You know the old adage, “The squeaky wheel gets the oil?” In the warfare between our spirit and flesh we can safely deduce that our flesh is often that “squeaky wheel.” The flesh is privy to instant gratification while the spirit is often made to bear greater hardships, turmoil, and delayed access to heart desires. The flesh screams for attention while the spirit gently nudges with quiet whispers to our heart. Sometimes the intensity of that “squeaky wheel” distracts us from the guidance God’s spirit affords us. Overcome by the incessant squeak of our flesh we surrender to the whims of our fleshly desires.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.”Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)
There are forces that are working against us. Their mode of attack usually involves those things that the enemy knows will get our attention. The enemy doesn’t have to implement grandiose calamities to knock us off balance. Whether it’s our desire to be in a relationship or our aspirations for success—he knows how to hit us where we’re most vulnerable. This spiritual realm that’s in constant battle for our souls is why we can’t afford to adopt an attitude of self-reliance. Our self-discipline alone is not enough to combat the forces that are working to keep us toeing the line between being a true follower of Jesus and an interested spectator.
We see spiritual entities in the big changes and distractions, but we don’t always recognize that the schemes of the enemy are disguised in those little worldly nuisances found in our daily life. If the enemy can use traffic as means to put us in a foul mood then he’s found a way into our life. Our funky mood then translates into impatience. This impatience serves to fuel the rest of our interactions for the day. The opportunities that we had to dispel light are missed because of one petty worldly nuisance like traffic. But, if we learn to recognize that just as God uses everything to our benefit—the enemy will strive to use everything to our detriment.
Each decision we make bears some consequence. We may not see the effects of alcohol or smoking or lack of exercise today, but at some point we pay for the things we do or fail to do. The challenges that I’m facing right now are a direct result of the actions I implemented when I chose to nurture my flesh versus my spirit. When I chose to have sex before marriage, when I chose to bear children out of wedlock, when I chose to party versus invest in my studies, and on and on.
So, today recognize that it is going to take more than your greatest effort to win the war of spirit vs. flesh. The wear and tear to your spirit is a direct result of striving to carry “it” all on our own and fight a battle that has already been won. We are operating from a place of victory. Stand firm in that victory and press into God’s strength. There is nothing too petty, trivial, or small for God to be involved in. Bring God into everything. Keep Him close. He will grace you with the strength to continually forgo the incessant squeak of your flesh and surrender to the promptings of His Spirit. Be encouraged.
Ashley Ivery is a single mother of two brilliant children, Aiden and Devyn, with an overwhelming desire to empower women and help them to realize the importance of a relationship with God. Through her writing she hopes to encourage women to claim their strength and value in Christ. Ashley serves as the Residential Listing Partner for Team Harris Real Estate. She graduated from Fayetteville State University in 2012 with a BS in Psychology. Her motto is: "Be Authentic. Live Honestly. Dispel Light."