“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41, NAS).”
“And those being in the flesh are not able to please God (Romans 8:8, NAS).”
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
Galatians 5:19-21 (ESV)
“My soul weeps because of grief; strengthen me according to Your word (Psalm 119:28, NAS).”
The fleshly nature of every human ever to walk the Earth is the same: it wants what it wants and it is weak in every way. One person may appear better than another, but rest assured, all flesh is unholy, unrighteous and is weak even when it appears the most powerful and strong. Galatians spells out the evidence of the flesh:
- sexual immorality
- fits of anger
- things of like nature
There isn’t a moral enough person on the planet that has not, at some point, operated in at least one of the evidences of the natural man. Because of the rampant weaknesses of the flesh, why would anyone assume they have the power to be strong enough to overcome temptations, weaknesses, or tribulations? Strength is not a part of the flesh, contrary to popular belief. We’re taught to be strong, be tough, as though the flesh can possibly (in and of itself) muster enough power to endure the pitfalls of this condemned, Satan-run world.
Sure, it can definitely have the appearance of strength; after all, it also has the appearance of life even though Jesus crucified the nature of the flesh of all mankind. The Bible tells us we have all been crucified into Christ’s death (all are dead in sin), but not all are resurrected in the life of Christ. The flesh is so weak that, in fact, the first people created in God’s image lived in utopia and still could not control the desires of wicked, weak flesh. There, Adam and Eve stood with power to subdue the entire Earth, but that wasn’t enough. The fleshly nature, at the first sight of temptation, longed for more and purposed to take what it desired even though death was their fate.
We should never be surprised at the ultimate frailty of our flesh because, at it’s core, it can’t be anything else. So, yes, we can have the outward façade of strength; just don’t be astounded when it suddenly crumbles under the pressures of this life. Christ is our only hope, our only strength, our only possible solace in time of trouble. Throughout this book, I have inserted several passages from my first book, What Was God Thinking? Why Adam had to Die, because the topic at hand is in direct correlation to dying to the flesh.
Chapter 2, When All My Strength has Failed
“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world (I John 4:1).”
One of many issues with having a chronically ill child is feeling bad about questioning their diagnosis and/or prognosis. I have questioned every single doctor at some point in time. Many people struggle with this because they feel as though, because the physician has the education, they can never be incorrect in their analysis. I say to you, “Always question everything!” No one is perfect and no doctor knows everything. I accept nothing at face value because the Word of God demands we test every spirit, bar none.
I am a firm believer in being proactive. Some of the confidently stated diagnoses in the world were 100% inaccurate. People across the globe have received death sentences and lived to tell the story of their miraculous recovery proving their doctor’s prognosis incorrect. God always has the final say. Do your research. Leave no table unturned. The person who takes the best care of a child is the one who loves them the most; more often than not, it’s their parents. We who are in Christ must place our faith in God, conduct spiritual warfare and do our homework. You are the one paying the doctor’s salary; hence, you have the right as well as the responsibility to ask pertinent questions.
Personally, I deem it irresponsible to blindly take a doctors word because that renders their word as gospel. If I had not questioned Sophia’s pediatrician, she’s be in a much worse situation today. I had to get her to the right people who would acknowledge what is seen as well as what I know as a mother. No one knows your child better than you because you live with and care for them day in and day out. No one else witnesses all you encounter daily. If a doctor attempts to intimidate you when you inquire, do not back down. Doctors who are worth their crust don’t mind questions and, in fact, welcome them.
Additionally, even if you recognize what the doctor is saying is accurate, speak the promises of God over them instead of the problem at hand. Just because the diagnosis may be right in the moment, God can turn it around. Speak life over your child and not death; speak wellness over them and not illness. For example, I can be in conversation with someone and respond to their questions, “Currently, Sophia has a condition of _____________.” But I will continue with confidently speaking, “But I know it isn’t forever. I know God has a perfect plan and purpose for her life and I fully expect it to manifest in the days to come. What Satan has devised for evil, God will turn for her good.” Now, I may not say those exact words, but you get my meaning. Always speak life, never death because words are potent, they are fiercely powerful. Life and death are in the power of the tongue (Proverbs 18:21). Test the spirit from which you are speaking. If it’s negative, full of doubt, depression, or anything of the like, it is not of Holy Spirit.
In fact, I purpose, though I falter occasionally, never to vocalize how arduous this is lest I find myself drifting into depression, sorrow and self-pity. I cannot stress enough that our words matter. The same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you if you have surrendered your life to Christ. Allow your focus to be on God instead of the circumstances and your words will follow suit.
“These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
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
Requirements of Knowledge:
“When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings (Genesis 3:6-7, NAS).”
Notice that their eyes were not opened when she ate, but when he ate. When Adam ate, then their eyes were opened (awakened). This is because Adam was the authority God set in place. Their spiritual eyes were now opened. They knew what God knew. Immediately knowledge of God came forth as they ate of the tree. Therefore, just as God warned, death was imminent. This is a curse that cannot and will not be reversed; it comes to all flesh which brings us back to the necessity of dying to the nature of the flesh so as to allow Holy Spirit life to rule whilst we remain in physical human form.
The requirement, aka payment, to receive the knowledge of God is death. From then until this day, to receive true knowledge of and from God, who He is, how He is, and to gain understanding and wisdom that is from above, death has to transpire. A person who is alive only in the natural, though he can on his own gain information, can never grasp the truth of that which is spiritual.
God is spirit; hence, it stands to reason that it’s only when you consign the natural man to God (death) so as to allow your spirit-man to become awakened (life) will you be capable of attaining knowledge. The toll for Adam and Eve to gain the knowledge of good and evil was death and so it is today.
To reiterate, the tree of knowledge of good and evil had the same effect as the Sword of the Spirit. He ate and he knew. When you eat the Word of God, the Sword that divides, your soul and spirit are instantly divided. This eating does not mean sitting around day in and day out touching, looking at, hearing, or even reading the Bible. It means to purpose to consume (ingest, take into self, become one with, die to self) all that is God. Ezekiel was commanded to eat the scroll, the Word of God.
We’ll pick up here next week as we continue with The Root of the Problem. 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. Blessings!
Alexys V. Wolf