March 30 Obstacles to Righteousness

Scripture Reading: Proverbs 23:20–21

Key Verse: 1 Corinthians 2:14

But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

When we set our minds on things of the flesh—sinful attitudes, ideas, and habits in our life—we are decreeing death to the things of God. What makes such desires hard to resist is that they are natural and involve common worldly aspirations like money, sex, prominence, and power.

But 1 Corinthians 2:14 says the natural man does not receive the things of God. Just because something is natural or “only human” does not mean it is right. Notice that there is nothing wrong with eating, but the Scriptures consider gluttony sinful (Proverbs 23:20–21). Nor is there anything immoral about sex when it is practiced within God-given parameters.

As long as our desires and appetites are subdued and brought under subjection to the Holy Spirit, our fellowship with God can continue harmoniously. But when yearnings are unrestrained, our closeness and communication with the Lord are hindered, and we cease to walk in spiritual victory.

To give control of our lives over to the Holy Spirit, we must be persuaded that we cannot live righteously in our own strength. Most of us already realize the attempt to live in a God-pleasing manner is a struggle; to correct the situation, we must surrender our entire being to Him: mind, will, emotion, and conscience. Ask God to reveal areas of weakness, and then give Him each frailty as it comes to light. This needs to be done not once, but every day.

Dear heavenly Father, today I’m totally Yours. I can’t live the Christian life, but You can live through me. Eliminate the obstacles to righteousness from my life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 93). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

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