[Romans 8: 12-16]
“So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh  for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.  For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.  For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”  The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are children of God,”
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
This is the ninth session on the voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
If we put on headphones and listen to loud music we cannot even hear the voice of the person right next to us.
In a similar way, if we have many fleshly thoughts, it’s difficult for us to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit who is in us.
We can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit clearly when we cast away fleshly thoughts.
It is important to find out what kinds of fleshly thoughts we have and demolish them.
So, we are learning what kinds of fleshly thoughts we are likely to have according to the different measures of faith.
Today, I will continue to talk about the second level of fleshly thoughts, which are the thoughts that hinder us from obeying the word of God.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will destroy all fleshly thoughts as soon as you realize and recognize them so that you can hear the voice of the Holy Spirit clearly.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, it is not true that we can clearly hear the voice of the Holy Spirit and obey it as soon as we accept the Lord.
We can hear the voice only to the extent that our heart is cultivated with the truth.
In the first level of faith, right after accepting the Lord, they have more knowledge of untruth than the knowledge of truth stored in their memories.
They have only a small portion of truth cultivated in their hearts.
Because of this, they are apt to think that it’s difficult to live by the word of God and it is more comfortable for them to follow the old way of life.
Because of such fleshly thoughts, they cannot even hold to the most basic things in the life of faith.
Because they do not know the truth yet, they don’t even know that they have fleshly thoughts.
In the second level of faith, they know the truth to some extent and they try to live by the word.
But because they have a lot of untruth still in their hearts they also have many fleshly thoughts.
Many times, the voice of the Holy Spirit is blocked by these fleshly thoughts and they do not obey the word of God.
In the last session, I talked about the cases where they pass judgment and condemnation with their fleshly thoughts.
If they have a great many fleshly thoughts, they don’t even realize the fact that they are passing judgment and condemnation.
In these cases, they first have to try to realize their fleshly thoughts.
Most of the fleshly thoughts of the second level of faith can be recognized and realized if you listen to the sermons carefully.
If you hold fast to the word you hear and pray earnestly, the Holy Spirit will lead you to realize the thoughts more clearly.
Within the second level of faith, as your faith grows up a little bit more, you will be able to realize the thoughts within yourself.
You understand what passing judgment and condemnation is, and you try not to do it.
But if you are in a situation that draws it out, you still pass judgment and condemnation.
It’s because your fleshly thoughts are derived first from the untruths that you still have in you.
The untruths such as slanderous thought, hatred, and arrogance will be stimulated.
Even though you try to drive away such fleshly thoughts, they keep coming to your mind.
Just as you can’t really stop the water that is strongly gushing out of a reservoir, the fleshly thoughts gush out from the accumulated untruths in your heart.
For example, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 tells us what believers ought to do.
It says, “Rejoice always;  pray without ceasing;  in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
Most believers know this passage. There are even some others who know it as well. Many of you have it displayed in calligraphy in a frame.
But even though you know the verse very well, not all of you practice it.
You sometimes are not joyful even though it tells us to rejoice always.
Even though you try not to worry, the worries just keep on coming into you mind.
You worry about the physical things. You think and worry about what to eat and what to wear. When faced with trials, you lose your joy.
If you realize your sins or you do not receive the answer to your prayer, you become disheartened.
But it is not the events of everyday life that make you worry.
It is just that the fleshly thoughts drove away joy from your heart.
Those children of God who are saved must have joy in their heart all the time.
Because they have the Holy Spirit, they have the joy of salvation, hope for Heaven, and peace given from above.
What causes this joy to diminish is the fleshly thought.
Fleshly thoughts cause us to see things in actuality and worry about them.
But Jesus said, “Do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on.”
God the Father feeds the birds of the air and clothes the lilies of the field, and He obviously provides His children with the necessities.
Those who have spiritual thoughts will believe this fact and rejoice all the time no matter what seems to happen.
On the other hand, those who have fleshly thoughts cannot believe this as fact and they live with their worries and concerns.
They have to rely on God the Father, but they rely on themselves just like unbelievers.
They rely on their strengths and wisdom thinking, “I have to work harder, and I have to do it this way.”
And if things do not go as they want, they become disappointed.
The same principle applies when we obey the word telling us to pray without ceasing.
If we have fleshly thoughts, we will just see the things as they appear to be and it’s difficult to obey the word.
We might give excuses saying, “I’m too busy to pray. I am too tired after working all day and I don’t have energy to pray.”
Even though we pray, we might just babble; we might pray without purpose and focus just to fill up the time.
But what would the Holy Spirit tell us-
He tells us the verse in Luke 22:46 saying, “Why are you sleeping- Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”
He also reminds us of Philippians 4:6 that says, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
He urges us to pray like in Philippians 4:13 saying, “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.”
Also, He urges us to pray according to the will of God.
What kinds of prayers are heard and answered by God-
As I explained many times, we have to follow prayer as a habit, kneeling down before God, and we have to pray with faith and love and with all our hearts.
We have to earnestly cry out and pray fervently.
But if we have fleshly thoughts, we cannot pray according to the will of God.
For example, even though we hear that we have to cry out in prayer, we think, “Isn’t it better to meditate quietly-“
We might worry about other people thinking, “Wouldn’t this person next to me hear my prayers if I cry out- Wouldn’t he think I am strange-“
Thankfully, I was inspired to cry out in prayer since I was a new believer.
