Putting the Flesh Under
When I still used to be sense-ruled; operating by what I saw, what I heard and what I felt; trust me things didn't go very right. A whirlwind of everything is a more accurate description. Your body and feelings becomes the steering wheel or rudder of your life if you’re sense-ruled.
Operating by the sense realm gives you an illusion of being in control. It says you’re free to do whatever you like; whatever you want to. This really is a lie. Those chains are very intact. You’re really not free. This is because you have to give in to your body anytime it makes its demands. And trust me, the more you give in to the demands of your body and feelings, the more it will ask from you.
Let me give this illustration: A car cannot be a car without its engine. The engine is the car really. The controls (steering wheel, brake and all other techy jargon) ‘receive’ instructions from the engine. Now the outer body and furnishings are basically decoration. I mean, what does an alloy steel wheel really have to do; or a leopard-skin cushioned seat? The body serves as a ‘container’ for the basic and most important parts of the car.
That is how it works for you. You’re not your body. Your body serves as a container, a covering for the real you. When God created you, He made you in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:27). You’re a spirit! Or let me put it this way, man is essentially a spirit. When Adam sinned, he could no longer be in fellowship with God because his spirit-man died. But thank God for Jesus! He came, took away the sins of the world and restored man to be in tune with God. No need for priests and blood sacrifices and altars and tunics and some 500 laws to keep you in check with God.
If you’re born-again (that is, you've accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior,) you have a new spirit. You were restored back to the position of dominion that Adam held. The old one removed, the new one recreated. When Paul was writing in 1 Thessalonians 5:23, he prayed for their ‘whole spirit, soul and body.’ You have to become conscious that you’re basically not one head and two flailing arms and legs.
Say this out loud: “I’m a spirit. I have a soul. I live in a body.” (Your soul consists of your mind, your will and emotions.) Saying this makes you more and more conscious of your spirit man.
Can you see that your body is in bottom place? You don’t have to listen to it. You’re not bound by its desires. You can actually put it in its place. So, how do I say NO to what I want and feel?
First realize that Jesus, your high priest understands. Hebrews 4:15 (NLT) tells us that He “understands our weaknesses, for he faced all the same testings we do, yet He did not sin.” How awesome is that? Jesus not only understands but he’s also telling you that you don’t have to fall. He understands that sexual temptation, he understands that anger management issue (trust me, his disciples were a handful,) he understands that depression and disappointment. He understands. You’re not alone.
Verse 16 goes on to say that we should “come boldly to the throne of our gracious God… and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” So when you need help to say no, tell Jesus. Ask. It is that simple.
Second, because you’re born again, you are dead to the power of sin. Romans 6:12-14 says:
“12 Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires.
13 Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God.
14 Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace.”
When your body acts up, tell it plainly; “I do not give in to the desires of my body! My body is not an instrument to serve sin. I have new life. I live under the freedom of God’s grace.” Open your mouth and say it. With the words of your mouth, you either make or mar you! Looking for an awesome read? Romans 6 is it.
Third and lastly, because you’re born again; love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,faithfulness, gentleness and self control are all lodged there in your spirit-man. (Galatians 5:22) Really, they are. All you need to do is to turn them on. When you’re getting angry, open your mouth and say it: “Glory to God because the force of patience is in my recreated human spirit. I turn it on. I declare that I’m not impatient. I declare that I do not allow anger take control over my actions.”
When your body is trying to pull you to give in to its desires, speak to it. “I do not act out of line. I have self-control. I do not give it to the desires of my human flesh because I walk in the spirit. Glory to God!
What if you fall? What if you fail? What if you falter? What if it doesn’t work?
Pick yourself up. Dust your pants. Do it again. Do some more meditating. Put checks in place. Get accountable. Bad habits will slip off gradually.
My, my my! You have no idea what stampede you’re causing in the kingdom of darkness.