The new you ∙
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves.. – Galatians 5:16
3 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
6 Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life.
7 So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’
In October 2009, Julie-Ann Muldoon launched The New You Plan in Northern Ireland. The New You Plan has helped thousands of people to kick start a new healthy lifestyle and achieve their personal goals.
The New You Plan is a nutritionally complete Total Food Replacement (TFR) diet. Developing a healthy lifestyle and losing weight is much more than what you eat. It has much to do with what goes on inside your mind and your choices. Most people do not realize that being unhealthy is not “natural,” Instead, it results from a lack of knowledge about good nutrition and poor life choices.
The New You Plan is based on 5 Core Areas.
1. Meals – over 40 nutritionally complete diet meals are available.
2. Motivation – amazing online support group is there for you.
3. Mindset – professional Life Coach help is available to assist you in changing your mindset about food.
4. Maintenance – When your healthy target weight is achieved, a Momentum Maintainers group provides lifelong support.
5. Move – get moving through stretching and mild exercise.
“Just as there is an ‘outer you’ that is being formed and shaped all the time, like it or not, by accident or on purpose, so there is an ‘inner you.’ You have a spirit. And it’s constantly being shaped and tugged at: by what you hear and watch and say and read and think and experience” (Ortberg).
Regrettably, the inner you is born “unhealthy.” We are born physically alive but spiritually dead and ineffective.
Spiritual formation is required to begin and maintain a spiritually healthy lifestyle and allow our personal goals to align with the Father’s goals for us.
Spiritual formation is very similar to developing a healthy lifestyle and losing weight. It is all about what goes on inside your spirit, mind, and choices.
It begins with being born again of the Spirit of God.
REFLECT & PRAY
Romans 13:14 Clothe yourself with the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ. And do not let yourself think about ways to indulge your evil desires.
Father thank You for giving me a new nature and the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower and motivate better life choices.
Before we became children of the King, each of us was controlled by our sinful nature. That was all that was available to us. When we were born again by the work of the Holy Spirit, we became spiritually alive. Now we have the opportunity to allow the Holy Spirit to direct and empower us.
The problem lies in the fact that the sinful nature remains intact. It is as though a spiritual civil war is going on inside us. We are spiritually schizophrenic. Within ourselves, we have the desire to do good and also the desire to do evil. The Spirit of God within and the sinful nature, the flesh, have diametrically opposite desires, creating the clash.
14 So the trouble is not with the law, for it is spiritual and good. The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin.
15 I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate.
16 But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good.
19 I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.
21 I have discovered this principle of life – that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong.
22 I love God’s law with all my heart.
23 But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me.
Anyone who has ever dieted is aware of the conflict between eating continuously or living out “the new you” you want to be. And so it is in the spiritual realm. We have inner spiritual and fleshly cravings, which are polar opposites.
16 So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you will not be doing what your sinful nature craves.
17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.
The Cherokee legend of the Two Wolves illustrates the conflict and the resolution. An older Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. He tells his grandson, “a fight is going on inside me. It is a terrible fight, and it is between two wolves. One is evil. He is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.”
The grandfather continues, “The other is good. He is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee replied, “The one you feed” (https://www.firstpeople.us/FP-Html-Legends/TwoWolves-Cherokee.html).
It is our choice which wolf we feed. Paul emphatically admonishes us to walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Compare the two wolves of the Cherokee legend to the output of the desires of our sinful nature with the kind of fruit that the Holy Spirit produces within our lives.
19 When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immorality, impurity, lustful pleasures,
20 idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissension, division,
21 envy, drunkenness, wild parties, and other sins like these. Let me tell you again, as I have before, that anyone living that sort of life will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
22 But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23 gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!
Every day, we choose which wolf to feed. Spiritual formation is all about living out the new you and starving the old you.
What would the 5 Core Areas of your personal living in the Spirit “New You Plan” be?
© Dr. H 2022