On Facebook news-feeds, I often see links to tests — tests regarding your IQ, personality, the popularity of your name, who your best friends are, your vision, people who like you, etc… A lot of people are curious about the results of the “tests” and wonder if the tests might reveal something different to themselves.
Today, I don’t want us to evaluate ourselves based upon a Facebook page. What I do want to do is to have a more honest look at our lives, our hearts, and the role that our “flesh” has in our lives.
We first need to understand what the flesh is and how it manifests itself.
- The flesh is our human/sinful nature. It is in direct opposition to God.
- The flesh is in cohorts with our arch enemy, Satan. It answers to the enemy of our soul.
The flesh is always motivated by self-glorification, self-preservation, and self-sufficiency (independence). The “glorification”, “preservation”, and “sufficiency” is all a lie since it’s under Satan’s control.
When we think we are taking control of our lives and “strong”, we allow self to rule. Self will always rule to our destruction; for, it is under the influence of Satan and in direct opposition to God, Who is our Source of Life.
Satan will use our fleshly desires to destroy us in the very areas we think we are controlling. He will use our fleshly independence to put us in bondage to the very things we think will empower us but instead imprison us.
In trying to experience glory, we’ll be left with no honor that lasts.
In trying to establish security, we’ll “protect” ourselves from anything that makes us vulnerable. As a result, we’ll cut ourselves off from truly meaningful relationships and help, from allowing the wounds to heal, from experiencing a richer life, and from opening our hearts fully even to God. Our hearts will be brittle and “locked up” against God and everyone else out of fear. We will lack receptivity in all areas — including sexual relationships with our spouses, acknowledging weaknesses in ourselves, and being willing to trust. Trust will be lacking in our lives — a sure sign of the lie of “self-preservation”.
Self-sufficiency is very similar. We’ll take pride in our independence and “strength” without realizing that relying on ourselves makes us extremely vulnerable. Independence from God always results in sin.
We need to also understand that Satan never desires our good. We were created in the image of God, and therefore Satan hates us. He hates God and wishes to destroy anything or anyone that is a reminder of God.
Our enemy will try to get us to believe lies about God and therefore ourselves; so that in our vulnerability, we are easily manipulated to help bring about our own destruction.
Our enemies are the world, the flesh, and the devil. The world is under the dominion of Satan.
Satan is the father of lies, which means what the world teaches, promotes, values, and lives is a lie. What it “promises” is actually the opposite of what it produces.
By Grace Through Faith
2 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
How do we keep the world from pressing us into its mold? Do we “keep” anything?
If our natural selves are controlled by the flesh, then can the flesh fight the flesh? Will it not twist truth and light in order to serve its own purposes?
Walking in the Spirit
16 I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. 17 For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
For the individual whose spirit has been saved by the Spirit of God, he/she is given a supernatural ability and “tools” (weapons) to fight within the spiritual realm. We call this the armor of God, which is under the power of God and therefore has all the resources and abilities of God.
Plain and simple, the power is of God and through God.
When we are saved, each of us becomes a member of Christ’s body, forged with resurrection power and seated with Him in the heavenly places above all rule, power, and authority. Nothing can alter our position. … position is one thing; living accordingly is another. — Kay Arthur
Grace is the triumph of the cross in our daily lives.
It is as a result of God’s grace, that salvation was brought to us, and as a result of that eternal and perfect grace, we are given the daily and minute-by-minute ability to live within the triumph of the cross — rather than under the domain and defeat of the flesh.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
5 Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free,[a] and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.
What or who is controlling you today? Your fears? Your pride? Your lusts? Your flesh.
We can be saved by the power of God and yet still be living outside the power of God within our daily lives. If you are having a hard time living victoriously in your Christian walk, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate, to ask yourselves the pointed questions. Why are you not submitting to God? What lie(s) are you believing about God that is(are) preventing you from responding in surrender to His power in your life?