As I heard the Spirit of the Lord instruct me to read Romans 8 today, I wondered what new nuggets of truth would come spilling out. I always have that anxious expectation of joyful revelation when the Spirit leads me to a particular passage of scripture. Those pages in Romans are worn. I’ve been here many times before and gleaned pieces of wisdom from them. I’m starting to see those pieces fuse together to form a big picture. I began to see a perfect description of the human person.
We humans are a two-part being. Our identity, our heart and mind and all that we are, is spirit. That spirit is made in the image of God, and that spirit, if reborn into Christ, serves only the law of God. At the moment of salvation, the spirit within us is conveyed from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of light. It’s like being shot from a cannon. The new spirit breathes and lives, is creative and full of joy. Our spirits identify with the Spirit of God. He speaks to our spirits, He breathes life into our spirits and He protects our spirits. It is a knowing that we are home.
Yes, we are spiritual beings. We are little spiritual offspring of the Father who is all spirit and no hindering flesh. He doesn’t need a container for Himself and someday we won’t either. But while we are here on earth, He gave us a covering for our spirits, a protection and a carrier. It is the housing for the spirit and to be used as a tool for effective life. It can, however, be a source of consternation, frustration and even sin. According to Romans 8, the flesh serves the law of sin. The conflict keeps you sharp although it is annoying and we want to cry and whine about the constant battle. The battle serves a purpose. The battle teaches you to war against something and win. In my life, it’s been the worst battle of all, and I’m not done yet. I have been in a battle with the bathroom scale for years when all along I should have been in a battle with my own flesh. I believe God gave me insight today to run this race and finish it in victory. I’m taking authority in the name above all names, the name of Jesus, today.
We actually have a choice to serve the spirit or the flesh. We can sow to the flesh and reap corruption, or sow to the spirit and reap life and peace. Living according to the flesh will cause us to be in a position where we are unable or unwilling to fight the temptation to overeat, to use addictive substances or tame our tongues. We have the potential to become dull, angry, mean and bitter. We are exposed to corruption. We can turn on our own flesh and abuse it by eating too little or too much or overworking. We can cause catastrophic disease to take over and destroy the flesh and never even realize it is our choice to do so. That is the influence of the enemy of our souls, the devil. He will use the weakness of our flesh to cause us to get into sin, then beat us up for being weak and ineffective. The circle continues and becomes insidious. If you overeat sugar and unhealthy foods, don’t be surprised by the diagnosis of diabetes. Slow destruction, depression, even suicidal thoughts are the by-product of temptation. Now look, I’m speaking to myself, don’t bring in the yeah buts right now. I’m not saying all disease is sin, I’m not a Pharisee.
HOWEVER, if Christ is in us, the body is dead because of sin. The law of the Spirit makes us free from sin and death. Jesus condemned sin in the flesh. Good news, the flesh is dead to sin and alive to Christ, so it can’t be killed! We make the choice to subdue the flesh and its gravitational pull on our spirit. We voluntarily set our renewed minds on Jesus and live according to the Spirit instead. The Spirit of God dwells within us. We are His. I declare pursuant to His word, that He will give life to my mortal body so it may serve God. I live by the Spirit and put to death the deeds of the body. Because I choose that, I will live. I choose to suffer through the death of my flesh, to live free with my spirit controlling my body and what it does.
We are delivered from the bondage of the flesh that is corrupted by sin, and forcefully flung into the glorious liberty of the children of God. The Spirit of God intercedes for us as we go through this flesh struggle. We have hope that we will not reap corruption, but glory as promised in the Word of God. All things are working together for our good in this struggle because we are called according to His purpose. He predestined us for that purpose. I’m focused on Jesus and His purpose for me, not my scale number. If God is for us, who can be against us? It truly is not a battle against other people, but our own flesh and the enemy Satan, who uses our weakness to tempt and destroy. Do you compare yourself to someone else and become discouraged? Hey, their purpose is not your purpose. Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus, our Lord.
So how do we overcome our own flesh? How do we fight this battle? The Holy Spirit showed me what I needed to do as taken from Romans, Chapter 8.
- Lord I repent of the deeds of my flesh.
- I repent of believing the lies my flesh uses to get me to feed it.
- I repent for not fighting the enemy who uses my flesh against me and causes me to enter into sin,
- Lord, I am free in you. He who the Son sets free is free indeed. I am victorious over sin in my body and put my spirit in charge.
- I accept the free gifts included in the promises of God for my life. I will focus on Jesus and not me.
- Devil, I bind you from tormenting me with temptation, I rebuke you and the Bible says that if I will resist you, you must flee. Go.
- I ask for help Lord, in fighting this battle and winning this war. I know that I have what I ask when I ask in faith according to your word. I ask for strength and determination to persevere to the finish line in both your purpose for me, and against my flesh. Amen, so be it, it is finished.