In Joy Life Magazine

In Joy Life Magazine

Battle Of The Flesh: The Struggle Is Real!

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Recently I’ve been more awakened than ever to the spiritual war against our flesh as i had found myself in this crazy struggle of being led by my emotions and feelings. I recently just got married in December and i absolutely adore my husband, he’s literally the sweetest most loving man that you’d find on the planet, yet last weekend i caught myself having an attitude with him because of one small little thing that he did. I was offended by it and even after he sincerely apologized i still held on to the attitude. Instead of checking my flesh, i gave into how i wanted to feel and act in the moment even though i had this very strong conviction from the Holy Spirit that said “drop the attitude and drop it NOW!” I didn’t and I let it fester. Why didn’t i just shake it loose? Why did i have to take things to the next very unnecessary level? My husband ended up getting upset and was hurt by the fact that i couldn’t just fight the feelings for the sake of fostering an amazing relationship and having a fun, relaxing evening watching a movie and drinking coffee as we had originally planned. Why didn’t i fight my flesh in that instance?

My flesh won. I gave into my flesh and how i wanted to feel and act. The Holy Spirit was checking me the whole time, tugging and prodding me to act right. I had every power within me to pump the breaks on my behavior, but my flesh fought harder, replaying the offense and reminding me of how upset I needed to be and to make him feel bad, so i played along and made everything worse. The crazy part of it all was that the so called offense wasn’t even that big of a deal…hindsight is that it was a very honest and very innocent mistake. But when your flesh wanna act up, it acts up!

The battle of your flesh is real! Your flesh will consistently lead you astray and into all sorts of different temptations and deceptions.

The problem is that we follow after our flesh WAY too often instead of following after the Spirit. We give into the lusts of the flesh doing whatsoever the flesh leads us to do. I gave the example of how i behaved towards my husband, giving in to my emotions but thats only one of so many different examples of how we give into our fleshly ways and desires. Do you give in to sleep consistently in the mornings even though you know that God has been asking you to wake up a little earlier to spend time with Him before you start your day? That sleep feels too good to your flesh, so you give in and sleep that extra 20-30 minutes you were supposed to have given to God, then stumble about your day wondering why your morning was terrible and you’re so confused and disappointed about the direction your life is going.  Or do you give in to your loneliness as a single and decide to go and hang out with that guy or girl that you know that you know you have no business hanging with and they’re not even really a Christian? Yet you do it because you’re feeling lonely and tell yourself “well God hasn’t brought that right Godly person into my life yet, so what else am i supposed do?…It’s kinda His fault anyway.” Instead of giving God your whole and undivided heart, allowing Him to fill your emptiness and to satisfy your loneliness itch and desire for love, you choose to do things your way so you can get your needs met the way you “feel” like right now. So you go off doing what you want to do to satisfy your present longings and desires.

We’d rather satisfy and quench our present fleshly cravings and desires than to make our flesh suffer temporarily for the glory of God. “So since Christ suffered in the flesh for us, for you, arm yourselves with the same thought and purpose (patiently to suffer rather than fail to please God). For whoever has suffered in flesh (having the mind of Christ)is done with (intentional) sin (has stopped pleasing himself and the world, and pleases God). 1 Peter 4:1

There is a daily battle going on between our flesh and our Spirit. Matt. 26:41 tells us that “…the Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Our flesh is weak to the gravitational pull towards the temptations of this world. But our Spirit (if you are a believer of Jesus Christ) is always willing to be obedient towards God’s will and desires for our lives. There’s a tug of war between our Spirit and our flesh… the Spirit is fighting for your righteousness, purity, peace, life and holiness before God while the flesh is fighting for your lusts, unholy desires, greed, and plain old simple carnality which all lead to death in the end. Instead of living for God, we’re busy living for the world and for the flesh. We’re living for the right now, right here instead of for the eternity.

“So then those who are living the life of the flesh (catering to the appetites and impulses of their carnal nature) cannot please or satisfy God, or be acceptable to Him.” Rom. 8:6

“For if you live according to (the dictates of) the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the (Holy) Spirit you are (habitually) putting to death (making extinct, deadening)the (evil) deeds prompted by the body, you shall (really and genuinely) live forever.  For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons and daughters of God.” Rom. 8:13-14

Are you allowing your flesh to control you in any area of your life? Think honestly and truthfully about this because it’s so important that you align your life with truth and obedience to God’s Word. It’s so important that you come to terms with any area of your life in which you’ve been given to the flesh and to repent. The battle and the struggle is real against the flesh! The flesh causes us to sin and to remain in sin, but we have been given the power to fight and have victory over our flesh and it’s crazy desires.

Let us no longer be controlled by the flesh and it’s unholy desires, but to live according to Spirit.

“For God has done what the Law could not do, (its power) being weakened by the flesh. Sending His own Son in the guise of sinful flesh and as an offering for sin, (God) condemned sin in the flesh (subdued, overcame, deprived it of its power over all who accept that sacrifice)…” Rom. 8:3

My heart is for you & i’m praying that you along with me will consistently choose to be led by the Spirit & not our flesh!

xoxo

May Dobbins

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