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The Flesh Will Serve the Spirit

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					Aug 20, 2007                The Flesh Will Serve the Spirit           Kathleen Maples

After Adam and Eve were cast out of the garden for disobedience to God, there
were two sons born. Cain, whose name means an acquired possession, and that
implies something the flesh works for, and obtains on its own. He was earthy-a
tiller of the ground. His young adult life was spent working the ground and
growing food. Abel, his brother, was born second. His name means breath, or
vapor, mourning. His life was fleeting, not very long. What is 30 or 40 years
compared to the several hundred years people were living at the time? He was a
shepherd. As they grew up, I'm sure they heard their parents talking about the
Lord, the garden of Eden, and naturally, the children would want to know why
they weren't in the garden anymore. That garden represented the presence of God-
in there was everything they needed. The Tree of Life, provision, fellowship with
God, and protection. All they had to do was keep and take care of what God had
given them. Their parents taught them about making offerings to the Lord. Adam
could only have learned this from God and passed it down to his sons. Cain brings
an offering of things he grew out of the ground-the work of his hands; in short he
brings an offering produced by the flesh. Abel brings an offering of a life. He takes
the firstborn of his flock, the best he had, and brings this life to the Lord as an
offering. God rejects the offering of Cain because God has no use for flesh. The
more I read this Bible, and study, the more I see that in the lives of the people
written about in here. It is the only logical explanation for why God would refuse
Cain's offering. Cain's reaction reveals his heart somewhat, too. He becomes
rebellious, surly, arrogant and angry.

Gen 4:6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance
  fallen?
Gen 4:7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at
  the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.

Remember what Paul said in Romans 8? The carnal mind is enmity against God.
He also warned us in Romans 6 that sin should not have dominion over us. He also
warns us not to be ignorant of the devil's devices and it helps us know and
understand how he operates when we look to the Scriptures and ask God to help us
see how he worked against the life and plan of God for His people in the Bible. God
exposed him. The Scripture says Christ made a show of him openly. God give us
eyes to see and ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to the Bride. It's a sure thing
the devil was accusing Abel to Cain, exploiting the weakness in Cain for the things
of the world, manipulating him to regard the works of his hands more highly than
he should, and under the influence of the voice of the accuser, Cain's anger and
bitterness is stoked until it boils over and he kills his brother. Think about it, even
though they are not in the garden, and have been cast out, God is still talking to his
creation. He is still talking to man, trying to steer them in the right direction. If He
would talk to Cain, who was of that wicked one, according to 1Jo_3:12, would He
not also talk to Abel, and Adam and Eve? Sure He would. This is an illustration of
the carnal nature warring against the spiritual. It's the flesh warring against the
spirit. And the blood of Abel cried out to God from the ground where Cain spilled it.
Imagine how much greater the voice of the blood of Jesus Christ cries out to God
for us! Cain received mercy from God in his punishment. He was cast out of the
presence of God, and told he would work the ground but have nothing to show for
it from then on. The Lord set a mark on him, that protected him from being
murdered as was his brother. That was mercy, was it not? Cain goes out, with his
wife, and I know people question where did he get his wife, but doesn't the
Scripture tell us Adam and Eve had many sons and daughters? Either way, we
ought not question things like that because if God thought we needed this
knowledge it would be spelled out clearly in the Scripture. It's not important. But
Cain goes on and continues building up things with his hands. He goes and builds
a city and names it after his son, Enoch. Enoch means dedicated, disciplined,
consecrated. Something else I'd not previously noticed: consider the names of
Cain's descendants listed in Gen 4. Mehujael, (smitten by God), Methusael, (man of
God) and Lamech, a man of violence and lust whose name means the wild man, or
smiter. He retaliated against someone who hurt him, by killing the man then tried
to justify himself because he figured if God would protect Cain who killed someone
without provocation, God would more protect one who killed someone because
they hurt him. (Gen_4:23) That carnal mind will always try to justify itself. His sin
and rebellion plagued his descendants as well. It seems to have been passed down
through his generations.

Some of their names are also very similar to the lineage of Seth, the son born in
Abel's place. There is an imitation, often religious in nature, of everything
spiritual that God has and does. Lamech was the name of Noah's father, and he
said Noah would be a comfort and hope for them. If you look at the lineage of Seth,
the names are very similar to these. Seth's first son is Enos, and his name means
frail and mortal. Seth's lineage included Enoch who walked with God, prophesied
and preached, and was raptured out of here, not seeing death.

