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Two Kings and One Throne

 

Scores of people are walking around with feelings of not being good enough in their walk with God. Their song goes something like this: “I’m just not on-fire for God these days. I don’t read my Bible enough. I’m not where I used to be. I don’t pray as much as I should. I never share my faith. I have no desire to worship. I am apathetic about the things of God.” These people, and there are many, are focused on wanting to change, but they can never seem to make that happen.

Being able to change is not the problem. The problem is being according to the flesh, and not knowing it. Because of a lack of understanding about what it means to be according to the flesh and what it means to be according to the Spirit, vast numbers of people are trying to train their flesh to behave, which is impossible. First, this leads to frustration, and then apathy. This is a rampant lie that is extremely common in the church today. Let’s explore the remedy for this.

 
 
Flesh vs. Spirit
 

As we discussed in the previous chapter, believing and trusting are extremely important. As we are truly believing and trusting God, we are what scripture calls, “being according to the Spirit.” If we are not believing and trusting God, then we are “according to the flesh”. But we have to look more in depth at this subject.

“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another.” (Gal. 5:17)

Our hearts are single. We can really only love one thing in any given moment. Jesus said, “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other…” (Matt. 6:24). In your heart, there is only one throne available at any point in time. We can only have one king or master at a time. Concerning who will occupy the one throne of your heart, the choice boils down to either one of two kings. Either King Jesus will reign on the throne of your heart, or you will be the king yourself. Who will occupy the throne of your heart and therefore call all the shots?

The reality of there being two kings and only one throne poses a few different dilemmas. As serious Christians, we all would agree that we want King Jesus to occupy the throne of our heart. That’s the easy part. But just because we want something to be true, doesn’t always make it so. And just because we want something, doesn’t mean we know how to get what we want. Therefore, there are three different conditions we can find ourselves in.

Condition #1: Rebellion

There are times in our lives when we are very conscious and fully aware that we don’t want King Jesus to be on the throne of our heart. During this state, we are in rebellion against God. Whether we claim to be a Christian or not, in this condition we want to be in control of our own lives and call all the shots. In this state, we are not walking with God and are usually fully aware that is the case. This is an extremely dangerous place to be.

Condition #2: Unaware

If asked about this subject, we may agree that we want Jesus to be the King who occupies the throne of our hearts. But we may find ourselves in the condition of not knowing much about the subject. We may have not known that this topic was even an issue.

Condition #3: Self Deceived

We want Jesus to be the King of our heart and in charge of our life; and we think that he actually is occupying the throne, but we fool ourselves into thinking that He is on the throne when He actually is not. Really, it is king self who is on the throne. In this state we are self deceived. What makes the problem even worse is that in moments and certain parts of the day, Jesus can truly be reigning as King in our hearts, but then we kick Him off and take back control ourselves. During this state, we are a self deceived Christian who still has the concept that Jesus is the reigning King of our lives (because we are a Christian), but we live for hours, days, weeks, and months with king self in control of the throne. Because we have so many religious concepts, we deceive ourselves into thinking that we are walking with God. A lot of Christians live their lives in this last category.

 
The Sinister Nature of King Self, the Flesh
 

Again, and scripturally speaking, when king self is on the throne, this is referred to as “being according to the flesh” (Romans 8:5). King self, the flesh, has one mission that drives him and completely consumes him. He does not want to be dethroned. To be dethroned would spell certain disaster for king self the flesh. King self wants to be in control, he wants to live, he wants to call the shots, and he will do anything to stay in charge. King self is amazingly sneaky, tricky, and deceptive. King self will often look religious in order to stay in charge. He will often act as if he is humble. He will even have thoughts about God and engage in spiritual activity in order to stay on the throne. Whenever he is truly spotted as occupying the throne and is then kicked off, he will often change his game plan and re-disguise himself so as to slip back into control again.

Haven’t you ever had a break through in your walk with the Lord, only to find yourself back in the same boat just a short time later? This is because the flesh has re-packaged itself in order to take a foothold again, but with a subtle new look.

 
Flesh Is More Common Than We Think
 

The “deeds of the flesh” are listed in Galatians 5:19. These are the manifestations of the flesh that are evident and obvious. If the flesh is occupying the throne, eventually it will display the deeds of the flesh mentioned in Galatians and it will be “evident”. However, the flesh does not always show up as the classic and evident “deeds of the flesh” right away. Remember that king self the flesh is a sneaky character. He will quietly gain control of the throne and not make waves in order to stay in charge. We want to learn to repent from being according to the flesh way before it gets to the point of manifesting the evident deeds of the flesh.

