Bible Society of South Africa

Keep me from being God’s enemy! – 7 October 2022

By Ewald Schmidt

Bible text(s)

7And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God's law, and in fact they cannot obey it. 8Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.

Romans 8:7-8GNBOpen in Bible reader

What was the original purpose of a human being? Why did God create us? Genesis 1:26 gives us the answer. We were created in the image of God – he wanted to be in a relationship with us from the very beginning. He extended our need for relationship to include our fellow man. In these relationships with God, and each other, God’s love would become visible and be the driving force keeping everything in nature in balance. Genesis 1 and 2 tells us of how life and humanity could be within the bounds of God’s will. There was life and peace!

Genesis 3 tells the sad story of the fall of man. God also gave us the ability to make choices. He did not make robots that would automatically do the right thing, every time, without fail. He created us as his children, with our own minds and ability to choose, even taking the risk that we may choose wrongly. This is the heart of a parent – it is so much more satisfying when your child loves you because they want to, not because they are obliged to.

We know the story of man’s rebellion against God. Man chose to break free, with the desire to make his own decisions about right or wrong, and the path of life he wants to follow. The flesh of man became the driving force of life, not the love and kindness of God. The world is now, more than ever, in the grip of the desires of the flesh. Nearly every person on this planet thinks their way of thinking is the right way, their will be done at all cost. It is our default mode in life to fall back to this question in life: What is in it for me? What do I desire?

When the sinful nature takes the steering wheel of my life, I turn away from God’s will. I like to be a rebel, to do my own thing, to be the master of my own life. Paul calls this way of life being hostile to God. God wants to restore relationships; I want to do my own thing, wrecking relationships as far as I go.

It is a dangerous path to follow the way of the flesh, as we have seen yesterday. This path ends in death – physical death and death of relationships. This path brings darkness and pain. The Holy Spirit leads us on an alternative route – the way of God, the way of life and peace. On this path, we live in harmony with God, being his friends, his children. On this path, he can bless us abundantly. This path brings healing and life back to the broken world. And you are invited to walk this journey with him!

Prayer: Lord, I do not want to be your enemy; I have no desire to be hostile to your plans. Guide me by the Spirit to submit to your will, lead me towards light, and love and peace. Help me to be a channel of your goodness to this world around me. Come heal this world with your love, Lord, and start with me. Amen

Bible Society of South Africav.4.16.20
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