Gen 5:28 And Lamech lived a hundred eighty and two years, and begot a son:
Gen 5:29 And he called his name Noah, saying, This same shall comfort us concerning our work
  and toil of our hands, because of the ground which the LORD hath cursed.

It sounds like Lamech was tired and weary of the work of his hands, as though he
was tired of the way things were deteriorating in the world, and this was before
the flood came. After the flood, God said told Noah and his family to be fruitful and
multiply. Noah begins a new life, with his family, as a husbandman. He plants a
vineyard. He drinks of the wine and was drunken, and uncovered in his tent. His
son, Ham, sees him naked and tells his brothers. I think there was some mockery
or sarcasm here, because Ham disrespected his father. The other two sons, walked
in the tent backward to cover their father without looking on him. There was
something had to be working in the heart of Ham, to cause him to look on his
father disrespectfully and attempt to shame him in the eyes of his brothers. Does
not the wicked one always go after the seed? There is always one who persecutes
the righteous in one way or another. It is an ever present warfare. Man always
wants to do things his own way. Religious man wants to pay lip service to God, but
still do things his own way. After the flood, the people gathered together and
decided to build a big tower, once again, flesh building itself up, to get to heaven
itself.

Gen 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto
  heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole
  earth.

What were their priorities? Let's get to heaven and make ourselves a name, a
reputation, in this earth, so everybody will know who we are. Let's stay right here,
and just build up. Oh, the Lord was not pleased with that. It got His attention and
He came down to check things out.

Gen 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and
  this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have
  imagined to do.

Where there is unity, things get done. No wonder the devil tries so hard to divide
us against one another. If he can get us finding fault, and picking at one another,
not trusting one anther, and pointing the finger at each other, under the influence
of a carnal mind, and accusing voice, that will stop up the flow of the Spirit and
work of God and can bring the judgment of God. He scatters and confounds these
people's language so they are unable to communicate with one another. He says
you can't come to me your way, by the works of your hands. You can't come up
here. When you consider that, it's an amazing thing to consider the might and
power of God to change the language and understanding of men. In a moment's
time, he created different tongues, different languages, and changed the
understanding of men. Wow. How long would it take you to learn a foreign
language? Think about that! He is so amazing! We can't come to God any other
way but as we are drawn by the Holy Spirit, through faith in the name of Jesus
Christ.

Heb 11:4 By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he
  obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead
  yet speaketh.

If we offer our lives up to God, for His purpose and plan, and seek first His
kingdom and His righteousness, and ask God to guide us, He will.

When you read about Isaac and Rebekah, you can see she is a type of the Bride of
Christ. She marries the son of promise. There was a struggle between Ishmael and
Isaac, one was born because flesh tried to work out the promise of God, and the
other was born by the power of God when flesh could do nothing to make this
happen. Sarah's womb was dead. Abraham was a dry tree. I had never realized
this until I got to studying, but when you read that Isaac was 40 when he married
Rebecca and he was 60 when Jacob and Esau are born. She was barren a long
time. When she is barren, her husband, Isaac, prays for her, and the Lord blesses
her with new life. He did not do it right off the mark, they had to wait patiently for
the Lord to bring this promise to pass, just as Abraham and Sarah had to wait. We,
too, must learn to wait on the Lord to fulfill His promises to us. The Scripture says
in Gen 25:11 that God blessed Isaac and Isaac dwelled by a well called Lahai-roi
whose name means "well of the Living One who sees me". Sounds like he was
staying close to God. God heard Isaac and Rebecca conceived new life. As these
new lives grow inside her, there is a struggle. She can feel these two babes
wrestling with each other. She didn't go to any person with her concern and
questions, she went to the Lord. We would do well to do this, too.

Gen 25:23 And the LORD said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two manner of
  people shall be separated from thy bowels; and the one people shall be stronger than the
  other people; and the elder shall serve the younger.