We are often according to the flesh and we don’t know it. We learn to fool ourselves. We learn how we should socially act and behave, while still maintaining control of the throne. While in control of the throne, we learn to have religious thoughts and words, which fools us into thinking we are being spiritual. We also learn how to have nice flesh, which fools ourselves into thinking we are at peace and doing well. King self is on a constant mission trying to stay on the throne. We often learn how to make the flesh behave; therefore the flesh stays on the throne in subtle ways that go unnoticed. It quietly maintains the position as king, but it usually doesn’t show itself for what it is until a situation or a stimulus during the course of the day causes it to rear its head and become evident.

 
Then How Are We To Know?
 

The Holy Spirit will nudge you and let you know if you are not according to the Spirit (according to the Spirit is believing, trusting and truly connected with Jesus). If you ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, the flesh will become more solidified and dug in. If you continue to ignore the promptings of the Holy Spirit, it will become more and more difficult to hear God. You will develop a hard heart and strong flesh patterns. We must learn to listen for the Holy Spirit and obey when we hear his still small voice.

We can also recognize when we are walking according to the flesh when we are not experiencing and tasting of the Lord’s life during the moments of our day. Emptiness and dryness of heart are sure clues of being according to the flesh. However, if we have been living according to the flesh for very long (even nice Christianized flesh), having a lack in the experiencing the Lord’s life may not be very obvious to you. If you are used to being dry in your heart, then you’ve probably made some strong compensations in order to live with yourself. Dry hearted, cranial Christians almost always have a philosophy or a strong set of beliefs that justifies their practice.

It will take plenty of time being according to the Spirit and being caught up with the Lord’s life for you to begin to recognize the stark contrast of flesh verses Spirit. Without this experience, it becomes much easier to fool ourselves. Only when we are having strong doses of time in the Spirit will the Christianized flesh stick out like a sore thumb to us and be recognized for exactly what it is.

Let’s briefly summarize. We will know if we are according to the flesh by:

1. The Holy Spirit gently nudging you and letting you know.

2. Manifesting the “deeds of the flesh” listed in Galations 5:19. These are obvious. We don’t ever want to get to this point. If we are manifesting the evident deeds of the flesh, we are making terrible messes in our life and are damaging those around us.

3. Not experiencing the Lord’s life (emptiness and dryness of heart).

4. Recognizing the subtle characteristics of the flesh (listed below).

 Let’s talk about number four. There are many hidden characteristics of the flesh that many times go unnoticed. As Paul listed the deeds of the flesh for us in Galatians, he concluded the list with saying “and things like these”.  If we can recognize some of the more subtle characteristics of the flesh, we can catch it early and repent.  The list is long, but by no means is it complete.

 
 Here is the list:
 

-The flesh always has to “win”. Another way to put it is that the flesh never wants to be wrong. This shows up often during conversations with other people. You feel like you have to “win” the argument. The flesh will even learn how to look humble in order to win. Sometimes it will appear to be wrong so that it can still be right and win.

– The flesh wants to be tempted. It will never face that it is doing so, because then the game would be over.

-The flesh will use the excuse of “I’m trying to follow God and do what’s right, but I can’t, or it’s too hard.” The flesh wants to always feel defeated in some way. It always lives out the cycle of “I want to, I’m trying, but I can’t, but I want to, and I’m trying, but I can’t.” Even the “trying” the flesh does is a scheme to maintain an appearance of good intentions while still maintaining control.

– The flesh always wants to be “working on something”, achieve some level, get to some higher plane, or arrive to some improved degree. It wants to figure something out, arrive at a new status, or solve some problem. This is why certain types of businesses, work, games, and sports can appeal to the flesh and be so addictive.

-The flesh will create problems where there are none.
 
– The flesh is always in some kind of non-reality. It is usually focused on how bad things are or how bad things are going to be. Or, you can have a fleshly high and be falsely focused on how great things are. It will focus on anything but God – it is incapable of that.
Rarely does it walk around expressing pure and obvious fear, but it likes to mask it with more noble intentions. Fear is usually re-packaged as anxiety, concern, over planning, over scheduling your life, micro-managing, curiosity, or questions that are trying to find some type of security.

