Hey y’all! Woke up this Monday morning slightly energized after a pathetic weekend health-wise (guess I spoke too soon when I said I was doing okay with the Lyme’s last Thursday…) and I’m even more excited now that I’ve read over my sermon notes from a few weeks ago. Wow this was a powerful, life-altering one.

Romans 8:12-13: “Therefore, brethren, we are debtorsβ€”not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” We are in the Spirit therefore we are debtors. About to get right up to that knife edge to understand grace. 

We are obligated to God. That means two things. First, sanctification is not optional in our Christian life. Because we are dead to the law, we are now under Christ. Therefore, sanctification is a work of the Spirit in the life of the believer. Sanctification is God working in and through you. 
But, secondly, neither is sanctification a means to obtain our salvation (Ephesians 2:8). The being in the Spirit proceeds the work He has given us to do. God doesn’t owe me anything (don’t we sometimes think He does?), we owe God. We must always feel that obligation. Putting this in bold because it blessed me so: 

Every religion in the world except Christianity says, “DO something in order to become something else.” But with Christians, it is exactly opposite in order. God makes us something else and says, “Now go DO.” The order is essential in understanding who is indebted to whom. 

Next our obligation is stated negatively; we are debtors not to live according to the flesh, verse 13. This is not talking about immature Christians verses mature Christians, but unbelievers verses non-believers. Those in the Spirit or those in the flesh. We have an obligation to not live according to the flesh. 

Lastly, our obligation is stated positively. The opposite of living to the flesh is death. That’s a verb– put to death. Present, continual. It means action in your life. What are the deeds of the body verse 13 is talking about? Well, Romans 6:12 says not to let sin reign in our bodies, that we obey its lusts. Should not give in to it’s immense pressure, desires, and appetites. There are two previously discussed truths that can encourage us here: 
        1) Romans 6:6: “that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.” Catch that? Our body of sin is done away with. The verse states crucified passively– our old man in this exact moment as I’m sitting here in my pajamas with morning breath, is rendered ineffective by God. He has put that man to death! This new man is not controlled by its body of sin. 
        2) Romans 7:4: “Therefore, my brethren, you also have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to anotherβ€”to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God.” When the law, the rules, incites a desire in us to buck against it, remember– God put to death the law, as well, so that we might have a relationship with the Lawgiver. The awesome thing about this is that I wasn’t even aware that Christ died for me when He did. It’s all Him. All Him who has done this amazing thing for me. 

So, the Lord put to death our old man and the law so that we might live. But now that we are alive unto Christ, there is something we must put to death: Our flesh. 
We are obligated to God to put to death our appetites for fleshy things, to be continually mortifying the flesh, to be weeding our gardens that we might bear fruit. This is such an essential part of our Christian living. SO IMPORTANT. Because if we are not putting to death our flesh, our eyes’ desires, our hands’ desires, our mouth’s desires, then we will not have a Spirit-filled life. Sometimes we don’t like the battle, do we? We want God to just zap us and make us perfect. But that’s not the ways of the Lord. 

How do we do this, though? I mean really, turning from temptation is hard. Verse 13 shows us that we have to rely on His power, His means. If you put to death the deeds of the flesh according to the Spirit, you will live. God is sufficient for you! We must engage in this battle. Must do so every day, because God is glorified when we live a Spirit-filled life and we deal with ourselves. We are under obligation because of the complete, free grace He has given us. The desires of our body will not go away in this life, but God has given us victory over them! We can deal with our eyes, our mouth, our right hands. 

Sin always brings forth some kind of death. But ya know what? We don’t have to do gymnastics to get back to God. When we fall, we don’t have to twist ourselves here and conform ourselves there or have our ducks in a row or have good posture to turn to God. We just go to Him with a humble spirit and repent. Let it all go to God. Confess your sins and turn to His Son and He will put you right next to His right hand as a co-heir in Christ’s kingdom. He’ll put you right back on the path. How completely awesome. We owe it to our Lord to deny ourselves, to be sanctified. When we mortify the deeds of the flesh, it pleases Him. 

If you think you are a Christian, but you have no power to overcome your flesh, you may not be walking with the Spirit. Walking, learning, growing… Read the Word. Study the Scriptures because they are inspired by the Spirit. Seriously, what a blessing to be able to hear directly from Him just by opening a Book. 

Yup, pulling photos from the pre-bang era today. πŸ˜‰ This was a great outfit when it was cold out. This ensemble has the same gist as one I {shared last month}. Striped shirt, eShakti dress, black belt, and my fav gray boots. πŸ™‚ And, I got to wear my super sparkley jewelry, so I was happpppy about that.

