The Spirit and the flesh battle for your attention
Living for Christ will never be “easy” because of the fallen, sinful world that you live in. Even Christians who love the Lord, follow Him and live to honor Him are vulnerable at times to the ravages of the world and to their own sin nature. You are called and empowered to walk as Jesus did, without sin. During His time on earth, Jesus was fully human, subjected to the same temptations that we all face, yet without sin, (Hebrews 4:15) which means we have the same opportunities to choose righteousness each and every time. (Hebrews 4:15) But do we choose God’s way every time we are faced with a decision? Nope. Why is that?!
When temptations come to sin in what you say, or in what you do, or even in what you think- fall on your face and worship God. Surround yourself with His presence daily, moment by moment if you must.
“Walk in the Spirit,” Paul wrote in Galatians 5, “and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh.” How does one “walk in the Spirit”? In a word: Worship. Worship is your point of connection to the Spirit of God and as you struggle, worship will help you win the war. The flesh craves things that go against what the Spirit wants for you. The Spirit of God in you craves things that are directly opposed to what your flesh wants. Now what?! Paul said, “these are in opposition to one another” and this battle prevents you from doing what you truly want. What does this mean? When your flesh wants to sin, the Spirit will quicken in you, warning you against that sin, to try and stop you from making an ungodly choice. When the Spirit prompts you toward godliness, the flesh rises up and fights back to get what it wants. It’s a constant battle between two powerful forces!
“The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak,” Jesus said in Matthew 26:41. Jesus understood the battle between the Spirit and the flesh – and He triumphed over sin! In Romans 7:15-20 Paul wrote, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) dwells no good thing, for the will to do what is right is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” If you want to overcome your flesh, you must walk in the Spirit. If you want to walk in the Spirit, you must do the things that keep you connected and worship is the primary point of spiritual connection we have with God. When things get bad, worship a good God. When temptations come to sin in what you say, or in what you do, or even in what you think- fall on your face and worship God. Surround yourself with His presence daily, moment by moment if you must.
Those times when you can feel the battle raging? When you know that you are being pulled in two directions? You are! Which way you choose isn’t an act of the will. It’s an act of the Spirit. Christians everywhere, every day and around the world are facing the same temptations. You can do this with God’s help! Stay connected through worship!
Thought for today
“Since He himself has gone through suffering and testing, He is able to help us when we are being tested.” (Hebrews 2:18) You are not alone. You have Jesus. Jesus gets you and He will help you, “work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For God is the One working in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:12-13) If you feel a battle of the Spirit and the flesh raging in you, worship the Lord. Staying connected to His Holy Spirit will give you strength, wisdom, guidance, a way of escape, divine appointments, a path forward – everything you need to win and to choose to continue walking in the Spirit so you will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh! “My flesh and my heart fails,” Asaph wrote, “but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. You are not alone! <3
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