-The flesh will often have a general feeling as if something is always wrong, that things always need to be changed or improved in some way. Even when there is nothing wrong at all, the flesh will feel like something must be wrong. It will usually find something to focus on eventually.

-The flesh wants to be taken care of. It does not want to be responsible or “take the ball” for life. This is the passive variety of flesh.

-The flesh wants to take the bull by the horns. It will attack situations in life instead of trusting and waiting on God.

-The flesh will pretend that it “doesn’t see the truth” or that it “doesn’t understand” in order to get away with staying in control.
 
-The flesh will use confusion in order to not change. It will actually confuse itself on purpose (without facing it of course) in order to not lose control and its place the throne.

-The flesh loves to fight. Any variety will do. Controversy, disputes, mental jousting with others, always “one upping” or topping the other person. The flip side is always given. No matter what is said, the flesh will find the opposite point of view. The flesh will go to great lengths to actually create situations of tension and conflict. Sometimes in a moment, and sometimes it will plot for weeks to do so. Then it will complain about the very situation it has created. Religious flesh hides well here. Often, apologetics, defending the truth, seeking the truth, “discussing” the truth are many times a disguise for the flesh to flex its muscles (there is a way to seek and discuss truth that is not fleshly).

-The flesh loves to be busy. It prides itself in busyness, being important, and with so many things to do.

-The flesh is usually very opinionated. There is nothing wrong with having an opinion. But being extremely opinionated is usually coming from a fleshly place. To have to have an opinion or an argument about everything in life is fleshly. Having the need to broadcast your opinion is usually a characteristic of the flesh.

-The flesh loves money. Money provides security and power. Longing for money and a life full of the pursuit of money is a characteristic of the flesh.

-The flesh loves poverty. Some varieties of flesh prefer things to be difficult and hard. It is fleshly to think that it is more Godly to suffer and be without.

-When you feel in control and powerful, you are according to the flesh.
-The flesh is constantly analyzing. Some varieties of flesh are much like a computer; constantly dissecting every situation and every conversation.

-The flesh is meticulous.

-The flesh is lazy of heart. The flesh does not want to do the work that it takes to believe God. It is passive and self consumed.

-The flesh is arrogant and confident.
-The flesh promises that if you give it what it wants that it will be satisfied. This is a lie. If you give in to the flesh to satisfy it, it will only want more. It may feel satisfied in the short term, but to feed it will only strengthen the monster.

-The flesh is impulsive.
-The flesh is a strong reactor. It throws a fit when it doesn’t get its way. It makes extreme decisions quickly, and it can become extremely irrational in a matter of seconds.

-The flesh is a weak reactor. It feels defeated and hopeless.

-The flesh is constantly scheming in order to change things or solve dilemmas.

-The flesh avoids.
 
-The flesh is self-protective.

-The flesh is independent. It wants to do its own thing and call all the shots.

-The flesh is self reliant.

-The flesh hides and loves secrecy.

-The flesh is overly complex.

-The flesh is given to change.

-The flesh seeks and looks for the worst in others.

-The flesh compares itself to others.

– The flesh is impatient.

– The flesh is often irritated.

– The flesh is frustrated.

– The flesh blames others and refuses to take responsibility.

-The flesh loves itself.

-The flesh has self-hatred.

-The flesh wants to be worshipped.

-The flesh doesn’t feel good enough.

– The flesh feels like it “knows” the hearts of others.

– The flesh justifies itself and is defensive.

-The flesh almost always “disagrees”. It is contrary by nature.

-The flesh complains, it whines, and is discontent.

We should not use this list to accuse one another or to point out other’s shortcomings. That would be the flesh as well. We should use it to humble ourselves.

There are religious versions to almost every variety of flesh, in order to make it seem more palatable. Sometimes two different people or even the same person at different times can speak the exact same words, and one is coming from a place of the flesh and the other is from the Spirit. How are you to know the difference?

The flesh always has the trademarks of arrogance, control, and the stench of death (Gal. 6:8).  Some of the more benign or impotent expressions of the flesh can seem to not have quite the same stench of death. But it is still there none the less. If you are around flesh long enough you will feel drained as though your very life were being sucked out of you (whether it be you yourself that is according to the flesh or someone you are around that is according to the flesh, it is still draining).

