Have you noticed that it’s natural to do what makes sense to you and what you want to do, but that it takes intentional choice to listen to the Lord and follow after Him? It’s natural for a parent to respond in irritation to a whining child or for a child to roll his/her eyes at the instructions of a parent. It takes Spirit-self-discipline to respond calmly and humbly. This illustrates the two natures within the believer: the old nature (carnal – of the flesh) and the new nature (in Christ – of the spirit/Spirit).
God provides an illustration from His creation: the caterpillar and the butterfly. “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come” (2 Cor. 5:17 NIV). This verse reminds you of the butterfly, doesn’t it? However, once a caterpillar becomes a butterfly, it can never become a caterpillar again, nor act like one. Once we are “in Christ” we are positioned in Him, we have a new identity, and we have His provisions. We can fly. But we don’t have to. We can choose to crawl, operating from the flesh. We don’t become that caterpillar again, but we can crawl. Continue reading