“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 NIV
Disciplined. Usually a word that describes me. However, as I get older, I’m fighting the flesh more. The temptation to indulge myself grows stronger and stronger.
To be comfortable.
To cater to cravings.
To take the easy road.
So I’m fighting the flesh. Trying to get a handle on a few things that have been handling me. Romans 6:16 says, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?”
And I was there. I felt the cold iron on my wrists, my ankles, my neck.
The pull of simple desire was changing into I-have-to-have-it. Flesh was getting the better of me and it had to stop.
How to fix it?
- Be aware: Do you hear the rattle of chains? Can you feel the extra weight around your ankles? What spiritual battle are you consistently losing? “For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out.” Romans 7:18
- Remember who you are: While you’re not Elastigirl or Mr. Incredible, you are the sons and daughters of the King and that’s better than superhero status. “. . . those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God.” Romans 8:14
- Prepare for battle: The Holy Spirit lives in you for this very reason—to help you live out your faith. Go to Him for help. Pray. “ . . . continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13
- Take the field: The battle will be fought on two fronts, a spiritual one and a physical one. “So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16 Bind yourself to the Holy Spirit like you’re running a three-legged race. Stay in step. Then, show your flesh no mercy. “No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:27 “In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.” Hebrews 12:4 (That’s my stop whining verse.)
- Change directions: Turn from the sin you’re battling to the virtue you want to gain. Many sins of the flesh can be conquered through neglect. Starve it. Quit giving it attention and focus on what you really want. Right now, for me, it’s self-control. “Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” 1 Corinthians 9:25
- Fight! Win!: In the words of Edna Mode, “Fight! Win!” “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.” Romans 6:14 “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.” Romans 8:37
Pull yourself together. Don’t let those small concessions to the flesh become heavy, clunky chains. Tune out flesh’s whining and take control.
Workout for the Week: Fight! Win!
Memory Verse: “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:13 NIV
Meditation Passage: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27
Just Do It: Fight the flesh.