Intersections, crossroads to ways and places we intersect with God’s. What happens then? Lately we have had the unprecedented experience, world wide of the pandemic. Life changes in a semi permanent way that we never thought would be. Now here in CA we have also far reaching forest, foothills, and city fires, setting new records in destructive aftermaths, continuing, and still yet not ended. And that has brought poor air quality. We might wonder, “What’s going on? Why is this happening?” Don’t ask for the What else?!? ” We kind of thought we had things figured out, but then those life changing incidents. But when the going gets tough, the tough gets going! Those that serve God then put into practice, doing what we know to do. We’re trained on how to think, behave, what our attitude should be. These are things we put into practice, and to not let circumstances throw us “out of the boat”,drowning without a preserver and now we don’t know how to survive. So this morning we are going to speak of Intersections, crosswords, and the ways that God and us intersect in life and what happens then. Last week we spoke of the human with the law of God, or mortality. And we looked at the second chapter of Genesis, where He gave Adam everything He created, to name them. He told Adam there were two trees in the garden, one of which he was not to touch or name. That was the tree of good, evil, and knowledge. That one God reserved for Himself. “That tree is loaded with right and wrong, and I’M (God) the One Who names right and wrong. You are not given that responsibility …don’t touch it.” Well now, as we know, that’s what they did! They arrived at the intersection of morality (right or wrong) and made their own morality. And by their actions they “opened a kind of Pandora’s box,” and released a kind of morality, where right and wrong “changed” ..subject to human interpretation. That’s what came out of that “box” when they partook in disobedience of that tree, and arrived at that intersection. Well this morning we are talking about another intersection we come to after one learns what right and wrong is. This intersection we are calling, “The intersection with the self.” There are three places we’re going to look at, at this crossroad. 1) Why is the human spirit at odds with the Spirit of God? Naturally inclined to walk after their own spirit? Why is that? Why couldn’t it be the reverse, …instead in line with the Spirit of God? 2) How is the spirit conquered then, so that the spirit could walk with God…or how do we conquer self? And the third is a conclusive, 3) “What happens at this intersection?” 1) Collision, 2) Conquest, 3) Crossroads. What are they all about?
TEXT: ROMANS 1:18-25
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
The human spirit is bent towards being against the Spirit of God. (v.18). But God has placed within us a knowledge of Himself. So we have this collision. A natural inclination to walk after self, but we also have a knowledge of God while placed in this world, of Who He is, and these two things collide. God’s Spirit collides with our self. The spirit of man is bent towards satisfying self…foolish heart, then of darkness. In verse 25, man changed truth of God to that of lies, serving the creature more than The Creator. Verses 18-25 lays out the problem of the collision of self, with The Spirit of God. Your life now is one of a hard thirsty struggle for happiness, holding out for hope, when driven from God’s Presence. An intersection where the crossroad is. This intersection of choosing self, as opposed to choosing God. “Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.” Ephesians 2:3 Collisions are here described. In the past, instead of choosing the straight and narrow. they chose to be sidetracked onto the wide path and broad gate. It is self that sidetracks us into taking that fleshly way. “ I beseech you therefore; brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind; that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” Romans 12:1,2 If self drives you, you will again, and again come back to this crossroad over, and over. The world tries desperately over and again to give us fleshly solutions to our problems, ..a world where self is satisfied.
When you begin to measure yourself with others you begin to please self, because you think it is right. But when you create your world on your own morality, God has a problem…because we are conformed to the world that displeases God. We must have our minds transformed by the Spirit of God, which then our attitude will demonstrate His Will in our life. I am His, and He is mine! I am now not selfish, but my life has the power of God, because God’s Spirit is conquering. ” Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8:7,8 The carnal mind (self) is opposed to God, and cannot please Him. But there is no condemnation to those who walk not after self, but instead after the Spirit of God. If you reserve a part of your will, it will be governed by self, and increase in self….away from the desire after God’s Will. Ultimately stopping God’s Spirit from being in your life. No longer having God’s Spirit checking the flesh that affects your need. The resistance to sin is then weak. You can have a “dual” life, if you are not consecrated to God’s will. Because your self will “resurrect” and negatively draw you away from God’s Will. Everyday you must desire the Spirit of God…to control your behavior! You choose. Your choice Because you go through your day, and your spirit is confronted by self. So there has to be a decision to “die” to self. So God’s Spirit can govern you! We come to this crossroads, where we put to death self, to be led then by the Spirit of God!