Shirt: JCPenny’s: $12
Dress: eShakti: Free w/credit
Tights: No clue where they came from πŸ˜›
Boots: SteinMart: $35
Belt: Thrift Store: $2
Jewelry: Marketplace: $12

I hope y’all have a fantastic week planned! What was your sermon about yesterday?

50 thoughts on “Not Optional // in Pink Stripes and Gray”

  1. Olivia, I hope your Lyme disease will get better….a doctor friend we know said it wasn't possible to get Lyme's in TN, I guess he wasn't accurate. I love the dress and the boots!
    Our sermon was in II Timothy about being faithful vessels of Jesus Christ. It is a highlight to hear our pastor and then read your sermons after the fact. Thanks for doing this!

    Kathryn B.

  2. Oh… I want that dress SO much! πŸ™‚ Love this pink and grey outfit, although I'm not a huge 'pink' person. Super, cute. Striped shirt and necklace make it even better.
    I'm sorry to hear that your weekend hasn't been very good, healthwise. Praying for you! I know what it's like to have siblings, family members/yourself with lingering nasty illnessess.

  3. Olivia! That is such a lovely dress….and the way you matched it with the pink is a glimpse of perfection! I love this outfit a ton. The sermon was wonderful as well. Have a blessed week, Olivia! =)

    Ashley B.

  4. Lovely! I adore that dress πŸ™‚ Thanks for the sermon synopsis! Mine yesterday was a comparison between the grace David extended to Mephibosheth and the grace God extends towards us. It was quite good πŸ™‚

    A couple quick questions for you. . . . 1) I know you're an eShakti/ThredUP affiliate. However, I don't see the links anywhere on your site except when you post an outfit with an item from them in it. I want to become an affiliate; however, I'm only seventeen and they stipulate that you have to be eighteen to become an affiliate. (I also think I should probably talk to my mom before doing this ;)) I was just wondering how the "link on the website" thing worked. 2) How long does Lyme's Disease stay in your body? Is it forever? Or do the antibiotics kill it eventually?

    Thanks for having such a great heart for modesty and for the Lord! You're an inspiration πŸ™‚

    walking in the air.

    1. Hey Hannah! Thanks! To answer your questions:
      1) ThredUP is a referral code system, so within the link is a code that tells ThredUP I sent the person there and I get $10 the first time someone makes a purchase. That's $10 to spend on their site. I don't think you have to be 18 for that.
      eShakti, however, now is an affiliate program and I get some % of the sale a person makes after clicking from my site. I do have an eShakti ad on my sidebar now, but I'm trying not to be "in your face" with the affiliations (I find that annoying on other blogs) so I try to stick to just, "hey, this is where I got this" and since I'm sending people there anyway, I might as well be benefiting from it. πŸ™‚

      2) Lymes doesn't really ever go completely away, but you can bolster your immune system enough that it doesn't affect your life. I'm not even treating the lymes right now because I'm trying to get rid of the co-infections first which drain my immune system. Fun stuff.
      Hope that answers your questions!

  5. Great outfit… very spunky and cute! πŸ™‚

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts and I'll be praying for your health.

    How did you get the credit with eShakti?

  6. Hi there Olivia–love the outfit, but as a religious Jew I have to let you know that your statement about "all the other religions of the world" is incorrect. From the Jewish perspective, the idea that Jews are blindly following "the Law" trying to earn a distant God's favor is totally foreign and not accurate to our religious and spiritual practice at all. It would be great if you could summarize your sermons and what God is teaching you without needing to put down and denigrate other religions. Thanks for reading and let me know if I can provide any more information.

    1. Hi Olivia,
      I want you to know that as a long time reader, I too was incredibly offended by your ignorant comment regarding other religions. It's unfortunate that you're unable to consider alternate views. Your pastor may be an expert on some things, but making a blanket statement like that about all religion is both ignorant and offensive. You've now lost a long time reader.

    2. Jennifer, I don't believe Olivia's idea was to "target" other religions. If you and others believe differently, that is your beliefs, but you shouldn't try to make it seem like your angry at her for something her pastor has most likely prayerfully concluded. We all have different opinions.
      Olivia, I really like this outfit! Sorry you haven't been feeling well this week. πŸ™

    3. Anon–I have to agree with the comments above. While I'm sure Olivia didn't mean to offend, since we do believe differently and the statement is a sweeping generalization that we all believe the same–the statement is flat-out wrong.

