“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” ~Gal 5:16-18 (ESV)
(This Freedom Fighter was written back in July of 2011. I would like to dedicate this re-contribution to the memory of my brother-in-Christ and close friend Mark Fisher. Brother Mark went home on February 10th of this year…he was a Freedom Fighter to the end. PTL!!!)
As we were dropping off our sons to begin their season on Summer Staff at America’s Keswick, my brother-in-Christ, Mark Fisher, and myself were engaged in deep conversation. He was telling me about how the Lord spoke to him through an evangelist about the use of coffee filters. Mark starts off with by saying, “Tomorrow morning try this, when you make your coffee, don’t use the filter. Just let all those nasty coffee grinds go right into the pot. Then after you drink some of it, try to use the filter. No matter how you try, you will soon realize that the filter only works when we use it the way it was designed, before we drink the coffee, not after.”
This illustration of coffee being filtered goes along with what happens when we find that many of us refuse to leave the foot of the Cross. Some of us just stay there and continue to wash ourselves over and over in the blood of forgiveness. We make very little, if any attempt to step away carrying our own Cross and showing others what the cleansing blood of Christ has the power to do. We seem to forget that once we are covered in the shed blood of redemption it not only covers us in the righteousness of Christ but it also serves as our filter to face the world. And so many of us (present writer included) fall into the traps and snares of our Adversary that we will fail to see the escape that was made way for us.
This happens because we find the filter too restricting, so we make the choice to take the filter off. Keep in mind that this particular filter was designed to work on many levels of the human condition, especially at the level of our thoughts and our desires. Instead of being Spirit lead and having our thoughts and desires filtered, we decide to use the filter as Christian washcloth. We tend to dip it in the blood of Christ to wipe away the filth from our mouths, our eyes, our ears, our wallets, and our feet after we find ourselves in sin. If we go back to our coffee pot and serve someone a cup of that same coffee full of grinds, and when they say “Hey what’s up with this coffee it’s full of grinds?” hand them a filter and see what kind of reaction you get.
As Brother Mark continued in conversation he made this point. “This is exactly what we are doing to the Holy Spirit when we remove the filter. We take off the filter, which represent the gift of discernment to be used before we sin, and instead of using them as they were designed, we decide to use them as washcloths which represent our conviction and use it after we sin. Hasn’t God showed us that we should be filtering our thoughts before we act on them? We should filter our thoughts before we speak, before we look, before we listen, before we spend, before we go and so on.”
So I’ll ask you this brother. Did you have a cup of coffee this day that wasn’t filtered? And if you did, how did it taste and do you really enjoy it that way? I agree with Mark that drinking coffee without it being filtered is just plain nasty to drink but living out the life provided for me by my Heavenly Father and to just dab the shed blood of Christ on my sin with a washcloth is just plain disobedient. So when you step out into the world this day make sure you have put the filter in before you add the coffee. I am sure that the Savior will add His sweetness to it if you do. Amen?
Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy 11-2003 and serves on the Deacon board at Trinity Alliance Church in Cologne, NJ.
The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 55; Proverbs 24
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Daily Quote: “Throughout the centuries relatively few Christians have been martyred for Jesus. We may die of embarrassment, but few of us will face the literal loss of life for our faith. However, it is clear that staying is easier than going out into the world. But then, Jesus never promised us we could stay in our comfort zone. Jesus calls us to go into the world. This is scary when we think about the hostile world we are entering, but God loved the world enough to send His own Son into the world, and He calls us to follow in His footsteps.” —Dick Staub
This Week’s Verse to Memorize: It is better to trust in the Lord; Than to put confidence in man. ~Psalm 118:8 (NKJV)