- Rev. Thomas Abraham
Beware of the Older Brother (Part 1)
Galatians 4: 29
At that time the son born according to the flesh persecuted the son born by the power of the Spirit. It is the same now. (NIV)
But as then he that was born after the flesh persecuted him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is now. (KJV)
Yet [just] as at that time the child [of ordinary birth] born according to the flesh despised and persecuted him [who was born remarkably] according to [the promise and the working of] the [Holy] Spirit, so it is now also. (AMPL)
The one who was born after the flesh is older than the one who was born by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The flesh despises and persecutes the spiritual man, so beware of the elder brother!
Human history started as a mess because men rejected the way of God and created their own story according to their own heart.
Why does mess come in our lives?
In fact we don’t like mess in our lives.
Why are we never happy?
We want to be happy all the time, but things don't ever happen as we hope it does.
Because we do the things which we want to do.
We don’t look at the scripture for guidance.
We don’t sit at God’s presence for direction,
We do not walk along with the Holy Spirit who is supposed to be our counselor to give advice.
But then when things go wrong, we are so quick to blame God.
Because we do not trust God and his scripture and the Holy Spirit, life becomes tough, it's never smooth sailing.
We are constantly irritated, unhappy, with worries and confusion ruling our minds.
To escape and find some mental relief, we blame others and we blame God.
But when I studied the reason as to why I am so frustrated, disappointed, worried, and angered, I found that it's not really because of someone else. It's because of me.
We need to find out within ourselves, what is my problem? – the problem is not with others; rather, the problem is within ourselves.
Because the problem is within us – we must be aware of how we react, how we behave, how we use our tongue - take a look at our relationship with others from another perspective.
Look at our Lord and savior Jesus Christ:
Judas betrayed Him with thirty silver coins
Peter denied Him three times.
He was arrested without any reason.
Look at the scripture and see what they did with our Lord:
Mattew 27: 26b – 31. "But Pilot had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. One of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water."
It was painful, it was cruel, and it was unbearable!
But our Lord did not hold a grudge against those that wronged Him.
He did not harbor bitterness toward them.
He did not blame them.
He did not curse them; instead Jesus forgave them and prayed for them.
Moreover, Jesus never had to go after those individuals like the High priest, Pilot, Herod, soldiers, Jewish leader to say sorry after he was raised from the dead.
He never had to apologize and say, "sorry I had revenge in my heart against you guys" – no he did not have to apologize.
Jesus was able to handle any situation that was thrown His way and respond to those situations in a spiritual manner.
Every Christian has a dual personality – two natures in one life.
1Peter 2:11 - "Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul."
There are sinful desires that war against us and want to defeat us.
Our real battle is not with people around us, but with the passions within us.
D. L. Moody said, “I have more trouble with D. L. Moody than with any man I know.
A war rages within us – between the Spirit and the flesh
It is a constant warfare, and we must always be on our guard.