“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do” Eph 5:16-17 (ESV)
“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit” Eph 5:24-25
Every boy and man alive on Earth is familiar with desires for food, love, money, entertainment, recognition, material things, etc. When consuming these things in an obsessive or inappropriate way, we feed our fleshly appetites; as we consume more, these appetites grow ever more, never satisfied for long.
When saved our spirit becomes alive and we then have a choice that we didn’t have before: Do we listen to our flesh or to God’s Spirit? God already knows our needs (Mathew 6:32). Even if there was no Devil and his minions, we would still have this battleground within, as the desires of our flesh are opposed to the desires of the Spirit.
Some steps towards victory:
1) If feeding your flesh excessively, stop it. Any large fleshly appetite is a loud, banging voice crowding out ability to hear anything else. So quiet that voice by stop feeding it.
2) Cultivate listening to God more. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.” Rom 8:5
3) Learn to discipline your body, bringing even your desires under God’s control. “But the fruit of the Spirit is .. self-control; against such things there is no law.” Gal 5:22a-23b
Daily Battle Order:
Wherever you are in your spiritual journey, daily you have to choose which voice you listen to. Find your foxhole buddy to talk and mutually seek God’s voice and His help.
The timing of this Battle Order is during Lent. One of our Holy Weapons is Fasting, which disciplines our body (turning down its volume) while dedicating time to listen to God. For Lent, this Author is taking 1 day a week (24 hours) to fast & pray, and each day taking time to walk (outside) and pray. How are you celebrating Lent?