Sunday, February 17, 2013

It’s the Dog in Me :  Part II

Years ago I heard a preacher on TV say that other than sweet potato pie—he had overcame all his fleshly desires. While I gave him credit perhaps for what age and experience has taught him, I was still taken aback that someone could claim victory over all fleshly desires.

Unlike him, my flesh can find all kinds of new ways to trip me up in my faith walk.

That’s the deceitfulness of the flesh…as soon as you think you’re alright, you snap at somebody or overindulge in food or entertainment—all the while making excuses:
I wouldn’t have snapped on you if you didn’t make me angry.
I deserve those fries because I worked hard today.
God understands it’s too hard for me to wait.

It’s time for us to get out our leashes and put a choke hold on the flesh today.

How to get control of our flesh :

#1) Recognize that we need to deal with our flesh and not make excuses for it. “So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8)

That’s just the way I am. How many times have we heard that? But we are new people in Christ Jesus. (2 Corinthians 5:17) We don’t have to give into the cravings of the flesh because we have the power of God to overcome it.

#2) Confess our sin to God and receive His forgiveness. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9)

Admit it. You blew it. Once we agree with God that our flesh is out of control, we will begin to see our sin just like He does. Through His forgiveness we can experience life without guilt or condemnation. (Romans 8:1) We can be free.

#3) Separate ourselves from anything or any person that provides an opportunity for our flesh to thrive. “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13:14)

This is tough. Sometimes we may have to take drastic measures to not give our flesh the feeding ground it desires. (1 Corinthians 5:7) This could mean a serious grocery list change, TV/Internet separation or a relationship break up (non-marital, of course)…whatever it takes, do it!

#4) Seek the Holy Spirit everyday for direction and wisdom in the area of our weakness.  “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things.”

You can do this. You were created for more. God wants you to win over the cravings of your flesh. He makes a way for you to escape (1 Corinthians 10:13) It takes the step-by-step, full and complete dependence on the Holy Spirit to give you the strength to overcome the flesh.

Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. (Galatians 5:16)

Next time let’s broaden our understanding of what it means to walk in the Spirit so we can resist the flesh with its desires.

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