Victory Over The Flesh Is Not Automatic
Just because you are a Christian does not mean you are automatically able to overcome temptations. Don’t have an automatic mindset towards defeating the flesh. We have to learn how to walk in victory over the flesh.
Our Three Enemies
Ephesians 2:1-3 tells us that we are fighting three main enemies: the world, the flesh and the devil. The world is our visible enemy. This is the system that is in rebellion against God, which seeks to redefine everything that God said is good as bad and everything God said is bad as good.
We are against the devil because he is against us. He is our supreme enemy.
The third and most difficult enemy we fight is the one which lives inside us. The Bible calls it the flesh. The flesh is not a demon but if you yield to it long enough, it will give place to one.The flesh is the traitor within who is in relationship with the demons without. Click To Tweet
Genesis 25:23 – The LORD said to her, “Two nations are in your womb; and two peoples will be separated from your body; and one people shall be stronger than the other; and the older shall serve the younger.”
We were born with the flesh – that is our old nature. Surrendering our lives to Christ Jesus gives us a new nature. Just like in Genesis 25, there is a struggle inside us all between the old us and the new us – between our flesh and who we are in Christ. The old nature is to live in subjection to the new nature. Just because the old you is present, does not mean the new you is absent.
The presence of temptation is not a sign that you have not been transformed. The only reason you are tempted is because you are righteous. When you are not righteous, you simply practise and indulge in sin. The Holy Spirit within us resists the flesh. Getting saved does not remove the flesh, it creates a struggle against sin. This struggle pushes us to depend on God. I am going to share with you three practical steps the Bible gives us to overcome this struggle.
Step 1: Consider Yourself Dead To The Flesh
The Bible says when Jesus died, our flesh died with Him, (Romans 6:11). We don’t start with the battle; we start with the victory. You don’t overcome your flesh by fighting the flesh first. You fight the flesh by coming in agreement in your mind and heart with what God says about you and your identity in Christ, not with the struggle you are currently going through.
By birth, you identified with Adam. By baptism, you identify with Jesus. Identify with Christ, and from the point of His victory, you can fight. From the point of His death, you can put to death the lust of the flesh.
Step 2: Crucify The Cravings Of The Flesh
On the cross, Jesus crucified the flesh’s power, not its presence, nor its influence. You and I have a work to do which is to crucify the desires and passions of the flesh (Galatians 5:24).
The Christian life is not about “don’ts” but without the “don’ts” we cannot have any “do’s”. I mean the Christian life is not about crucifying the flesh and disciplining ourselves but without crucifying the flesh, we cannot have the Christian life.
Step 3: Commit To Following The Leading Of The Holy Spirit
Galatians 5:16 - “Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”
As Christians we were not called to stand still, like a car with the brakes on; we need to move forward. The key which determines how fast our Christian life can go is our communion, covenant and commitment to the Holy Spirit.We will be limited and experience stagnation in our Christian lives not because we are doing something bad but because of the good we are capable of doing, which we are not doing. Click To Tweet
The question is: how fast are you willing to move in the Holy Spirit?
For greater speed in your Christian life, you have to connect, communicate and commit to the Holy Spirit. The presence of the Holy Spirit does not guarantee victory over the flesh; yielding to the Holy Spirit does.
Maybe you feel overwhelmed or that you’re not good enough to walk in victory. Maybe because of the battle you feel like you are not righteous anymore, that Jesus doesn’t love you anymore or that God has not really forgiven you. Today God is going to give you strength.
Begin to thank God for the cross. Say “I identify with Jesus; I don’t identify with my sexuality, past or struggle. I identify with Jesus. Jesus is my Savior. Lord Jesus, I thank You because of that I can put to death all fleshly desires that struggle against me”. Ask God to give you strength, the revelation of who you are in Jesus, who He is in you and what He did on the cross for you.
Sermon by Vladimir Savchuk; Blog by Edward Gardiner
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