While it is true that we are dead to our old life, staying dead is another matter. Often, our dead flesh will raise its ugly head and try to influence our thoughts and actions. If we listen long enough to its demands, we suddenly find ourselves at the graveyard fervently digging up our old flesh, so that it can perform its sinful deeds.
Christians have a responsibility to put to death their old nature through daily surrender or else they cannot live a life pleasing to God. They will begin to think only of themselves again and ways to gratify their flesh. However, those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit will live a life of righteousness free from sin. Those who follow the Holy Spirit will not think about fulfilling the desires of the flesh. Their thoughts are occupied by God’s Word, His ways, and purposes.
The Bible tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Fix your thoughts on what is true and honorable and right. Think about things that are pure and lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” So, what dominates your thoughts?
If we only think of ourselves, what we want and our rights, then eventually we’ll find ourselves going down the wrong path, one that leads to a stinky life. On the other hand, thinking on things that are pure and worthy brings forth life that is pleasing to God and a witness to others.
If you are in Christ, then the flesh no longer dominates you...So stop visiting the graveyard. Instead be led by the Holy Spirit by dying daily to your old way of thinking and living. Then, the Spirit of God can create in you a pure life that releases a sweet, pleasing aroma.
Here is the link again for P roverbs 31 Ministries Daily Devotions.
This devotion also has an action plan:
Begin each day by surrendering to the Holy Spirit. Allow Him to guide your thoughts and actions and you will not give in to your own desires. When you fail, quickly confess it and surrender again. Soon Christ’s character will exude in your life while overcoming your own.
And it also has reflections, questions that focus and refine the thinking about the lesson in the devotion:
When you smell the stench of selfish flesh do you quickly confess it, turn from it, and begin living in the spirit again?
Is your life overall a pleasing aroma to God?
Do you follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life even when it’s hard?
I'm not sharing this to beat any of you over the head. I'm sharing because it caught me by the sleeve and interrupted my selfish, foolish rhythm.