How Well Do You Know Your Flesh?

“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.” (Galatians 5:16)

ImageFocus on the flesh is a major thrust in our society.  Gym membership is on the rise and annually we spend billions on cosmetics and surgeries to enhance, shape, and remake our bodies.  Yes, being a good steward of our body is important, but it is easy to get sidetracked with the world’s focus on “image” and forget that an overriding concern with the flesh can be detrimental.

When the Bible speaks of the “flesh” in the spiritual sense it is referring to the nature of sin that is characteristic of all mankind (Romans 6:19; 7:5; 8:4-9).  Paul described the Christian’s battle with sinful flesh as “the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other” (Galatians 5:16-17).  To be spiritually victorious, a Christian must battle daily with his sinful flesh, a conscious effort of self-denial.

Christians often allow their flesh to rule their attitudes and actions.  It has been my observation that times of seasonal and personal transitions tend to give rise to the flesh, and this is especially true when the school year ends and vacations begin. Like King David whose spirit was restless “at the time when kings go forth to battle…But David tarried still at Jerusalem” (2 Samuel 11:1), many Christians find their hearts restless and thoughts drifting when spiritual routines are interrupted and ministry responsibilities are set aside.

David’s neglect of duty (his failure to lead his army to battle) led to a spiritual crisis that he was ill prepared to resist (2 Samuel 11:2-27). The temptation to lust after another man’s wife and the adultery that followed scarred David’s life and haunted him to his grave.

Be careful friend: Summer vacations, holidays, and disruptions in spiritual tasks and routines can give your flesh enough rein to wreak havoc in your life and family.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.” (1 Peter 5:8)