Reflections on the Quest: Don’t let the flesh flank you

The flesh is strong, and if you are a Christian you are in an intense battle with it every day.  I was reminded of that this morning in my Ephesians reading.  The first three verses of chapter two teach us that unbelievers give in to the desires of the flesh (“we all once lived in the passions of the flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind” [ESV]).  I can relate.  Many of you can relate as well.  As “children of wrath” (Eph. 2:3), we just went along with the temptations.  There wasn’t much of a fight.  But things have changed for those of us who have been “made alive” (Eph. 2:4).  The battle has begun.  And it’s a bloody one!  At least it should be. How’s the fight going for you? Are you living in the Spirit (Gal. 5:16)? Are you being led by the Spirit (Gal. 5:18)?  Are you keeping in step with the Spirit (Gal. 5:25)?  Did you know that it is impossible to perform these very important steps by neglecting the Spirit-authored Word of God?  I don’t know about your experience, but I often find Jesus’ words to His sleeply disciples in the garden to be true of me in my battles with my flesh:  the spirit is willing, but the body is weak (Mt. 26:41).  As a result, I need to strengthen my body.  This can be very practical, eh?!  For example, I need to get to bed at a decent hour in order to get up early enough the next morning to seek God in the Word and in prayer.  And as I do this, I find strength for my body and–thankfully–for my fight against my flesh.  Beloved, I do not want my flesh to flank me (come at me from behind in order to defeat me).  Rather, I want to meet it head on–killing it before it kills me (Rom. 8:13 [see the progression in James 1:14-15]).  My encouragement to you as I close today:  Don’t let the flesh flank you!

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