I am convinced that there has been a deliberate effort to downplay this foundational truth by none other than Satan himself. How has he accomplished this? It’s simple really! All he had to do was to design distractions that would prevent Christians from becoming students of the Bible. This in turn would directly affect our prayer life. How, we might ask? Everything, and I mean everything, we need to know to live life and communicate with God is laid out for us within the pages of the Bible.
Too many of us, as Christians, have unknowingly succumbed to this distraction of the enemy. Therefore, we have an uninformed perspective concerning our old nature vs our new nature. Please allow me to share a personal example to illustrate this.
July 18 was my birthday! If you are curious, I turned 73. The day started off rather nicely. My husband gave me a lovely tea mug, which included a cup strainer and lid. After steeping some heather tea, I carried my new tea mug to my front porch to enjoy a few quiet moments sipping on my tea, and listening to the gentle rhythm of a summer rain.
Too soon the rain ceased, and my husband left for the day to make a hospital visit. After waving goodbye, I opened the front door. Only to be assaulted by the aftermath of the recent three week stay of two of my children and their families. Someone had to start cleaning up that mess, even if it was her birthday!!!
The thoughts born by my bonny porch moment slowly began to deteriorate. Supplanted by, “No one should have to spend their birthday alone. And cleaning up this gigantic mess left by others is no way to celebrate!”
Even though I know better, I was permitting my old nature to rule my thoughts and shape my perspective. My old nature is aggravatingly self-centered. Always promoting my will over God’s will. As the day wore on my self-centered old nature grew sadder and sadder. In spite of all my efforts to redirect my thoughts, my perspective stubbornly remained the same.
The next day dawned finding me entrenched in negativity. Somehow I sensed relief would come only if I thoroughly disconnected from my negative focus. Picking up a historical fiction book I had been reading, I lost myself in the cares and challenges faced by its characters. By the time I concluded the book, the transformation of my perspective had been accomplished.
Once again my new nature set me on a healing course. The clarity I received was this, “I had been allowing my self-centered old nature to speak louder than my Christ-centered new nature.”
That illumination empowered me to shut down the voice bent on my destruction and listen to the voice intent my restoration.
It’s the ongoing battle between the old nature (our flesh) and the new nature (our spirit.) And here’s the secret. Before we became a Christian we were ruled by a nature set in rebellion against God. On becoming a Christian we received the nature of Christ. From that point on the growth process begins. We learn how to deal with the ups and downs of an earthly life from God’s word, the Bible. The new nature is fed and empowered by what we learn there. Without the nurturing of of God’s truths, our spirit will grow weak and the old nature will gain strength.