“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace.” (Rom 8:6, NIV2)
The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God. Why? Because though we are unaware of it, we have treaded into the enemy’s territory and have become accustomated to his evil presence. Didn’t the apostle Paul warned us: “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Eph 6:12, NIV2)?
Sadly, how many are governed by the flesh? We do what we want, no matter what the consequences may be towards others. “Me first” is our motto. We may feel we are in control for a while, but when disaster strikes, we realize how little control we actually have.
Someone lost their job and we think: “I am glad it’s not me! Better him than me!” Where is our compassion?
Pleasure is everything for those who are governed by the flesh; but those small pleasures will become our downfall. This is not why we were created, for selfishness and pleasure only lead to misery. Rather, we were born to love unconditionally, to care for others with all of our hearts; not to fulfill unnatural cravings. Those who live to fill those cravings have no peace. They continually look for their next fix, their next victim, their next pleasure. They may think that they have it made, but when reality hits, they are left wanting.
The only way out is provided by the One who willingly died for us so that we could be free from bondage. He is the only one who can break the bondage, as “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.” (1John 3:8b, NIV2) You can be free, truly free: “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” (John 8:36, NIV2)
The following testimony will show how our Heavenly Father freed a man from his addictions, and He will do this for you as well.
“I grew up in a violent home. My father was very abusive toward my mother. My father was an alcoholic and always drank from the time he got up until he finally went to bed at night. To try and get away from things at home, I started using drugs. It helped, but, only temporarily.
Time went on and I soon became 18 years old. I was staying with some friends in what we called The Projects. I was lying on the couch. All was quiet in the house. I was almost asleep, when a dim light appeared at the foot of the bed. I thought I was seeing things, for I was so sleepy. I wasn’t high that night. For some reason I had decided not to get high.
This light was slowly getting brighter and brighter. It was strange that I wasn’t afraid. It was peaceful and relaxing. The light grew so bright that I could barely look at it, but I did. I couldn’t help but look at it. In its own way, it was very beautiful to see.
All of a sudden … in the light was a man. He was not like any man I’ve ever seen before. This man was the most awesome and beautiful person that I’ve ever seen. Then He told me: “Everything will be alright.” Next He touched me and I drifted off to sleep.
I woke up the next day feeling better than I had in a long time. From that day on, I’ve never wanted or needed drugs again. I truly believe that the man was Jesus! I don’t really know why the Lord would appear to someone like me, but, He did.
Unfortunately – that’s not the end of the story.
Years went on and I started drinking. From the time I got up until the time I went to bed or passed out, whichever came first. I was addicted to alcohol. Every day and every night I drank.
One night when my friends came over to get me to go out to the bar with them – I don’t know why – but I said that I was just going to stay at home that night.
I actually went to bed early and didn’t drink at all. I went to sleep. I was awakened by a bright light about two – three feet from me next to the bed. Just like before … it grew brighter and brighter. At the same time it was very beautiful. The same man appeared to me from the light. I asked Him if he was Jesus. All He said to me was: “Do not worry; everything will be alright.” He then touched my arm and I feel fast asleep.
To this day I’m drug free and alcohol free. I’m now an ordained minister and have a ministry that helps the homeless. We operate off of donated items and not money. If it wasn’t for the Lord, I wouldn’t be here today. The Lord will never turn his back on you, so, never turn your back on Him.”
Written by James Ramsey Precious Testimonies Evangelist Ministries
Real life is not bondage. Real life is only provided by the Risen One. Only then will we fully experience real life and real peace.
Where do you stand?
(To access the entire “Radical Grace From the Book of Romans” devotional series, please click here.)