The Christian’s Enemies: THE FLESH.

Daily Spirit & Word 568:

Know Your Enemies: The Flesh.

Good morning my friends, I’m back with the mini-series on the Christian’s enemies; Catch the first one here : The World:

The Second Enemy: THE FLESH:

Whilst we face all kinds of enemies as followers of Jesus, they all come under three main headings; the world, the flesh and the devil. Today we’re going to face the most personal enemy the flesh life within each one of us.

A Christian is SAVED the moment they trust the Saviour for Salvation, the Battle is WON by the LORD, but the mopping up operations are not finished. Jesus defeated our greatest enemy on the Cross: DEATH, that is why it’s not on the Christian’s list of enemies. We are given the awesome gift of LIFE from the moment we’re born again.

THE FLESH

We’re not against our bodies, we live and long for our Eternal body, but we’re not against this temporary tent we’re living in, we’ve got to take care of our body, because it is the dwelling place of the Holy Spirit, our body here on earth is HOLY because God lives in every follower of Jesus.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20  “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20  you were bought at a price. Therefore honour God with your body.” 

You BODY is HOLY: But there is still a part of you, even though you’re saved that desires to fulfill the lusts of the flesh and there’s a daily battle going on for your soul.

The BATTLE is in the MIND:

If we loose the battle here then we’re in danger of corrupting our flesh, it can lead to death.

What is LIFE like for those who are loosing the battle, for those who are being CONTROLLED by the SINFUL NATURE (The Flesh)?

God answers that question in His Word:

Romans 8:5-9  “Those who live according to the sinful nature (the flesh) have their minds set on what that nature (flesh) desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
6  The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;
7  the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.
8  Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God. 
9  You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

Question: Do you have the HOLY SPIRIT living in and controlling you? Is He directing your life, giving you; self-control, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and love. These are the fruits that are produced in the life of a person who’s full of God’s Holy Spirit, they are the evidence that you’ve been born of the Spirit, they are the signs of the Kingdom within your life. We’re NOT perfectly patient, kind and loving etc, but we’re beginning to show that fruit. If your answer is “NO” or “I’m not sure”, then you need to check to see if you’ve really come to a genuine faith and trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. It’s no good knowing about Jesus, we need to know Jesus as LORD of our life, because as the verse above states, “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ”. If we don’t belong to Christ: i.e. He’s NOT our LORD and SAVIOUR then we don’t have the Spirit and we don’t have LIFE.

However, even if you do HAVE the Holy Spirit, there is still a BATTLE going on: The FLESH is at war with the Spirit within.

Galatians 5: 17 “For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.”

LIVE BY THE SPIRIT:

We can WIN this battle, but in order to do so we NEED the Holy Spirit.

Galatians 5:16-26

16  So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.
17  For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want.
18  But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law. 
19  The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;
20  idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions
21  and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 
22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
23  gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
24  Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.
25  Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit.
26  Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.

LOOK AT THE FRUIT:

Sinful NATURE FRUIT:

The list is not exhaustive, there’s much more, but these are given by the LORD as examples of those who are loosing control, loosing the battle:

The Sinful NATURE (Flesh): Desires what is contrary to the Spirit:

‘Contrary’ means = Very opposed in nature, character or purpose. In an opposite direction.

It’s like the wind blowing against the sail-boat keeping it out of harbour when you want to get into the harbour for the night.

So the FLESH (Sinful Nature) is very opposed to the control and desires of the Holy Spirit.

They are in CONFLICT with each other: Conflict means = An open clash between two opposing groups, forces or individuals. It’s a state of opposition between persons, ideas or interests.

The HOLY SPIRIT’S DESIRES: He wants what’s best for you and a good, full, abundant, holy life; but the SINFUL NATURE is bent on self-destructive desires; greed, anger, rage, war, factions, drunkenness, drug addiction, human-trafficking, slave-trade, extortion, extortionate interest rates, keeping the poor – poor, competition, beating everybody else, capitalism (building your own empire at the expense of others), illicit sex, pornography, abuse, and the list can go on and on and on. We’re brilliant at inventing new ways to be AT WAR with the HOLY SPIRIT.

But notice what the passage said of Christians: Those who’re filled with, led by, and live by the Holy Spirit: “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires.” When you came to Christ your SINFUL NATURE was CRUCIFIED (It was Killed, put to death, terminated). However, it’s NOT completely DEAD: It’s like the horrible thing when a chicken has it’s head cut off or it’s neck broken, it can still run around and it takes ages to die. So it is with the SIN NATURE in the follower of Jesus, though it has been killed it’s twitching and running around waiting to be buried and finally put to death. That’s not going to happen until we see the LORD. So we’ve got a constant daily battle to win against the FLESH NATURE.

The PASSIONS & DESIRES:

The passions and desires of the flesh (Sinful Nature) are obvious; so when they do become ATTRACTIVE to us again, guess what? We need MORE of God’s Holy Spirit: We’re probably running on empty.

I know that for ages I was driving around in my car with the fuel warning light on orange, then when I stopped looking at the warning signs it slipped into the RED. My friends, many Christians are not living in the GREEN, they are constantly living in the ORANGE danger zone of holiness. They love to live in a kind of borderland; half way between HOLY and SINFUL. We’ve got to STOP IT: Stay constantly re-fuelled by the HOLY SPIRIT.

In London, you’d be amazed, but there are not that many petrol stations (gas stations for our American friends), so we’ve kind of got an excuse for running around in the ORANGE (Warning) Zone on the fuel gauge. However, if you are doing that Spiritually, you are ignoring your God given Conscience (The Spiritual Fuel Gauge), it’s blaring out a warning message the moment you enter the ORANGE Zone of Danger: You are in DANGER of going into the RED (SIN and DEATH).

So God says, “LIVE BY the Spirit and you WILL NOT gratify the desires of the sinful nature”.

THE CHOICE: “Shall I live by the flesh or by the Spirit today?”

Listen my friends, to your God given Conscience today, is it shouting out a warning that you need to be re-fuelled by the Holy Spirit. God wants you to live a FULL, ABUNDANT, JOYFUL and PEACEFUL life in your Holy Spirit filled temple of a body today. However, He’ll not force you, every day you’ve got to make a choice which way you are going to live, but one day we will face the Judgement throne of the Lord Jesus Christ and will have to give an account of how we’ve lived, then we’ll face either rewards of losses in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I want all my friends who’re reading this to experience fullness, abundance and joy, peace and LOVE this week. I’m praying that you’ll see HIS hand at work in your life and He wants much more POWER than we can ever imagine. LIVE in the GREEN: In the FULLNESS of the Holy Spirit this week.

Ephesians 5:15-20  “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,
16  making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.
17  Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
18  Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.
19  Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20  always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Make the most of every opportunity, be filled with the Holy Spirit and sing praises to the Lord, giving thanks in everything, in the Name of the LORD Jesus Christ. Amen!

Have an awesome week.

Don.