we have a bent towards wrongdoing, and more that we are powerless to do anything about it. The only hope and remedy for us is Jesus Christ and His Life imparted to us through His Holy Spirit. Whatever your particular "branch"of the Church may call it, entire sanctification, baptism of the Holy Spirit, the fuller and deeper life, this experience alone will allow us to enter into a life marked by the fullness of His Spirit, and then to live and walk according to His Spirit, leading, and Life. We will live, make choices, follow impulses, and harbor thoughts and attitudes that are either under His influence and Spirit, or of the enemy and his spirit working through our flesh. Therefore our lives are marked by LUI's, "Living Under the Influence." What do our LUI's reveal about us and the influences we follow?

How important is all of this? Of late I've had several writings focusing on the extent that the western Church has come to depend upon our natural abilities and intellect. It is almost like we have relegated the supernatural life to a kind of spiritual "museum." It seems like we who say we are a Holy Spirit empowered Church, have become afraid of the power, fullness, and freedom that is ours through that very Spirit. This has made us not only dull to His voice, but ignorant of the workings of the enemy through his. The devil loves it this way, for as the scriptures say, "he prowls about (us) seeking whom he might devour." He looks for his openings, and he will exploit them every time. As James Robison put it, "The devil stalks us like a wolf, and when he sees a weakness or an entryway, he attacks us like a pack of wolves." He has us under his influence, and lures us away from Christ's. We can see the truth of this through the patterns of our lives. Where we have  victory, and where we do not.

We are living under the influence today and again, the only question for us is whose? The only pathway to a life lived in and under His is that which leads to His cross. To our full surrender to His Lordship and Life. And a day by day acknowledgement and yielding to the power of His Life that can be found nowhere else. Our refusal to do so fills us with doorways for the enemy to exercise his influence and control, over us.

We like to speak much of our freedom. The only real freedom for us is found in surrender to Him. It makes no sense to our flesh. And if it makes no sense to you, then you have answered the question as to who influences and controls your life. Aware of it or not, someone holds the reins of our being, and it is not us. Yes, we have free will, but either His Light, or the enemies darkness works its influence upon our will. Who works theirs upon you today?

Blessings,
Pastor 

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