WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
NOVEMBER 24, 2022
TOPIC: DON’T REACT IN THE FLESH
BY T. O. BANSO
“I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10 New King James Version).
The Apostle John was exiled to the Island of Patmos for preaching the word of God and for his testimony about Jesus. Nevertheless, he chose to be in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day. He didn’t react in the flesh. In other words, he didn’t react the way the natural man would react in a sinful way to his negative condition. He didn’t fret or get angry. He didn’t hold a pity party. He was in the Spirit.
John said, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet” (Revelation 1:10 New King James Version). GOD’S WORD Translation renders it thus: “I came under the Spirit’s power on the Lord’s day. I heard a loud voice behind me like a trumpet.” Note the phrase “I came under the Spirit’s power.” The Contemporary English Version puts the verse this way: “In the Lord’s day the Spirit took control of me, and behind me I heard a loud voice that sounded like a trumpet.” Again, note the phrase “In the Lord’s day the Spirit took control of me.”
As John was in the Spirit, or as he came under the Spirit’s power, or the Spirit took control of him, the loud voice he heard behind him, as of a trumpet, said, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,’ and, ‘What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea’” (verse 11 New King James Version).
Because of John’s positive attitude of being in the Spirit, he received the book of Revelation. If he had reacted to his negative condition of exile in bitterness, he wouldn’t have seen “Revelation.” He would possibly have written the book of frustration!
As a child of God, don’t react negatively to any negative situation. Respond in the Spirit; don’t react in the flesh – not as the sinful nature wants you to react. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Be controlled by the Spirit of God, not by your sinful nature. “I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.” (Galatians 5:16-17 New King James Version).
Let the Holy Spirit control you; don’t react according to the dictate of sinful nature. “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives he will produce this kind of fruit in us: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control; and here there is no conflict with Jewish laws” (Galatians 5:22-23 The Living Bible). Note the phrase “But when the Holy Spirit controls our lives.” That means it’s possible for something else, an evil spirit, to control people’s lives.
The passage continues in verses 24-25: “Those who belong to Christ have nailed their natural evil desires to his cross and crucified them there. If we are living now by the Holy Spirit’s power, let us follow the Holy Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives” (The Living Bible).
In Acts 10, Peter was praying and became hungry. Instead of complaining while the food was being prepared, he fell into a trance. “The next day, as they went on their journey and drew near the city, Peter went up on the housetop to pray, about the sixth hour. Then he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they made ready, he fell into a trance and saw heaven opened and an object like a great sheet bound at the four corners, descending to him and let down to the earth. In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. And a voice came to him, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat’” (verses 9-13 New King James Version).
It was his obedience to what the Lord told him in that trance that led to the salvation of Cornelius and his household. And God poured out the gift of the Holy Spirit on them.
Don’t always react to situations in the flesh. Respond to evil with good. “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21 New King James Version). Don’t seek revenge; vengeance belongs to God (Leviticus 19:18; Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:17, 19; Hebrews 10:30). Respond to hate with love.
Jesus said you should love your enemies and do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who hurt you (Luke 6:27-28). You can only do that if you respond in the Spirit, not react in the flesh.
In Genesis 50, Joseph’s brothers thought he would seek revenge for their wickedness toward him, selling him into slavery, but he didn’t. He told them he wasn’t God who could punish them. He spoke to them kindly and promised to continue to take care of them and their children (verses 16-21).
Respond to harsh words with a soft answer. “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 New King James Version). Verse 2 adds that the tongue of the wise uses knowledge rightly, but the mouth of fools pours forth foolishness.
Paul said in Ephesians 4:31 to get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. He said believers should, instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, and forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven them (verses 32). Don’t react in the flesh.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, I yield to you the control of my life. Help me to respond to people and situations in the Spirit, not react according to the dictate of sinful nature. Help me to respond to hate with love, anger with soft answers, and evil with good.
(For over 800 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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