Ever heard the term “two-faced?” How about “split personality?” Is it true that most people are really two different people? Today, I will attempt to divide the personalities of people in a general way that may help you to understand why you just put away two jumbo hot dogs with everything knowing that you have a heart condition.
I believe that everybody has a different side that very few people see. They have the one side that is shown to the public. This side is generally moderate and pleasant to be around. It usually appears calm and prepared to handle their day, with just a touch of energy so as to give the impression that all is well.
Then you have the other side. You won’t get to see this side unless you get to know this person or they slip one day and let it out. This is the “human” side. This side needs caffeine to get going in the morning. They need to spend twelve hours in the bathroom to prepare their public side. They frazzle more, look lost at times, and are not quite as sure of themselves as they usually appear. You see it a lot in teens.
Everybody with it so far? Good, because this is not the purpose of this article. I want to talk about the two sides that are waging war inside all of us. Everybody has seen the cartoons where the little demon and the little angel pop up on the cat’s shoulder when he is trying to decide if he should eat the bird. This is where I want to go today.
It’s strange to picture it this way, but the illustration is clear. There are two people inside that are pulling for control of this human body. Each one wants to control the emotions and actions of the body for either good or evil. You all know what I’m talking about. One minute you feel like running over the school bus in front of you because it picks up one kid at a time and the next minute you want to become a teacher.
What is going in this war, and who is fighting over us? For Christians, the Holy Spirit is locked in combat with the Old Man. The Old Man being the Flesh, the old sin nature. Whatever you want to call it. That person that you used to be, and the one that wants to be in control again.
The Old Man is an agent of the devil. Satan controls him, and Satan wants the Old Man to win. If he does, then Satan knows that he never has to worry about you doing anything for God. Did that sink in? You will be a worthless vessel for the work of God if you allow the Old Man to control the mind.
Now, I did say “allow” him to control, and that is what I meant. You have a choice in this fight. You can tell the Old Man and the devil that today is just not going to be their day. You have every intention of spoiling their day and keeping them in check by obeying the other side in this war.
That leads me to the choice that makes sense. Living in you from the time of your conversion is the Holy Spirit. One third of the triune God Himself. He is the Comforter that Jesus told His disciples He would send to them to help them get through this life. Jesus could not bear to leave them alone, knowing the long, hard, and dangerous trip they were about to take in this life. Prison, Having stones thrown at them, running from the authorities, even death. They were going to need to feel the presence of God right there with them. They were going to need the power that can only come from God Himself. Jesus knew this, and supplied that need with the Holy Ghost placed inside the believer’s body for just that reason.
That very same Old Man is alive and kicking in every one of us right now. But, Praise God, so is the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit that empowered the Apostles at Pentecost is the very one that is waiting to power you up first thing in the morning and get you ready for the day. He is the same Holy Spirit that is right there when the world seems to be crashing down on your head. And He is the same Holy Spirit that is right there beside you when no one else will support you befriend you. He does not change from one minute to the next or one century to the next. That is power that you can depend on.
We are commanded to daily die to self. That means that we are to surrender the ways of the Old Man and let the ways of God take over our beings. We are to project the image of Christ in everything we do. This is no easy task, because the Old Man does not give in without a fight. He does not just go away. You have to tell him to get lost everyday. There will be times when you slip up. It happens. Don’t beat yourself up about it. You can get right back on track and avoid tons of guilt by dropping the Old Man right out of the picture. It’s difficult, but God is there for you every step of the way.
I’ve mentioned the two sides of the Christian, but there is a choice that needs to be made on the part of the non-Christians. Non-Christians, or those that have not trusted Jesus only to get them to heaven, unfortunately do not carry the power that I’ve told you about. Their war is very one sided. They may have some form of conscious morality, but it won’t be Godly in nature. The good news is that it doesn’t have to be that way. That power is free to all that ask. Put the Old Man in his place and turn to the one true power source. It doesn’t take long, and with just a little bit of faith on your part, you could move a mountain of trouble. Let me know if you need any help. If you have that power, let me know that, as well.
Mark A. Bradley
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