Works of the Flesh- This are worldly works. This are things we engage in as occupants of this world but which runs crosswise the truth of who we are as Jesus said, we are in this world, but we are not of this world. We need to understand that as Christians, we’ve being catapulted into the class of God and should operate from that realm. But many times we allow ourselves get sidelined into the falsehood of the world, thinking there thoughts and in return acting as they do. Galatians 5:19-21 lists all the works of the flesh; but notice what vs 18 says of the same chapter: if we are led by the Spirit (of Grace) we are not under this law ( of the flesh) remember how brother Paul reveals that we cannot serve sin anymore because we are not under law; what law, the law of sin because we are under Grace Rom. 6:14. Also efforts we make concerning our lifes which is stirred from our own self in an attempt to make things work is a work of the flesh. This is so, because all consultations with self will end with futility, when God is not in the center of a purpose. it is okay to hold a job as tenets of diligence, it is that job what God said for you to do, or was it choosen by self because of the fat pay and attractive benefits. People say, “thank God I did this thing I did, cos when this challenge came my way I could face it squarely due to the thing I did. But what most people do not realise is that, calamities come because of the wrong choices they make. if you take a job for instance that is not God’s will for you, though the package may be great, you will eventually spend it on calamities and negativities than on blessings. When you yield to the arm of flesh you will surely fall whether it has to do with sin or your lifestyle as it is only Grace that has being ordained to sat you apart and make you perfect, spirit,soul and body. That is why under Grace you cannot sin, because the seed you are born of is incorruptible.
Works of the Law- All persons under works of the law are under the curse Gal 3:10 &12. We need to understand certain truths that the devil is a legalistic being. Thus if you will stay in the legalistic zone then he can as well have a free walk over you. Thus Rom.8:1 declares that in Christ Jesus, we can never be condemned, for the law of grace has set us free from the law of legalism; there the devil lost his hold over us as Jesus made an end to the law and it’s legalistic system in Himself Rom.10:4. We have to be careful that even in our spiritual activities we do not become legalistic in our approach because grace is supposed to be the vehicle through which we carry out our spiritual duties and live our lifes. Proves to the manifestation of the curse in the law zone are the following:
1. Hinderance- Luke5:5 Peter and his crew where hindered by the devil while they engaged the law of nature in fishing but at the entrance of Grace, the devil has to bow out and the hinderance lifted as the fishes in the same sea, rushed heavily into the same net they had refused to enter, the night before. Friends please understand that Grace is a mystery, as it is a divine force and supernatural new testament law that is dependent on the faithfulness of God and not on man. if we can grasp this truth, then we would be a tough patch for the devil cos we would be greatly above him.
2.Stolen- Matt13:3-23 The devil steals everything within his reach, and the law is within his reach because the strength of the law is our effort and our strength Rom.7. Notice one thing was common to all the seeds but one sown by the sower. They were not all fruitful, one was outrightly stolen by birds the thief, the devil. Next, the seed was planted but the thief came with tribulation for the word sake and still caused a crop failure. The root required there was the root of love and grace which was lacking thus engendering the workings of the devil. The last group of failure group were susceptible to the weather and pressure in the world and the thief came and finished the evil work. But the good ground was that which kept the word by mixing it with Faith Luke 8:5, Heb.4. Every seed sown under the terms of the law is sure to be stolen by the devil, one way or the order. You can only shield your seed by Grace through Faith Rom.4:16. All your efforts under the law can be tampered with by the devil because of its legalistic nature Rom.10:5 & Gal.3:10. Therefore, every mistake made under the law, is susceptible to the devil’s intrusion.
3. Toil- Gen.5:29, 41:51, Matt.6:28:48, Luke5:5, All through scripture, toiling is under the curse. Works of the law are filled with toil and I know you know cos you have experienced it also.But notice what Jesus said about the lilies Luke12:27, they toil not, yet they are cloth with surpassing glory. Jesus was saying to us to rest in Him and His finished works for us. Toil comes with the works of the law which has under it legalistic works. Only Grace has the power to perfect you, the law thrives on continuous toiling Heb.10:1.
4. Corruption- Matt13:24-30 Works of the law are susceptible to being corrupted, as the wicked keeps making attempts of sowing tares in the efforts of men.
Now to purposefully make attempts to walk in that deadly zone is to make yourself a prey to the devil.
