By Misty Umholtz
Trading in our fleshly indulgences for more of Gods Spirit in our Lives.
Whether this subject matter is a 40 minute break out session, a one page blog or something we are attempting to live out in our daily lives, it is certainly not an easy one to tackle.
What exactly are fleshly indulgences? They are anything that starts to be too much and out of balance in our lives. Something that begins to consume too much of our hearts, thoughts, time, energy, effort and bank accounts. It could be shopping, drinking, eating, working out, TV, social media, etc. You can fill in the blank. It is anything that we are trying to use to fill our voids and fit into the God shaped hole inside of us in attempt to fulfill and satisfy us. The Bible describes them as worldly and cravings.
1 John 2:15-17, “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world-the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”
My indulgence is shopping for clothes. I have always been a clothes horse. But no matter how much I fill my closet with cute outfits, it is never enough. It never brings me any fulfillment or satisfaction that I am longing for. What if I gave it up for a whole year? No new clothes, no new purses, no new shoes! What if I exchange those things for something better, Someone Greater, Someone that my soul truly craves. I need to ask myself if I am finding my identity and self- worth in the outfits that I wear.
The dangerous thing about these small things is that they can become big things that the enemy uses to distract us and get a grip on our hearts, binding us to those things. Satan is always looking for a crack to an open door to gain access into our minds, hearts and homes in hopes of destroying us.
Doing things God’s way leads to more of Him, more of His Spirit in our lives. Jesus is what our souls are longing and craving for. Jesus is what our hearts really want and need. Jesus brings true fulfillment and satisfaction that no one else and nothing else can. And with Jesus, He brings richer, deeper, more meaningful relationships with those around us free from discord and tensions over our fleshly indulgences.
We also find freedom to use more of our time and money for others when we aren’t spending all of it on ourselves in an area that is out of balance in our lives. We discovered that blessings are directly tied to obedience. Is there something or someone you have been praying for a long time for? Jesus brings blessings and breakthroughs in areas we didn’t even know were possible when we do things His way and are obedient to do what His Word says.
I don’t know about you but all I really want is more of Jesus in my life, He is the only One who can satisfy my soul and fill the hole in my heart. I am willing to give this Great Exchange a try even though I am nervous and a little scared, a year seems like a really long time! I am just wondering if I will find out that what I am giving up will fade in comparison to what and Who I am gaining.
What are you willing to trade in exchange for more of God’s Spirit in your life?