Therefore, brothers, we have an obligationâ€”but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it.Â For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.Â For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.Â And by him we cry, â€œAbba, Father.â€
Romans 8:12-15 (NIV, emphasis mine)
Paul says that we have an obligationâ€¦a moral debtâ€¦to live as we are led by the Spirit of God. We are not to live as our flesh and our own will would have us to live.Â That is asking for our sinful self to step off the path and into the pit!Â I am Godâ€™s child when I live as He leads.
A very wise and Godly man recently told me that he gets up in the morning and begins his day with God in prayer and thought because he must.Â This man used to be involved with drugs and alcohol.Â â€œI know God could take away that desire that I still have for drugs and alcohol but because He has not I start each day with Him and tell Him, â€˜Today, God, I chose not to drink.Â I chose to go Your way.â€™Â Maybe that is Godâ€™s plan all along!â€Â Â Â That just may be.
Notice that Paul says that we did not receive a spirit that makes us a slave again to fear.Â Yes, I had MANY fears before I began to realize that I am Godâ€™s child and how much He loves me.Â My realization came, not when I gave my life to Jesus, but later â€“ when I realized and accepted that God loved me!Â A parent can tell a child and show a child that they are loved and still the child may feel unloved.Â Why?Â Because the child doesnâ€™t love herself (himself).Â If I donâ€™t see myself as worthy of love, then I will always be fearful that God and any person that I love will walk away from me.Â I have no security!Â I am fearful.Â It took me what seemed to be a long time to look at God and see how He looked at me with love.Â It took building a relationship that brought trust and truth and love.
O Lord, you have looked me over and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I stand;
You know my thoughts and fantasies.
You know my going out and when I lay down;
You are real familiar with all my habits.
Before I say a word — You know the whole sentence, Lord.
Youâ€™ve â€œgot my backâ€ — and my front
You have laid your hand on me.
That is too unbelievable — Too â€œout thereâ€ for me to grab.
Where could I possibly escape your Holy Spirit?
Where could I escape your presence?
If Iâ€™m in a good mood and having a great time — Youâ€™re there!
If I am in the pits — Youâ€™re there!
If I say â€œI can hide in my room, in the closet, in the dark,
You canâ€™t see me.â€Â Even the dark isnâ€™t dark to you.
The night is like day.
You created me, body and soul;
You put me together inside my mom.
I thank You for making me so awesome and so perfectly complicated.
Your creations are AWESOME, I truly know that.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Psalm 139:1-14 (my paraphrase)