At the root of our beings we ALL are adulterers.

We struggle with keeping God first place in our lives.  Other things pull us away.  We are tempted daily.

“Each one is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desires. Then when desire conceives, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is full grown, it gives birth to death.”   ~James 1:14-15

We have desires that are not godly.  These desires come from our flesh.

Maybe you’ve heard it put this way:

“The deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these…”  ~Galatians 5:19-21

But I think the language from The Message may speak more clearly to us today:

It is obvious what kind of life develops out of trying to get your own way all the time: repetitive, loveless, cheap sex (immorality); a stinking accumulation of mental and emotional garbage (impurity); frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness (sensuality);  trinket gods (idolatry); magic-show religion (sorcery); paranoid loneliness (enmitites); cutthroat competition (strife); all-consuming-yet-never-satisfied wants (jealousy); a brutal temper (outbursts of anger); an impotence to love or be loved (disputes); divided homes and divided lives (dissensions); small-minded and lopsided pursuits (factions); the vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a rival (envying); uncontrolled and uncontrollable addictions (drunkenness); ugly parodies of community (carousing).  ~Galatians 5:19-21

Some things in that list scare me.  I don’t want anything to take the place of my God.  And yet, these things, these desires of the flesh, lure and entice.  But the enticement is not the sin.  When it’s conceived it gives birth to sin.

Maybe you’ve heard it this way, “You can’t keep a bird from flying over your head, but you don’t have to let him build a nest in your hair.”

I don’t want a “spirit of adultery” — unfaithfulness — building a nest in my hair.  I want to do the will of my Father.  Jesus said, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”  Therefore, how much I love Him is in direct proportion to my obedience to Him.

So . . . how do I keep the birds from building a nest?

“We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ…”  ~2 Corinthians 10:5

“Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”  ~Philippians 4:8

This is our struggle while living in the flesh, to take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.  That sounds so hard, yet, we are not without hope:

“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”  ~Galatians 5:24-25

Oh, Lord GOD, fill me with Your Spirit this day!  Let me see how You desire for me to live, and give me the strength to walk that path.  In Your Son’s name, I ask, amen.

Thanks, Birgit, for a thought-provoking post.


26 responses »

  1. Wow, the message really does put it well and I agree Michelle, it does also scare me. Keeping my eyes fixed on Jesus is almost an every minute choice as my eyes and mind keep drifting onto the things of the world that pull me away. Thank you for this reminder today. Everytime I come to your site I pray for you (and I come a few times a day- just to check in;)

  2. these are my favorite verses..I have them on index cards, and when the battle of my mind begins…they come out..go to work with me, in my car..on my grocery list.. LOL I know that only God has the power to make me an overcomer, and those are the tools to empower us…we should use them. thanks for the reminder…and thank you Jesus that you are always faithful.

  3. You have such a teaching gift Michelle. This post really helps to bring the focus back to God’s rightful place in our lives.

    I liked the quote about keeping birds from building a nest in our hair. Something I have been battling with recently as I said in that post, and everyday in different ways. I always come back to a place of being so, so thankful for what Jesus did for me, and each of us, on the cross, and for His grace.

  4. Well, at my age, I haven’t got much hair left and what little I do have is turning various shades of gray…

    …any bird would have to be CRAZY to build a nest in my hair!

  5. Hey, Ripple! Keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus…YES! I start looking around and wonder; my imagination can run wild. I have to remember He’s called us to holiness. Thank you for the prayers, I need them. 😉

    It is a daily choice, Sara, and sometimes a minute by minute one! 😳

    The battle for the mind…yes, Darla! It is the warfare we are up against. He sure is good to give us divinely powerful weapons, huh? He is faithful, even when we are not.

    Thank you, Birgit. I do love to teach. And thank you for your honesty in your post. It helped me to scutinize myself. God had a few things to say I needed to hear.

    Nor…are you feeling ornery today!? 😀

  6. I’m here! Is this the one? Haven’t read yet, but I will. I’m sorry I’ve been lax in reading!! I’ve got a ton of unreads in my reader … but I will get to them. I think I’ve got 4 for you. Anyway. 🙂 Reading … 🙂 Love you.

  7. Your opening sentence caught me. That is, in fact true. I love how much Scripture you always put in here. 🙂 Makes me smile inside every time.

    “Think on these things.” You know, there is such power there. I mean, the verse sounds very ‘nice’ you know; It kinda sounds like ‘do the right thing.’ But put into practice? Man, it’s hard sometimes, but SO powerful! This little idea has the power to break HUGE fortresses from the inside out.

    This actually sparks a thought that began about a month ago – I’ve been wanting to blog on it … maybe I will.

    Time to write!! Aaaahhhh!!

