For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed it cannot. – Romans 8:6-7
Reading those words, sends shivers down my back. Read them again, and think about every word. To set the mind on the flesh is death! Think about those words. What is the apostle Paul talking about, the flesh? Is he talking about our actual skin, muscle, fat combination? Is he talking about what we can pinch with our fingers? Well, sort of, but this is only the beginning. What you can pinch is only the shell of the flesh. The flesh is a roaring beast within us. It is a collective term for our desires, our nature, our will. We are born with an appetite for sin, a nature bent on destruction, and a will to do evil.
You are thinking…seriously I’m fine…I don’t struggle with the flesh. I am in complete control of myself.
According to Galatians 5:19-21, these are the works of the flesh:
Fits of anger
Orgies and things like these…
Do any of those sound familiar to you? Do you struggle with any of these?
The flesh is more powerful than we give credit. We always tell ourselves and others that we have control, but oh are we wrong. The flesh has a mind of it’s own. How many times have we perhaps said something, we really shouldn’t have said? Or drank more than we were supposed to drink? Or kissed someone we really shouldn’t have kissed? Done something, we really shouldn’t have done? Where is the control then?
The biggest lie that the flesh sells to us is that we are in control of it. Satan wants us to believe a lie that we can do as we please up to a point. Satan wants us to think we have control: I’ll only have the one drink, I’ll only have sex this once, I’ll only yell this once, I’ll only lie this once, I’ll only fantasize this once, I’ll only try drugs just this once…JUST THIS ONCE!
Ask the alcoholic about his one drink, or the drug addict about his first hit, or the porn addict about his first magazine. Ask the teenager who is pregnant about the first time she had sex. It was just that one time. Ask the girl at 29 who has had 30 sexual partners and who is now suffering from an STD about her first sexual experience.
It was just the one. It was only ever suppose to be one…
The flesh convinced them that the one time was ok…the one wouldn’t hurt them.
One second everything was under control, you were just hanging with your friends and the next minute, everything seems to have gone completely wrong. One minute, it was just a thought in your mind, and the next second it is a complete addiction, you can’t get rid of.
But there is hope! Great, beautiful, wonderful hope! And, it too starts in the mind. If we set our mind on the flesh, it is our death. Paul himself says it in the book of Romans. The only sure way to battle the flesh is through Jesus Christ and focusing on minds on Him. We must set our mind on His Spirit, His love, His grace, His purity, His mercy.
We cannot fight the flesh alone. The battle of the flesh can only be won through Jesus Christ by setting our minds on Him!
The next time a desire of the flesh begins stirring in your mind, give it to Christ. Focus on His word, his truth, his love, and through Him every single battle can be won. Through Him is life and peace.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God and the peace of God which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:6-7