Earthly Works- This is are earthly labours we engage in to make ends meet on our behalf. They are laden with self efforts for the good life, but many times it comes with its sorrow because everything in this world system has already in it the sorrows of the world. The only things you acquire in this world without the sorrows in it are the things brought to you by the grace of Christ, they carry upon them the blessing. What Grace does, is to bring the blessing on anything, thereby running out the curse from it because whatsoever the Lord has blessed, is impossible to be cursed because atnthe instance of Light darkness, which signifies the devil and the curse Must bow out. The characteristics of earthly works are thus:
1. The condition under which you work is filled with pain- Strongs Bible dictionary defines Toil in this manner, ‘To properly grasp, hence to be exhausted, to tire, to faint, to labour, and to be weary. I remember a friend of mine who though had a job, the middle of each month, never had money to spend except she borrowed. Now understand that she was thrift in spending but exigencies just always left her dry. Now at some point she knew she shouldn’t be holding that job because even her life was threatened severally and her goods stolen on many occasions. But for lack of job opportunities, she held on to the job, until an occasion that placed her between life or death. Then she had to let go and trust God for a better offer, which He did give her. if that job is not God’s will for you, begin believing Him for His will and grace will bring it your way, without pain, without stress. stress is for the world and not for anew testament believer. I don’t care what anyone says, trying to quote Joseph’s life and David’s to justify your struggle is false. You need to understand that they were not perfected until we came Hebrews11:40. The crux is being where grace will have you and ease would be the order of the day and when tough patches come by, you wouldn’t be moved nor be burnt out because His grace would be sufficient for you and His strength perfected in your weakness 2Cor.12:9.
2. Earthly works thrives on rewards for your labour- You cant earn higher than your work under the earthly system Rom4:4-5. No wonder people are cutting corners negatively like never before in this generation because there is no hope nor satisfaction in this world system. Needs are rising and rewards are slimming down, people are trusting too much on this earthly system and it is crashing like the tower of Babel. Trying to meet your needs without God would fail you Prov.14:12, 16:25, Jer.17:5. As good as Abraham’s Mashlow’s hierarchy of needs may sound, they can never be met by man, nor by an earthly system. Rewards for labour are no longer enough to satisfy man, only God can satisfy man and graciously give the extras.
3. Earthly works are exhausting and tiring- There is no earthly work that does not have its disadvantage and death especially in this time of global economic crunch; more workers are laid off and the ones retained are made to do the job of 3 persons for the stipend of a few dollars. Nations are rising against nations, some are withdrawing out of united bodies. The heat in the world is increasing in all spheres of life, only in Grace can we find refuge. Scriptures speaks of the place of refuge where no heat nor storm nor woe can get to, this was talking about Zion and Zion is a spiritual place for God’s people Isiah 4:4-6. it is not a chapel nor a built church but is a spiritual location we all belong to in Christ if we will believe and rest in Him. under Grace, you are hid in the hollow of God’s hands under his pavilion, thus you are not only protected but you are also satisfied with the goodness of the Lord Psa103:5. The work God has for you, would carry with it rest, peace, profiting and life. You can never get burnt out under Grace works it is always graceful 2Cor.9:8, Prov.16:3.
4. Earthly Works are limited- You get to a certain height and get capped. For instance, the highest you can go in any company is to be the MD/CEO or the President in that company. Usually it comes with a time frame and most times before anyone gets to that position they would have reached the retirement age, but with grace there is no limit to how far you can go. Your dreams are fulfilled beyond your wildest imaginations, because he brings you to it in grand style and does exceeding abundantly above what you can ask or think Eph.3:20. When you are where Grace would have you, there is no limit to how far you can go in life.
5. Earthly Works depletes Faith- Everything that pertains to this world, it’s methods, styles, effects always runs crosswise to the ways of God. The world system thrives on the six physical senses of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and feeling but Grace runs in an opposite direction of believing with the heart the word of grace which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance amongst the saints Acts20:32 and declaring it. Notice that every so called principle in the world hinges on cutting others down, working with basic physical facts, using the knowledge of the past and present to predict the future. But you will agree with me that in our days, things are no longer equal, thus all this principles fail and rob believers of thieir faith and trust in Jesus Christ for example borrowing is not God’s perfect will Deut.15:6, 28:12 & Prov.22:7. The world system and its works runs opposite to Gods system. Ths when the world say scramble for whatever you can God say be liberal, be restful and trust me to satisfy all of your needs including your wants Prov.11:25, 2Cor.9:6-10, Heb.4:2-3, Jer.17:7-8 Phil.4:19 & Psa.23:1.
…to be continued…