I didn’t know the truth clearly from the beginning, but I just wanted to cry out and I went up to the mountains to pray alone.
In the church I couldn’t cry out. Also, I was an introvert and I felt kind of shy crying out when other people were around. So I often went to mountains to pray.
As I later came to hear the voice of the Lord and as I also learned the word of God, I was convinced that it is the will of God to cry out in prayer.
Also, I came to learn the will of God with regard to how we are supposed to pray. It is important to pray according to the will of God.
If we pray as we desire in our fleshly thoughts, how can such prayer be accepted by God-
It cannot please God nor can we receive the answer to it.
Of course, I believe many of you have passed the level of using such fleshly thoughts.
But among the new comers to the church, some of them still have such thoughts.
Brothers and sisters, the reason why you cannot obey the word, “Give thanks in all circumstances” is also because of fleshly thoughts.
Everyone can be thankful when there are good things.
But some believers do not give thanks when there are situations in which they cannot be thankful.
Some believers receive the solutions to various problems at the moment they accept the Lord, while others receive them as they continue their life in faith.
Here, if you think such thoughts as, “I am not rich, I am not healthy, I don’t have peace of family, so it’s natural that I am not thankful,” then you have to realize it is also fleshly thought.
If you can see with the eyes of faith, you can be thankful for anything and everything in any situation.
You can find the reasons to give thanks in all things.
Also, if you give thanks with faith in the Holy Spirit, you will actually have things to give thanks.
The almighty God can change the bad situation into good conditions, and problems into prosperity.
It’s just as Jesus said in Mark 9:23, ‘”If You can-‘ All things are possible to him who believes.”
It is the will of God for us to always rejoice, pray, and give thanks with faith in any kind of situation.
John 14:1 says, “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.”
1 Peter 5:7 says, “…casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you.”
The Lord is telling us, “Do not worry about anything, but just rely on Me.”
If we do not utilize any thinking but just obey the word like children do, the Lord will see our faith and change the situations.
It is very easy to receive the solutions and answers to problems.
But as long as you have fleshly thoughts, it is never something easy to receive such answers.
It’s because you have the knowledge of the word, but you do not apply it to yourselves.
Just like the time when you didn’t know God, you just try to solve the problem ourselves. Thus, you rely on the worldly methods.
And if they don’t work out, you become disheartened. You cannot rejoice, pray, or give thanks.
Brothers and sisters, it would be so good if we can have the faith to rely on the almighty God and the Lord as soon as we accept the Lord.
But we can’t do that because we cannot cast away overnight the untruths that fill our heart.
When we first open the door of our thoughts and the door of our heart and accept the Lord, the Holy Spirit comes into our heart.
With the help of the Holy Spirit, we can believe the almighty God the Creator who created things out of nothing.
But those who have just accepted the Lord have the spiritual faith which is barely enough to receive salvation.
They believe in God the Creator who created heaven and earth and everything from nothing, but their faith is not as great as to be able to apply it in their everyday lives.
So, as they demolish their fleshly thoughts, namely to the extent that they rid themselves of the untruths in their hearts, their spiritual faith grows.
As they experience the power of faith that can create things from nothing, their fleshly thoughts are removed and their spiritual faith grows.
When their spiritual faith grows up and reaches the fourth level of faith or higher, they will be thankful for one common thing.
They will be thankful that they are leading a life in faith in a church where they can experience the power of faith.
In this church we can experience the things that are impossible for men become possible by God’s power.
As you have such spiritual experiences, your fleshly thoughts will be demolished.
The knowledge of untruth that is input in this world will be shattered. So, the spiritual faith quickly grows up.
For example, most of you do not go to hospitals, but receive the healing through prayer when you become sick.
But you didn’t have this kind of faith right from the beginning.
You came to have the faith to rely on God by having seen many others who are healed through faith and having experienced some things yourself.
As your spiritual faith grows up to reach the mature level, you do not see the reality of things but just look up to God with the eyes of faith.
Even in trials that are like big waves, you just rely on God with faith.
It’s because you have the faith that the reality is only what is seen and it can be changed through prayer because the almighty God is your Father.
Because your fleshly thoughts are destroyed, you only hear the voice of the Holy Spirit who gives you firm faith.
In Matthew 11:30 Jesus said, “For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
So, if we shatter our fleshly thoughts, it will be easy to obey the word.
When we walk in the way of prosperity, we will be happy.
Therefore, I hope you will quickly demolish your fleshly thoughts and lead a life in faith with comfort.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, recently I had a very serious injury.
As I was closing sliding doors in a hurry, my finger was caught in the gap between them and the bones were shattered.
As you know very well, I never went to any hospital.
I never put on a cast. Nor did I get an injection or medicine. But how is my finger now-
Did the cure take place very slowly or was there any problem-
Not at all!
God the Father healed it so perfectly.
The speed of recovery was much faster than normal.
Had I used my fleshly thoughts, I couldn’t have just left my finger just like that.
But I didn’t have any worries.
I completely believed that God would heal me. I rather had peace of mind.
I was rather thankful because the church members would realize what true faith is and they would gain greater faith.
Even in great problems, if we just hear the voice of the Holy Spirit without utilizing fleshly thoughts, we will have such results.
Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,”
Do any of you have a big problem lying ahead of you-
I hope you will take that problem as a chance of blessing to demolish your fleshly thoughts.
I pray in the name of the Lord that you will walk in spirit and not in flesh so that you will come forth as children of spirit who can please God.