  8. Philipians 4:8 again – Darla quoted that to me this morning! Dwell on these things. Certainly helps when every minute seems to bring new distractions; new ways of being pulled into this world instead of focussing on Him.

  9. Hey, Annie! You found the one…the John 10 study.

    Yes, that verse is difficult. To dwell on these things…I tend to dwell on worries, fears, fantasies…things that probably will NEVER happen. Wasted time, wasted effort…frustrating. It is the spiritual discipline of day-to-day, moment-by-moment living to be victorious.

    Hey, Alan!! Yeah, this is THE one that speaks so clearly of where our minds need to be. I find if I have praise music going, it helps. And I think I’ve turned into my grandmother. She always had a radio tuned into some preacher. 😳

    Good to see you both here!!!

  10. Howdy Michelle,
    Just what I needed to read, of course.
    Who was that apostle walking out there on the water in a storm and doing okay as long as he kept looking at Jesus?
    Then the follower took his eyes off Jesus and looked around at the storm and was almost overtaken by it until Jesus reached out and grabbed him.
    I’m going to have to get “The Message” sooner or later. I’d love to read how that passage goes.
    Love and peace to you.

  11. Hey, Sam!

    I think that’s disciple’s name was Michelle.

    The Message is a good read. I still prefer NASB for study, but I like having it put into today’s language as well.

    Good to see you here…just in case that disciple’s name is also Sam, I’ll keep praying.

    Love you!

  12. you truly have a gift michelle. a gift of presenting his word with practical application and challenging thoughts.

    i am daily unfaithful…mostly to the point of catching it and destroying the nest…or scaring the bird away, at least. as always…. i have far to go. but i desire to desire His will and be obedient to it. my conscious decision daily is to die to self so that i can see Him more clearly. i do love Him so…and He deserves a “better” me.

    now. hows that for scattered thoughts 😉

    love you. and, thank you…

  13. I like your scattered thoughts, Tam. “I desire to desire His will and be obedient to it. My conscious decision daily is to die to self…”

    Amen. I’m so thankful He sees the intent of our hearts. He knows our desires even better than we know ourselves.

    Faithful is He who calls us, and He will also bring it to pass.

    Love you, TammyJo, and have a wonderfully blessed day!

    Yes, Annie! At some point we do need to stop being surprised and just accept it — we are kindred spirits! 😉

  14. So much good stuff he Michelle. Looking to God to meet our desires and not the world is very hard to do. The world is very appealing until we realize how empty it is.

    On of my favorite verses in the bible.

    Gal 5:16 So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.

    Peace and love sister.

  15. As we grow in grace, should it be that we find it easier to look to God and not the world to meet our desires? Shouldn’t our desires thenselves change – from desiring things of the world to desiring things of God?

    Just asking here……

  16. Thanks, Carl. Amen.

    We do stumble, but keeping our eyes fixed on Him, drawing closer and closer, we can live by His Spirit and not fulfill the desires of the flesh.

    I think so, Dan. However, I also see that in the different seasons of our lives we might struggle more. I think we have ups and downs in our walk, but hopefully with an ever-increasing rise toward glory. Grief, depression, illness, stress, just living in this world, our flesh cries out.

    Just as Paul wrote in Romans:

    For I delight in the law of God in my inner being. 7:23 But I see a different law in my members waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that is in my members. 7:24 Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?

    We don’t know how long he stared at those words, how long he agonized over his wretchedness, before exclaiming:

    Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!

    So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

    We struggle, some of us more than others, but we can be transformed by the renewing of our minds. It is a life-long process, this walk of sanctification.

    Love you brothers!

  17. Good morning, Michelle! Again, thank you for this post. Indeed, there are so many ways in which we can be unfaithful to the One. Being such worshippers of money, loving ourselves too much… etc.. to the point that we are focused on other things instead of Him.

    Warm hugs for you from the Philippines. 🙂 Love you.

  18. Sis~You have a wonderful way of expressing God’s truth. Thank you for this.

    One of my favorite scriptures is the one you quoted in your recent comment. And I agree, we have no idea when Paul got to the point of being able to say with assurance “Thanks be to God through our Lord Jesus Christ” but we can be assured to know that we will come to that point in our journey too. And we may need to go through it more than one time. Like you said, different seasons, different trials, different ways of being delivered. In all of these, one thing is common though, God continues to take us from faith to faith, and glory to glory. Praise God.

    Love you so much.

  19. Good morning, Sherma! We do let the world crowd our perspective and get our focus off of Him. It’s a continual battle for a worrier like me. Taking every thought captive…it doesn’t just say “some” thoughts, it says EVERY thought. Wow.

    Consider yourself warmly hugged from Texas, Sherma. 😉

    Amen Gch…He works all things to good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. We can hold on to that promise. I love you SO much too!! 🙂

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