“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
There is a saying that goes, “A born again believer’s two natures are like two barking dogs. Whichever you feed the most will bark the loudest.”
Too often, we as Christians, feed the carnal more than we nourish the spiritual. Our walk with Christ must be marked with putting on the new self and no longer walking in the manner of our former selves. (Eph. 4:22-23)
Though we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit in our new birth, the old man rages war within us, rising to meet the temptations that Satan brings about to coax us into giving birth to sin. Unfortunately, our flesh gladly rises to the occasion to meet it (James 1:14).
The flesh is at war against the Spirit within us and it will not go down without a fight. A mind and will governed by the carnal cannot and will not submit to God. (Romans 8:7). Therefore, we must pray for the Holy Spirit to increase in us, to combat against fleshly rebellion and desires. He provides us means to do so by giving us His Word to meditate on, access to prayer by our Great Meditator, Christ Jesus, and faithful preaching and exhortations from our brothers and sisters in the faith.
We are not in this battle against ourselves alone. Our Counselor who lives within battles against the flesh, enabling us to stand firm under the weight of temptation. He provides us a way out so that we may endure and subdue the flesh. There is no temptation that we face that God will not give us the strength to bear. (1 Corthinans 10:13)
Father God, we thank You for the gift of the Spirit dwelling within to help us wage war against our fleshly desires. Help us to fight against it daily and build up the new man through Your Word, prayer, and fellowship. In Your Son’s name, we pray, Amen.
Ask yourself: “Which ‘dog’ is barking the loudest? Which ‘dog’ am I feeding more? Nourish the new man every day, and remember when raging war, you are fighting from the victory secured in Christ Jesus, not for it!