  7. I love your outfilt, Olivia! You're always so prettily dressed, no matter what you are wearing… πŸ™‚ Your jewelry fits perfectly with it. I understand that when you quote someone, you can't change anything they say to suit your purpose (as John Adams says, "Facts are subborn things"), but as a Christian, don't you try to imitate Christ in all things? Therefore trying to be like Christ, therefore living up to the name as "Christians"?

    1. hey Olivia, I just want to say thank you for sharing your sermons, and to say that being Christ like means that you tell people the truth. You weren't condemning anybody- which is a sin; and you weren't condoning anybody who believes different from you (and me also), which is also a sin because when you do that, you are saying 'its alright even though you live way off from what the Bible teaches as living like Christ" no, you were merely giving a statement of your faith- which is exactly what other commenters are doing also. I'll say it a different way, God isn't always-or even most of the time-a lovey its alright, God. He hates sin and gives people chance after chance to see the light and change from their ways. He gives us Christians the right, privilege, and the duty to show other people what it means to be a Christian. Kudos to you~ Kelly M.

  8. Beautiful outfit! I LOVE the colors! The sweater and pink tights make the outfit POP:D Especially loving the fade-out into purple of the stripes! Very fun:D makes a dreary day seem a little brighter;)

    Been so inspired lately by your blog clothing wise! Yesterday at a Monday Madness sale at one of our thrift stores, I was able to get TONS of tops for either a dollar (or 5 for a dollar!) and picked things that looked more 'timeless' as you say you try to do. I also tried to get cottons and tops especially flattering with skirts. I even bought a pair of lime green Bermuda shorts after you said you liked lime green. I had never considered it before! It is really fresh though, I love it for the warmer weather starting to creep in! Thanks for the modest inspiration!

    Abigail of happysnappingphotography.wordpress.com

  9. Sorry about ur Lyme's! Have you been to a doctor about it or have you just determined it was Lyme's by yourself? A friend of ours thought he had Lyme's, but he really had something with the same symptoms but not as bad-Q-fever. I had never heard of it 'til now. Hope u feel better soon!


  10. Hey! Yes, I've had very extensive testing done to determine the lymes and confections. The doctor even gave me a picture of my blood sample with little arrows pointing to the infection. πŸ˜€ I'm glad your friend' s disease was easier to get rid of!

  11. Olivia,
    I've been peeking in on your blog for probably a year-ish now. And I've never said anything. I just want to thank you so much for your passion for modesty, it's not only inspirational, and extremely helpful, but also really, really encouraging. Thank you so much! God bless!
    ~Your Sister in Christ,

  12. Hi Olivia, I'm so sorry to hear you are still fighting Lymes. I've also been having lots of health issues for nearly a year now, so I can sympathize. Not sure exactly what is wrong with me, my family doctor just said I have 'chronic fatigue' after tons of testing. I don't think that's correct, something is causing me to be so weak and exhausted! I am doing lots of diet changes and taking supplements, seeing naturopaths, etc. It is nice to hear that you are trying to go natural as much as possible too. I love hearing how you are doing, even though we don't have the same issue. My immune is also very weak, though. Take care, and try to keep your spirits up!!!

  13. Aw, man, so sorry about the Lyme's affecting you now. My oldest sister had it once and she did not have an easy time with it! Adorable outfit, though! Dress looks fantastic with striped tops. It looks so comfy and sophisticated too.

  14. Love the outfit and the sermon, Olivia. I hope you can get to feeling better soon…I know several people who have Lymes, and I understand it's no joke! God bless!

  15. Your hair looks nice! How do you get the curl to stay? Even with hair spray my curl never lasts any more than 2 or 3 hours. ( I have fine hair.)

    1. I use a curling wand which has a really high heat (450* I think) and I use a professional strength hair-spray. But, my hair naturally holds a curl well so I'm not sure if these would be helpful for you or not. πŸ™‚ Friends of mine with fine hair have had really good results with the curling wand, though. πŸ™‚

  16. May I say as a "tall" girl (5' 7") that you and other "short" girls are blessed to be able to wear cute dresses, cause that would be a shirt on me! I love the outfit, especially the tights. πŸ˜‰ I used to have a pair like them, but they weren't long enough… Hope you are feeling better soon!
    Michaela P.

  17. Hi Olivia! I finally got to reading the notes from your sermon just yesterday! πŸ˜› Anyway, I thought it was really good, and that had me wondering…does your church have a SermonAudio account or something like that? Just was wondering…thanks!

  18. I finally got around to reading your sermon notes today… πŸ˜› I thought it was a great sermon, and I was wondering if your church has a SermonAudio account? Just curious…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.