Galatians 5:19-20, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, faction and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like.”
1 John 1:9, “But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.”
“The flesh overpromises and underdelivers.”
Have you ever traded something of great worth for something that would only temporarily satisfy? Maybe you had an affair, relapsed in an addiction, or betrayed a friend for someone more popular. At the moment, you may have been satisfied. But in the end, you were left empty and unfulfilled.
The Bible tells us that “the flesh” is anything we do that goes against God’s grain. It’s doing our own thing, in our own way and turning against God’s best for us. It may feel good in the moment, but it leaves us wanting in the end. The Bible verse above gives examples of the acts of the flesh. Each of them overpromises and underdelivers.
How do we overcome these temptations? The first step is to invite Jesus into your life. He is on the only one who can give us the strength to resist and rise above the temptations that threaten to bring us down.
Does the flesh go away when we become a Christian? No. We still carry our sin nature with us. But, the good news is God gives us the Holy Spirit, his Spirit, to guide us and help us. And even though the battle of the flesh vs. the Spirit wages on, remember that with Jesus in your life and the Holy Spirit to guide you, you aren’t fighting for victory, you’re fighting FROM it. Jesus has already won the battle!
Read today’s verse again. Where have you been giving in to your flesh? Stop now and confess those things to God. Ask for his forgiveness. Find a trusted friend who can help keep you accountable to doing things God’s way.
Dear God, thank you for your grace and forgiveness. Please give me wisdom and discernment to recognize the areas in my life where I am giving into the flesh, the temporary. Help me to overcome those temptations and walk in victory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.