Envy, strife and divisions are things of the world. When we concern ourselves with the things of the world, when we involve ourselves in the actions of the world, we prove not only to God and to the world to whom we belong, but to ourselves as well. Since we have the results upon us and within us from the sin nature we carry with the result of that nature being death, why should it surprise us that we still have the stench of death upon us from the actions we perform?
There is a certain reaction by God to the needs of human beings and what I mean by that is that God cannot change. He is holy. And for us to come into His presence, we must be holy as well, and since that doesn’t seem to be what we desire to do, He makes us holy first. And this is how He works it out for us:
We know that there are human needs that rise up before the Father. These are not needs in the sense of physical needs, but rather spiritual needs and they will have an eternal effect on us. The first of those needs is relief from the guilt of our sin. When we first come to understand that what we feel is guilt for having offended God, and we understand that is truly the only reason we should feel guilt, at having offended a holy, perfect God, then God has two choices. He could punish us or He could forgive us. He chooses to forgive us if we are repentant and try to go and sin no more. Our reaction to that is, and must be a similar response, to forgive others just as we have been forgiven. As we draw into an even closer relationship with Him, we must learn to deal with the sin nature with which we are born. It is impurity and because of that nature we are prevented from enjoying true fellowship with the Lord. His reaction to that need is sanctification, invading us to make us pure in heart so that we now have the ability to have fellowship with Him. We must (and we will) at this point surrender our old man, our old ways, our old lusts, and turn toward Him with all we have.
The last area of needs we have are the area of the scars that have been created through sin in our lives and the effects of sin that has happened to us. These can be so many different things, that I would find it impossible to list them all. But some of them are the works of the flesh which Paul describes in Galatians 5:19.
We must learn to overcome, one day at a time, dependent on the Holy Spirit to guide and lead us into the light of the Savior. The light of His joy!