Wednesday, March 26, 2008


This is THE DAY that the Lord has made! I will REJOICE and be glad in it. I hope you are rejoicing in God's faithfulness.

I want to ask you a question that I feel the Holy Spirit asking me the past few days. "What are you UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF?" We can read almost daily of someone who has been arrested because they were driving UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF drugs, or alcohol. Their driving was erratic, many times even killing someone because of their lack of judgment. I have been reading through 1 & 2 Chronicles the past few days, and I am once again AMAZED at how easily the Children of Israel turned their hearts AWAY from Jehovah God to dead, lifeless IDOLS such as Baal. What was their problem? One of the main problems was that they didn't ESTEEM God's Word. They began to take God's Word (law, commandments) for granted. Instead of God's Word being their standard for living, this became their standard: "Everyone did was right IN HIS OWN EYES." They neglected reading, studying, meditating, and acting upon God's Word. They were UNDER THE INFLUENCE of SELF rule, or THEIR FLESH. Listen to what Paul says about this:

Galatians 5:16-17 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won't be doing what your sinful nature craves. (17) The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

Paul explains the battle that every Christian has…the battle between the Flesh and the Spirit. He strongly encourages us to "let the Holy Spirit guide your lives." He will guide us through the Word of God. But we must esteem the Word of God daily, or we will act and live just like the Israelites, "everyone doing what is right IN THEIR OWN EYES."

Isaiah 66:2 (AMP) For all these things My hand has made, and so all these things have come into being [by and for Me], says the Lord. But this is the man to whom I will look and have regard: he who is humble and of a broken or wounded spirit, and who trembles at My word and reveres My commands.

You want God to think highly of you? Then be humble, broken hearted, TREMBLE at God's Word, and His commands. Don't treat God's Word haphazardly. Allow God's Word and His Spirit to INFLUENCE your life and your decisions. Too many of God's people are influenced by: anger, frustrations, bitterness, grudges, un-forgiveness, lust, money, possessions, pleasure, etc. That is why there are so many people who can't get past the "hypocrites" that go to church. There always has been, and always will be people who act one way in church and another at work. That is a fact of life. But these people do not represent God, or what He is about. They are UNDER THE INFLUENCE of something other than God's Word or His Spirit. Leave them in God's hands, and you just make up your mind that you WILL BE DIFFERENT, and LIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE OF GOD'S WORD AND SPIRIT.

In Galatians 5:16 Paul is urging the Galatians to remember that, as Christians, they have received the Spirit and they are to walk in the Spirit, under His INFLUENCE. The Spirit is the supreme energizing and regulative force in their lives. If they walk in the Spirit, there is no danger that their Christian liberty will become an opportunity for the flesh.

For Paul, the Spirit is more than the manifestation of a supernatural power, more than the giver of dramatic gifts, more than an explosive force erupting in the believer now and then. The Spirit is the daily sustaining, inspiring, and guiding power of the Christian's life.
The Spirit is the domain of power, the sphere of influence which replaces the flesh as the energy force of our lives.

What will YOU allow to dominate today?—that is the question. Flesh or Spirit? So long as we are in the flesh there is going to be a conflict between flesh and Spirit, and this is what Paul is dealing with. Listen to Paul's words in Romans 7:15-25

Romans 7:15-25 What I don't understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing things I absolutely despise. (16) So if I can't be trusted to figure out what is best for myself and then do it, it becomes obvious that God's command is necessary. (17) But I need something more! For if I know the law but still can't keep it, and if the power of sin within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help! (18) I realize that I don't have what it takes. I can will it, but I can't do it. (19) I decide to do good, but I don't really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway. (20) My decisions, such as they are, don't result in actions. Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time. (21) It happens so regularly that it's predictable. The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up. (22) I truly delight in God's commands, (23) but it's pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight. Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge. (24) I've tried everything and nothing helps. I'm at the end of my rope. Is there no one who can do anything for me? Isn't that the real question? (25) The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does. He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different.

Paul had to DAILY battle the INFLUENCE OF SIN and the flesh. He overcame it by walking in the Spirit (under the influence of the Spirit), and having a vibrant relationship with Jesus who is the WORD OF GOD who became flesh. So we need to put God's Word into our FLESH daily and act upon it, and mediate upon it. You choose every day, who or what is going to influence you. My prayer is that we will TODAY live under the INFLUENCE of the Spirit and God's Word.

Galatains 5:24-26 Among those who belong to Christ, everything connected with getting our own way and mindlessly responding to what everyone else calls necessities is killed off for good--crucified. (25) Since this is the kind of life we have chosen, the life of the Spirit, let us make sure that we do not just hold it as an idea in our heads or a sentiment in our hearts, but work out its implications in every detail of our lives. (26) That means we will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.

So I ask again… "Who is INFLUENCING YOU? What are you UNDER THE INFLUENCE of? It really is something to think about! Blessings!

Pastor Rusty

Today's "Through the Bible in a year" reading: March 26, 2008 (Wednesday): I Chronicles 18:1 – I Chronicles 21:30

This week's memory verse to "hide in my heart": Isaiah 43:2-3

Isaiah 43:2-3 When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. (3) For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Savior:…"