I know I do not need to do anything to convince you of this reality because we face it every day. There is something inside of us that likes to, longs to, and loves to sin. It hungers for the forbidden and longs for the destructive. It can be as simple as a child crying for the candy at the checkout line in the grocery store or as complex as elaborate rituals some go through before they act out. It can flare up as suddenly as a woman crossing your path or simmer in the recesses of our minds from fantasies long remembered.
Why did God allow our flesh to remain in us when we became believers? We were dead in our sins and transgressions but God caused us to be born again and made us new creations. Paul says in 2 Corinthians 5:17,
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”
However, the flesh that has been with us since birth remains. Why do you think God would do that??? Especially since the flesh seems so powerful at times that many of you are convinced that you cannot defeat it. It will be with us for our entire earthly life but when we die it dies with our bodies. Then we will be free from it forever and never sin again.
The problem with our flesh is that it has been with us from birth. Just spend some time with a two-year-old and it will not take long for it to express two words to you. “No” is the first and “Mine” is the second. No, because the flesh is rebellious by nature and Mine because it is selfish by nature.
However, God in His infinite wisdom has chosen to allow the flesh to remain in us post being born again and so the battle remains. However, God has not left us alone to be continuously defeated by the flesh. He Himself has entered our bodies in the form of the Spirit and has taken up residence within us. So, there is, in reality, 3 entities within our bodies. There is the new me and I am a new creation, there is the old flesh, and there is God the Spirit. The problem is that the flesh is still there wanting control but there is also the 3rd member of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit of God dwelling inside of us as well.
Here is where the problem lies. Since we have been dealing with our flesh our entire lives that seems normal to us. Sometimes we win and sometimes we lose. However, in several areas of our lives, the flesh seems to be gaining power and bad habits and addictions take root. And when it comes to sex it becomes a monster that seems out of control. The problem is we step into the ring to fight against it. We are the 90-pound weakling and it has become this 400-pound monster who has kicked our ass for years.
Guess what the problem is? We are not designed to win that fight. Our flesh knows us too well and where all our weaknesses lie. There is only one solution to the flesh. And that solution is the Spirit of God Himself. He is in us because He can win the battle for us. We were never intended to defeat the flesh. We are given the Spirit so that He can defeat the flesh for us.
“For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Galatians 5:17
That is why every day we need to surrender our bodies to God and pray for the Spirit to fill us. Then, ask the Spirit to empower and enable you to walk in the Spirit so that you will not fulfill the desires of the flesh. Which is exactly why I have written the devotional below, Unconditional Surrender to the Spirit. Get it. Read it. Live it out and His victories will begin to pile up and your losses with begin to diminish.