Another way to view the “stench of death” is having “a lack of the life of Jesus”. The life of Jesus is encouraging, uplifting, provides vitality, energizes, gives hope, is full of love, is full of truth, builds up, and is strengthening to the inner man. If you are not experiencing these things in yourself then you are probably living according to the flesh with religious concepts. King self is on the throne. If you are around others who are not full of God’s life, but on the contrary, they leave you feeling drained, used, empty, obligated, emotionally spent, and lonely – then it’s probably because they are according to the flesh.

If you yourself are according to the Spirit and then you begin to spend time with someone who is according the flesh, at times you may leave the Spirit and become according to the flesh yourself. This makes for the worst kind of situation. When two or more people are according to the flesh and are spending time together and joined together in some way, it creates an atmosphere of death (which is where all non Christians live).

Religious flesh is the worst kind because it thinks it’s in love with Jesus, when in fact it’s in love with its self and its own opinions. Religious people who walk around according to the flesh are often a very opinionated type. They are usually in love with their opinions and their strong views, more than they are in love with God or people.
 

Being According to the Spirit
 

A trusting, dependant, simple, loving child is what we are like when we are according to the Spirit. The believing and trusting heart is humble and broken. Being according to the flesh is the opposite of being like a child.

We become according to the Spirit by believing the truth, humbling ourselves, and becoming completely dependent on the Lord and trusting in Him.

Paul gives us an excellent discussion in Romans chapters 6-8 on this subject. The talk that Paul gives can be hard to understand, especially given all the teaching that has been done on the subject. Many times the teachings we’ve heard over and over again color the scriptures as we read them (sometimes in a good way, and sometimes in a bad way).

It should be pointed out that Paul makes a distinction between being “in the Spirit” and being “according to the Spirit”.  These are two different things. We are in the Spirit because we are believers and the Spirit of Christ Jesus lives in us. We are in Christ and He is in us. But we are not always according to the Spirit. Paul tells us that we must “set our minds on the things of the Spirit”. The word “mind” here is actually better translated the “mind of the heart”. Setting the mind of our heart on the Spirit is more than just thinking about spiritual things. It is the mind of the heart, which involves trust.

As we are according to the Spirit, everything falls into place in our walk with God (Rom 8:6). We have holy and Godly desires as we are according to the Spirit. We crave the scriptures, we long to worship, and prayer becomes like breathing. As we are according to the Spirit we love others around us, we hear the Lord clearly, and the fruit of the Spirit is flowing out of us effortlessly. None of this is even possible if we are according to the flesh.

The reason why Christians do not see the fruits of God in their lives and at times they have no desire for the things of God is because they are not according to the Spirit during these times. Have you ever been in a time of worship with other Christians and you just can’t seem to connect? It’s probably because you are trying to worship God while according to the flesh. Once you realized this is your condition, do not focus on singing the songs. Focus on humbling yourself and believing and trusting God from your heart. You may need to repent or confess something in order to humble yourself. Quickly believe and realize the truths of the gospel (practice the previous chapter). As you become according to the Spirit, the worship songs will flow out of your heart effortlessly. The same thing applies to the activities of prayer, reading and understanding scripture, and having encouraging words and teachings to share with others.

Again, to focus on how we are missing the mark and to walk around feeling guilty because of it is a fleshly response as well. The flesh doesn’t care what it experiences or what it is doing as long as it can stay on the throne.
 

Getting Galatians Backwards
 

When we read the scripture in Galatians 5:16, “Walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the deeds of the flesh,” we often end up relating to that scripture in a backwards way. Many Christians are trying to not carry out the deeds of the flesh, in order to walk according to the Spirit. In other words, we often focus on trying not to do the deeds of the flesh, in order to be according to the Spirit. This is completely backwards. When we do this, we are trying to not do something fleshly. It is fleshly, to focus on not being fleshly! This is not what the scripture tells us to do. The scripture in Galatians is telling us to do something. It is not telling us to not do something.  It is telling us to walk according to the Spirit, and then the result will be that we will not carry out the deeds of the flesh. The way to not carry out the deeds of the flesh is to walk according to the Spirit. Again, if you try to not carry out the deeds of the flesh by trying to not do them, then you will become fleshly. Let’s talk a little more about why this is true.

Our focus is Christ, not our behavior. If we try to not say wrong things, if we try to not do wrong things, we will be focusing on our behavior (which is focusing on ourselves). The result will be that we will eventually rebel against these behavior rules and be in a far worse state than before the behavior rules became our focus. We are to only focus on Christ. As King Jesus is occupying the throne of our heart, and our focus is on Him, we will find ourselves keeping His commandments. We will find ourselves having the fruits of the Spirit of God.
 

