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Devotional - week of February 7, 2016


THE OTHER YOU

… what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.  Romans 7:15

Someone confronts us and we feel a spontaneous rising of anger—unplanned and unwanted. We hate the thought of it. But at that moment our emotions are out of control.

Paul had the same problem—and knew what the problem was. He wrote:

Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.  Romans 7:20

Paul saw our sin nature as being like another person living in us.  

Our desire is to exchange this unwanted person in us for one who responds to confrontation with love and peace and patience rather than with hatred and anger. We can have that exchange.

In writing of the filling with the Holy Spirit in Romans 8:9-11, Paul uses the word “dwell.” Paul likely uses “dwell” to place the work of the Holy Spirit in us in sharp contrast to the sin that “dwells” in us. 

Just as the other us of our sin nature can spontaneously respond to confrontation with anger, the other us of the Holy Spirit responds to the same confrontation with love and patience and peace.

When the Holy Spirit fills us, He becomes the other person in us responding to our confrontations with others.

Consider other unwanted responses of our sin nature:

Now the works of the flesh are … hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, envy ...  Galatians 5:19-21a

Thinking on these gives us added desire for the Holy Spirit to be that other person in us.

Let us experience the exchange without delay by experiencing our crucifixion, burial, and resurrection.