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Crucify the Flesh

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Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Galatians 5:24

So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (Galatians 5:16-17) Our flesh comes from the world and craves things of the world. Often theses cravings are for sinful things because Satan is ruler of the air. Sin tempts us through the flesh, but those born of God are filled with the Spirit and have the power to tame the flesh and its evil desires.

If we carefully examine our lives as we go through our day we can determine how much our flesh drives our thoughts, words, and actions. How do we overcome the desires of the flesh that are not pleasing to the Lord? We can read the Word until we memorize the entire Bible, but unless we are active in our faith, we may never realize the hold our sinful flesh has on us.

Everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. (1 John 5:4) We cannot overcome the world unless we overcome our flesh. But this is possible only through the power of God. Satan bids for our souls by tempting us through the flesh, and God protects our souls through the indwelling Holy Spirit. It is a spiritual war for our eternal souls and victory is our choice. We can follow the flesh or follow Christ.

And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. (Galatians 5:24) Taming the flesh is a process that requires that we capture every thought and emotion and evaluate it with Godly wisdom. We practice walking in the Spirit, taking everything to the Lord until it is natural and almost subconscious. If we live by the Spirit, let us also keep in step with the Spirit. (Galatians 5:25) If we continue going to the Lord to control our thoughts, then over time the Lord will bring our flesh into submission to the Spirit, and actually change the desires of the flesh.

Be sensitive to the desires of the flesh, especially those temptations that escape our notice. There are many ways Satan tempts us through the flesh that we are probably not even aware of; for example, overeating, skipping worship or Bible study, or justifying not following God’s calling. The flesh has an infinite number of excuses for doing what it wants. The ultimate in yielding to the flesh is addictions, which are fleshly desires we may not be able to overcome without specialized treatment.

Necessary in controlling the flesh is the control of our emotions. We must not let them take control of us. God has the same emotions as we do because we are created in his image, and this means the Holy Spirit has emotions. The more we walk in the Spirit, the more our emotions become the emotions of God. We are being molded to have the mind of Christ, which also includes the emotions of Christ. The brain stores memories with emotions.

Today, distinguish desires of the flesh from the desires of the Spirit. We have desires of the flesh with little or no thought of their origin, but do we recognize thoughts from the Spirit? When we walk in the Spirit we know the thoughts from our Lord. Now we can know when our thoughts are fleshly driven, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh.

Let’s Pray: Lord, help me crucify the flesh and its sinful desires. Give me the self-discipline to control these fleshly desires. Lord only through the power of the Spirit can I have victory over my flesh. Guide me in your strength to provide and escape to overcome the temptations of the flesh. In Jesus name, Amen