Every one that has been born again of the Spirit of God has felt this struggle. The
old carnal life struggles to stay alive, and the new spiritual life wars against the
carnal. I love what the Lord tells her, one people shall be stronger than the other.
The elder, which was the carnal would serve the younger, which was the spiritual.
When they were born, Esau, went after the things and ways of the world as he
grew. He was a hunter. He married worldly, strange women, deliberately grieving
the heart of his family with his mixture into the world. Though Isaac had only one
wife, Esau took two and he took them of the Canaanites. Esau means rough, hairy.
Jacob means supplanter. Supplant means to move into the place of another; to
replace or substitute, follow after. By right of being born first, Esau should inherit
the bulk of his father's estate, and position, and the promises of God. Jacob saw
this and wanted it. He coveted the promises and the inheritance of his brother. He
saw his brother did not appreciate or place value on it. (Gen_25:34) He
demonstrated this when he so quickly traded it off for something so fleeting and
temporary as the immediate satisfaction of his appetite-a bowl of pottage made by
his brother, Jacob.

Heb 12:15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness
  springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;
Heb 12:16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat
  sold his birthright.
Heb 12:17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he
  was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.

We are told in Romans 8 that to be carnally minded is death, and to follow the
demands of your flesh is enmity or hostile to the plan and work of God in our lives.
Esau followed after his flesh and the world, and he lost out. He sold off his inheritance
so casually for so little, demonstrating in so doing how lightly he esteemed his
birthright. We are called to be children of God, called to holiness, not uncleanness. We
are called to have fellowship with the Son of God, the Spirit of God and the Father
Himself. We have been given access into His presence. We have been instructed that
His Word is full of promises for us about what we are to do and have in Him. He's told
us we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. But we have to lay some things down, we have
to come out from among the world, and seek first HIS kingdom and HIS righteousness,
and be filled with HIS Spirit. We can't play church and walk with one foot in the world
and the other in the church. The spirit of this age is constantly trying to pull at us, the
enemy will always try to provoke our flesh and carnal mind, because if he can get us
operating in the flesh, we will lose out. God doesn't accept the flesh. He can't use flesh
to accomplish spiritual purposes. He won't. But He is more than willing and able to
help us see He has already given us the victory over these things if we are willing and
ready to stand on His Word and believe Him when He said that His Son destroyed the
works of the devil, and made us free. We do not have to let sin, the flesh, our carnal
minds have dominion over us. We can call on the life of Christ inside us to rise up and
take dominion over all. He is able to subdue all things to Himself (Php 3:21). He also
gave His church authority. If we stand up in the Name of Jesus Christ, and face our
giants like David did, using the promises of God as our stones, we can defeat the
enemy with the truth, just as David slew Goliath with the stone. Jesus Christ is our
Cornerstone. He is our Rock and He already defeated the works of the devil, He made a
spectacle, an open show of him (Col 2:15) when He overcame all the enemy tried to do
to Him. Even a newborn Christian who just believes God, can put the devil on the run
through faith in the name and power of Jesus Christ. When we stand on God's Word in
faith and do not waver, the devil has to back off. We resist him with the Word, he has
to flee. He might come back, he might try another way, but he cannot argue with the
Word of God. It binds him when wielded by someone with faith who has rejected the
world and refused the lie they have to live in sin. God's Word does not fail. We can take
that Word into our temples and we know Heb 4:12 says the Word of God is quick,
sharper than any two edged sword. It will work in us powerfully, cutting the ties that
bind us to this world, and cutting out anything unlike Christ as we yield to the Word
and let the Spirit work out this life of Christ in us. We must decrease and He must
increase. What an honor and privilege to be chosen to bear the honor of being a vessel
of the Lord. I keep seeing an image of a cup, a beautiful tea cup, all nice and clean,
sparkling. It can do nothing of itself. It cannot clean itself. It cannot move itself. It just
sits. But when someone picks it up after washing it, and pours something in it, they
are the ones responsible to pour out the contents they poured in. We desperately need
to be full of the Holy Spirit, and trust God to direct us and distribute that which He
puts in us for His glory and to reach out to the lost. That's what it's about, helping
those who are lost and hurting see Jesus. If they can not see Him in us, how will they
ever see Him while they have hope of rescue? We can look to HIM trusting Him for the
victory, day by day to overcome everything that tries to keep us from knowing and
having HIM and the fullness of the life of Christ in us. He is God and if we let Him be
God in and through us, what a difference our lives can make! Don't trade off the
promises of God because you are struggling, or because your flesh has suffer being
denied something it is used to. The carnal things of this world cannot be compared to
the glory of the Lord and the love of God. Oh, taste and see, the Lord, He is good!

				
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Kathleen Maples Kathleen Maples Christian http://timnkat1.tripod.com
About It's not about me, it's about HIM-the Lord Jesus Christ.