The flesh is our human body. It is carnal and concerned with going after worldly, temporal desires and pleasures.
“Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God (Galatians 5:19-21).
Not only does your flesh want to gratify itself with the pleasures of this world, all of its desires are against the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:17).
For example, the Holy Spirit wants you to live holy and righteous before God. The flesh, however, wants you to go after all ungodliness and unrighteousness. The Holy Spirit wants you to overlook offense, forgive, and pray for those who hurt you. Your flesh wants you to be offended, unforgiving, and exact your own revenge. The Holy Spirit wants you to yield to Him and surrender your life to God–denying yourself, picking up your cross, and following after the Lord (Matthew 16:24). Your flesh wants you to be prideful, self-seeking, and self-serving–going after your own way and doing what seems right in your own eyes.
The list can go on and on and on.
In Romans 7:18-19, Paul lamented about the power his fleshly, sinful nature had over his life:
“For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”
If you have found yourself in the same boat as Paul, more than you would like, I want to give you some good news: you have been set free from the power of indwelling sin.
Jesus’s life, death, burial, and resurrection has destroyed the power of sin and death in our lives. We have been freed from the bondage of sin, and we are no longer slaves to it.
However, it is up to us to take hold of and walk in the freedom from sin Jesus died for us to have. Therefore, first and foremost, you must put your faith in Jesus Christ. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:24).
This is not done in your own strength. It is done through the power of the Holy Spirit living on the inside of you.
Specifically, Galatians 5:16 tells us to “walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.”
How do you walk in the Holy Spirit?
You walk in the Holy Spirit by following the leading of the Spirit and yielding in obedience to His will and His way in your life.
Romans 8:3 tells us that if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
What can we do to live according to the Spirit?
Romans 8:5 tells us that those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”
The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you (Romans 8:11). He gives life to your mortal body, and He enables you to obey God and disobey your flesh. He empowers you to walk in freedom from the sin that so easily ensnares you.
If you are a Christian struggling with sin, you should:
- Confess and repent of your sin.
- Ask the Father to fill you with His Holy Spirit.
- Ask the Holy Spirit to give you the wisdom, knowledge, understanding, and strength to turn away from your sin and turn to God.
- Join a local church.
- Get in community with other believers. Join an accountability group and tell people that you trust about your struggles. DO NOT FIGHT ALONE! Find people who will hold you accountable, stand with you, and stand in the gap for you.
Be encouraged! You are loved! ❤️