Monday, December 2, 2013

Merciful Monday: Overcoming the Flesh

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. -Newton's 3rd Law

For every action there's an equal and opposite reaction. So for every good out there there's an evil; for every kind  person there is an unkind; for every joy there is sorrow. It's just a natural law, it's the nature in the universe, it's how God created things. As our previous guest blogger, Devin mentioned, we are constantly warring and battling to do what's right. And this basic explanation is part of the reason why. 

Today's reading in Galatians breaks down our human internal conflict of good versus evil. This conflict is between the flesh and the spirit. The flesh inherently wants to do evil. That's why people gossip, lie, cheat, steal, etc. so easily. It's basically natural. On the other hand, the Spirit (the capital "S" denotes the spirit of God, aka the Holy Spirit) wants nothing but good for you! And when you allow the Spirit to reside within you and you decide to walk in the characteristics of the Holy Spirit, you take on some of that desire for good. See, the only way to overcome the works of the flesh is through the Holy Spirit.

Butttt just because you are a Christian and have the Holy Spirit, does not mean that your fleshly desires will ever fully go away. Like you hear of people being delivered from alcoholism or from mental illness, but they still sin in some way, just like we all do. The Holy Spirit helps you to manage your fleshly desires, though, and gives you a little nudge in the opposite direction when you are headed toward pleasing your flesh. The reality is that we need that. We need something bigger than ourselves. Like I wrote about last Monday, we need help! Galatians 5:16 and 17 says, "So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions." 

A lot of people think that it's cool to sin because they find pleasure in fulfilling their desires. But really it's the other way around. Going AGAINST your sinful nature is really what's cool and rewarding. Sin is simple. It's easy to give in to what you were already set up by evil forces to do, but it's harder to stand up against that and try to do and be better. It's harder to be Christ-like, so let's stand up and meet the challenge! 

Merciful Mondays: Jael
For the Lord your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon you or destroy you or forget the solemn covenant he made with your ancestors.” Deuteronomy 4:31

1 comment:

  1. I love the post, we battle with the flesh all of our lives.