by Mike Ratliff
15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. John 14:15 (NASB)
23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him. John 14:23 (NASB)
God’s ways are not our ways. Man’s natural understanding is that freedom is found only in not being in bondage or servitude to anyone or anything. For thousands of years nearly every culture on this planet had slaves. Slavery still exists, but in our day most people see it as repugnant and as something we must fight against to gain the freedom of those in bondage. Tragically, also in our day, the vast majority of professing Christians are in bondage to their flesh. Their flesh is a cruel task-master demanding fleshly pursuits continually in a desperate drive for fulfillment. The problem with this, of course, is that the first time anything fleshly is pursued for this reason it may very well bring fulfillment or enjoyment, but each time after that it brings less and less. That is true of any form of entertainment. That is why it must continually change. That is why the first time we hear a certain song it pleases us greatly, but after the 900th time of hearing it, we don’t even pay attention to it anymore. This is just an example. There are innumerable other fleshly pursuits that our sin nature craves and attempts to force us to feed it by going hard after them. If we give in to this, we are not worshipping God. We are not walking in the Spirit. We are not being Spirit-led. Instead, we are doing what our flesh wants and are, in fact, worshipping self.