What Went Wrong?
“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, NAS).”
“What happened?” you may ask and the answer is simple. I was led by my mind (that said “go ahead, this once won’t matter. You deserve some fun”), my will (which didn’t care one wit about God’s Word), and my emotions (telling me how good it would feel physically). There in play was my soul: mind, will and emotions I’ve already touched on throughout the chapters. Remember, this is what happened to Adam. At one point, I still did not understand the strategy of war or how to battle. I didn’t understand the Kingdom of God, how to fight the soul, or how Satan operated in me through my lack of knowledge of my identity in Christ.
The flesh is at enmity with the spirit. The natural man’s fleshly desire (death) wanted what it wanted. My spirit (life) wanted to please God but was overridden by my soul. Any enemy, natural or spiritual, will always overtake you if you don’t know who they are and how they operate. This is why we must learn how to die to everything that is not from Holy Spirit leading. The enemy works through any means possible to trick and trip you.
To recap the first few chapters, the only way to escape the curse of eternal death is to die to the flesh while living in a mortal temple. The only way to live again is to be born a second time into the Spirit of the Living God. When a follower of The Way is saved they are called out of the earthly nature and brought into the spiritual nature of God. Not only did Jesus literally give up His physical flesh on the cross, He denied or died to His flesh while living on the earth.
Surely He, before Satan came against Him on the mountain, was tempted while growing up with all the temptation of a normal human being; yet, He never sinned. The Word says so. Why is there so little understanding? This act of sinlessness throughout Jesus’ life shows you how to die to the flesh while living in this earthen vessel. He never took into consideration Himself or His own desires of the flesh. He denied Himself the pleasures of this world. He gave no leeway to the flesh though temptation was ever present.
To die to the flesh is to be selfless or no self involvement. No part of you is involved in any decision making; only Holy Spirit leading is allowed. You no longer take the old, dead earthly nature and it’s wants into consideration. As I have already stated, the absolute purpose of the physical body is to bring honor and glory to Yahweh, always and in everything. Your relationship is not a part time job, it’s your life.
This does not mean you cannot golf, fish, watch some television, read the paper, wear make-up or jewelry, work a job, etc. It does, however, mean that God is to be supreme ruler over all these things and you are not to allow anything to stand in the way of your Kingdom destiny. He wants you to enjoy the things of this earth as long as they do not interfere with His kingdom purpose. Everything must be in balance – something for which the world in unfamiliar. God’s perspective is the only perspective you are to recognize as valid.
We’ll pick up here next week as we continue with, Dead Flesh, Living Spirit, subtitle “Abstinence from the Flesh.” If you are interested in reading more, check out my website to order my books, or go to my Facebook ministry page where I post regularly. This writing is from chapter 6 of the revised version of, What Was God Thinking? Why Adam Had To Die.” Blessings!
Alexys V. Wolf