If You Are Worn Out…
 

Christians spend a great deal of time and a great deal of effort trying to change their flesh. The flesh ultimately cannot be changed. You can change its pattern briefly and for a while, but you will be exchanging one pattern of death for another pattern of death. This is what secular psychology accomplishes. It trains us to exchange one flesh pattern for another, which only becomes a temporary fix.

Christians also spend a great deal of time and a great deal of effort trying to “kill the flesh.” You cannot kill the flesh. Trying to kill the flesh or suppress it, will only reinforce it and make it stronger.

Christians spend a great deal of time and a great deal of effort trying to make the flesh obey. You cannot make the flesh obey. It is disobedient by definition. Obedient flesh, at best, is flesh that has only changed its outward behavior. It will soon rear its ugly head again.

Usually after several years and much time and effort spent with either trying to change, re-package, kill off, or discipline the flesh, Christians get very tired. Due to the fact that there are never any true and lasting results, we become exhausted. We then resign ourselves to living a life of mundane and half-hearted apathy by going through the religious motions of life (or by buying into the “rest or freedom myths” described in later chapters).
 

The “Flesh” Versus the “Old Man”
 

Again, instead of trying to change the flesh, kill the flesh, or make the flesh obey, we are to not be according to the flesh. In other words, our only hope is to leave the flesh and go to the Spirit. The scripture teaches us that we have already been crucified with Christ. The old man is actually dead and rendered powerless. But we should not mistake the old man for the flesh. These are two entirely different things. I will not get into the complexities of the subject here, because it can become a distraction for our lives. So, try to not get bogged down in the theology of this. I will try to say it as simply as possible: the old man is our old nature, i.e. the dead spirit we had before we came to Christ. When we came to Christ, we received a new nature. “The flesh” is different from the old man or “the old nature”. The flesh is the body (including the brain) when it is acting independently of the Spirit. The body is to be subject to the Spirit.

We do not have an old nature anymore. Our nature was changed when we came to Christ. This is because God’s Spirit and our spirit have become joined together or have been made one at the time of regeneration (1 Cor. 6:17). But we can be according to the flesh if we are doing our own thing and acting independently of the Spirit.
 

Allowing King Jesus to Occupy the Throne
 

Let’s talk more about what we are to do to cooperate with being according to the Spirit.

“But He emptied Himself …” (Phil. 2:7). Emptying yourself is a real key to being according to the Spirit and letting King Jesus occupy the throne of your heart. “Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt 18:3). Becoming a little child is another way to look at emptying yourself.

Emptying ourselves and becoming as children gets king self the flesh off the throne. When we do this, we become very small and we give place to King Jesus. Below, I’ve listed several descriptive humbling attitudes that will help you to get in touch with the heart posture of emptying yourself and being converted to become like a child. The list of humble attitudes below actually describes one heart action. In other words, each one is intended to produce the same humble and childlike heart posture. Hopefully you will be able to identify with at least a few in order to get your heart to let go and turn.

Before we list them, please note that the heart attitudes listed below are to be meditated on and prayerfully applied. They are written in heart language, therefore they are very subjective and unseen actions of the heart. Some may seem silly or pointless at first glance, but there is more here than what meets the eye. To just read through the list and observe them mentally will do you no good. Take each one slowly and spend some time with it. Explore each one, try it out and allow your heart to ponder it. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you gain the revelation behind each one.

Very slowly, gently, and prayerfully allow yourself to:

– Let King Jesus subdue you.

– Desire Jesus to reign over you.

– Let Him have you.

– Let Him have control over you.

– Become a wimp in the presence of God.

– Become small before God.

– Melt into Him.

– Become stupid, unwise, unknowing in His presence.

– Become gentle, soft, and easy inside.

– Become fragile and delicate before God.

– Fall apart; stop holding yourself together.

– Let yourself be lost in Him.

– Allow God to take you away.

You may have great resistance to some of the humbling actions listed above. Some will be harder to find than others. It will depend on your particular variety of flesh and the heart posture that has solidified in you over the years. Pray that God will help you find true humility using these as a springboard.

 
You’ve Been Loving the Wrong King
 

As you practice the activities of believing Jesus, recognizing what is already true in the gospel, and humbling yourself; with the help of the Holy Spirit you will begin to leave the flesh and be according to the Spirit. As king self leaves the throne, something very incredible will begin to happen in your experience of God. You will be able to see Jesus and the Kingdom of God with the eyes of your heart.

