EVERY MORNING at the gym, I pump and pant with the body sculptors and running fanatics. Despite how a few of them parade their goods in front of the mirrors, 99% have imperfect physiques, just like me. I might resemble a runner, but I hide my pooch well. I’m constantly stretching kinks out of my knotty muscles and altering my routines to accommodate faulty joints. My chiropractor is my best friend, and his hugs crack me up.
Written and unwritten laws run the gym.
Don’t hog the machines.
Don’t strain to see another runner’s treadmill stats.
No excessive grunting.
Don’t stalk a machine that’s in use.
Don’t wear cologne or perfume (asphyxiation!).
These rules seem like common etiquette,
so why do we need them?
Why do we persistently try to “cheat” the system?
WHAT DRIVES US? A lack of principles? Fear? Perhaps an aversion to obeying authority? “If you say yes, I’ll say no.” I’m not talking about abuse and tyranny. I mean, what makes us oppose honorable directives?
ADMITTEDLY, I campaign for justice. My family calls me the lawyer. I like to obey the speed limit, and I can get super critical toward those who don’t. My reaction proves there is another extreme, which is equally as wrong as rebellion.
I FAIL AT THE LAW
The rules prove my incapacity
to do what’s right when I’ve been offended.
It’s easy to be good
when things go MY WAY.
I understand why we are
trying to dispose of the 10 Commandments.
That Law is a reminder
We do and say things that are immoral
We are wicked by nature.
And we resent the being judged!
PSYCHOLOGY 101 claims to have an explanation for this human glitch. But is there a truer explanation that transcends deeper into the soul?
THE ANSWER lies in the controller, in the power behind the psyche’s attitude.
For a deeper investigation, READ ON
–->THE DECEPTION: We’re born sinful and can never change, so just do your best. This is a half-truth.
–>THE TRUTH: Jesus’s death completely defeated the power of Death and Destruction and Satan’s reign over the world and humanity. Death and destruction still exist, but anyone who believes Jesus to be Lord of his/her life is no longer in bondage to Satan’s reign. Romans 6:9-12
OUTWARD CHANGE is not automatic. Unless you’re a robot with a control board, old habits and attitudes die hard. The enemy uses every trick in the book to convince us that change is impossible.
The Controller 2 Corinthians 5:14
SYMPTOMS of the Old Controller- I never do enough good deeds. Am I attractive enough? Why am I constantly depressed? I’m always frustrated! I hate her and don’t care if she dies. I wish I wasn’t so impatient. I can’t stop hitting my child. They tell me I’m mean and callous. I can’t believe I took that $50 from his desk. I’ll speed if I feel like it.
THESE EXAMPLES of self-love are an expression Satan’s hatred for everything Godly. And they bring death. James1:14-15
SYMPTOMS of the New Controller:
Love. Joy. Peace. Patience. Kindness. Gentleness. Faithfulness. Goodness. Self-control.
There’s no law at work in these things. Galatians 5:22-25
God is always altruistic.
Jesus loved me to the point of giving his life
because he was born with his Father’s immutably perfect nature.
His death broke my chains of enslavement.
He restored my free will.
WARNING: Human-based altruism will not last. Mortal deficiencies will surface. In my own strength, I’m incapable of making right choices from the heart. Self-reliance indicates the enslaving “spirit of the Law” is at work in me.
READ 2 Corinthians 5 (don’t just take my word for it)
CHRIST’S love controls me. Since I believe Jesus died for me, I also believe that I have died to the old controller. His death gave me a new life so I will no longer live for myself (self-seeking). Instead, I will live for Christ (altruistic). (vv.14-15)
GOD ALREADY put things right between me and him through Jesus Christ. It is finished! Mission completed. And he made me His ambassador of this message (v.20). If he is NOT counting my sins against me (v.19), then I have no right to make another pay for an offense.
MY OUTER SHELL — bad joints and all — is merely ambassador’s clothing (vv.1-4). As an ambassador, I need to impart the freedom I’ve been given whether through a smile, mercy, a word of encouragement, or standing by someone going through a tragedy.
Unconditional altruism — because I am free.
AS A BELIEVER,
I’m no longer enslaved
to making unhealthy decisions
or to any power of the old reign,
unless I intentionally promote that old power.
My spirit is completely healed
a condition nothing and no one can alter.
I am alive.
I have purpose and significance.
Equipping prayer based on 2 Cor 5
“Holy Spirit, help me to live by believing and not by seeing. Thank you for making me your ambassador. By your power, I will evaluate others and myself from a sound spiritual point of view. I confess that the things people do sometimes makes me feel vengeful and selfish. I give you control of my heart and mind to transform my attitude and regulate my life according to how God wants me to live. I trust you wholly and pray all this in the name of Jesus Christ.”
WARRIORS stoke the atmosphere. They inflame passion by the way they live their lives.
DO an act of kindness.
RE-RACK the dumbbells.
OFFER your seat on the bus.
BEFRIEND the guy who just cussed you out.
SMILE at the woman who’s scowling.
CLEAN UP after the person who came before you,
and clean up for the person who will follow you.
LOVE unconditionally . . . for you are His ambassador.