Opposite Spirit

<<converse attitude>>

The atmosphere of heaven is contrary to the often evil mindset exhibited on earth so, as believers, we should live by the principles that define heaven, not those typical of this sin-saturated world. We should be walking in faith not fear, victory not defeat, peace not anxiety, love not anger and hate, generosity not greed, integrity not dishonesty, joy not depression. Our lifestyle should be characterized by holiness, not engaging in sinful habits; giving to bless others, not accumulating for self; yielded to doing His will in obedience rather than in rebellion, continuing to walk in the flesh by ignoring His right to Lordship; humbleness of spirit not fleshly pride; thankfulness, even in trials, by not complaining; being dedicated to serving others, not serving my own indulgences; being controlled by the Spirit not my fleshly desires; living by faith not sight – these are the result of living in the Spirit and not walking in the flesh, believing that the inner character is more important than the vanity of the external body (Rom 8:4,5; Gal 5:16).

The Bible teaches that when mistreated, rather than reacting in the flesh and responding in the same destructive negative spirit, we are to, “Love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us…Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult, but with blessing” (Mt 5:43,44; 1 Pet 3:9).  We are to bless rather than curse those who persecute us, and feed

   Live out the new life you profess    –  2 Corinthians 5:17

our enemies if they are hungry (Rom 12:14-20). This “going the second mile” ensures we are “Not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” as we “Do to others what we would like done to us” (Mt 5:38-42; Lk 6:27-36; Rom 12:21).  By a benevolent, loving act a peaceful outcome was the result of what started out as a serious hostile tactic (2 Kgs 6:18-23). By responding in love, when we have been mistreated it will make the other person ashamed for their actions and God will reward us (Prov 25:21,22). We should follow in the steps of Jesus, who when insulted did not retaliate or when He suffered made no threats. Instead He entrusted Himself to His Father (1 Pet 2:23).

It takes strong self-control not to lash out with our tongue, which can be a very lethal weapon (Jas 3:5-10). Walking in faith is choosing as reality what God is speaking to your spirit, regardless of the circumstances that are in conflict. Live by faith and less by your senses. We choose which Kingdom’s

What is my response?

values we live by. Choose carefully as only one option ends favourably. Don’t let Satan deceive and cheat you out of your inheritance both in this life and the next. It is only by being in vital relationship with Jesus and exercising self-control that the philosophy of the world’s system and entanglement with its vices are broken. As believers our lives should be in contrast to the ‘me-first’ world around, we should be marching to the beat of a different drum. God said, “Because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him [into his inheritance]” (Num 14:24). “The grace of God…teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age” (Tit 2:11,12). We are to live by heaven’s standards this side of the grave, not just the other side.

Christianity is practical, it should affect every part of our personality while still on earth, so that whatever comes from within us reflects the Godly transformation that has taken place – that is the ‘point of difference’. Increasingly, we should be responding as we believe Jesus would, not in the vindictive and selfish world’s way rather "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ" (Lk 6:45; Rom 12:2; Phil 1:27).

See also: attitude, character, golden rule, put off/put on, reaction, response, self-control, words.