Because you will become very small and mostly out of the way, you will be more attuned to King Jesus. You will find yourself tasting more of His power, his love, and his life.

As you become ultra small and humbled before Him, let yourself fall in love with who He is. Enjoy the beauty of God. Enjoy His strength. Enjoy His power. Enjoy His wisdom. Let your heart go and go and go some more.

Up to this point in your life, you’ve been enjoying yourself and your own life. When we live our lives with king self on the throne, we actually enjoy and draw from our own confidence, abilities, strength, and opinions. The flesh loves itself. You are now exchanging who you will be enjoying and loving. When you humble yourself before God and become “a nothing”, you exchange the life you are living for the life of God.

 

Sin is Different in the New Covenant
 

Being according to the flesh is a serious thing. We could also say it is a serious thing to not be according to the Spirit. It should not be an option to us to be according to the flesh. It should not be an option to us to not be according to the Spirit.

In the Old Testament and under the Old Covenant, sin was defined as violating the law of God. Although this still holds true for us today, the New Covenant we are currently in also raises the standard for the definition of sin.

Romans 14:23 explains, “…and whatever is not from faith is sin”.  In other words, any time we are not of faith, everything we do is sin. When we are according to the flesh, we are not of faith. In this condition, our hearts are proud (usually subtly proud). We are not actively engaged in believing the good news, therefore we are unbelieving. God equates unbelief with disobedience (Heb 3:17-19, Heb 4:1-11). And, what is filling our hearts is opposed to God. “…because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so.” (Romans 8:7). Remember that Jesus raised the standard as sin being something in the heart, not just outward actions. We are according to the flesh if we are not engaged in dependant, child like trust from the heart (faith).

 

Final Thoughts on Flesh vs. Spirit
 

It is important to recognize when ever king self the flesh climbs back on the throne. This is the first part of repentance – recognizing where you’ve been and confessing it. The flesh may want to take these truths and turn it into a life of self scrutiny. This is death. Allow the Holy Spirit to show you your heart and bring light. It will then be important to cooperate with what He shows you. Being honest that king self has been on the throne is an important part of the humbling process.

We must keep short accounts. If you are used to living according to the Spirit, then it is much easier to turn back to the Spirit if you do become according to the flesh. It becomes much easier to find the heart posture of humility and dependency if you are used to living there.

Remember, if you are used to being according to the Spirit, anything other than the purity of the life of Christ will become more and more obvious. When the subtle and sneaky king self the flesh begins to creep in – he will be spotted early. You can then humble yourself quickly and return to being in love with the true King Jesus.

Don’t forget that if king self the flesh has been on the throne for very long, he tends to get quite a foothold. It may take time to break its grip. Although theoretically anyone can turn to the Spirit in an instant, if someone has lived in rebellion or in control of their own life for very long, strongholds have usually developed. Strongholds can be demonic, but more commonly these are solidified flesh patterns and ways of thinking that become ingrained deep within our souls.

The point is this: our hearts can forget how to be soft. It is easier to stay hard hearted if we’ve been there for a while. If you are according to the Spirit and you then become according to the flesh for 30 minutes, it will be pretty easy to find humility again. However, if you have been according to the flesh for a few days, then you may have to spend an hour or so stilling yourself, quieting your soul, and realizing the truth again. If it’s been a few weeks, months, or years, you’ll need to really get serious about this. The fear of God should grip you. Spend time in prayer. Fasting, asking for prayer from the body, getting counsel, and spending plenty of time in the scripture is a good roadmap of recovery. For a very hard heart, sometimes only difficult trials and the fiery circumstances of life can bring us to our knees and cause us to live dependant from the heart.

 

Trials Are Our Friend
 
Pain and suffering is our friend when it comes to our walk with the Lord. Personally, my heart has been hard in areas and in seasons, and it has only been pain, suffering, and anguish that caused me to need God and realize my insanity. When trials come into your life, cooperate with God by grabbing God’s hand and pulling the knife in deeper. Don’t avoid pain, but use it to find God. Learn to “let it bleed”. You are in need of comfort when your legs are being broken. Allowing God to comfort you when you cry out to Him is the whole point of the trial to begin with. It is our refusal to rest in His loving arms that requires Him to break us in the first place. Use the trial and cooperate with the Holy Spirit in order for the trial to have its full work in your life.

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