Victory Over Our Worst Enemy
I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.1 Corinthians 9:27
Our flesh comes from the earth and therefore craves things from the earth. Sometimes it craves things that are not pleasing to God. Spiritual warfare involves overcoming the sinful desires of our flesh and allowing the Spirit to have power over our thoughts and actions instead of being a slave to the world. For everything in the world–the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life–comes not from the Father but from the world. (1 John 2:16) How do we enable the Spirit to overcome the strong sinful desires of the flesh?
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. (Romans 8:5) Overcoming our fleshly desires begins with controlling our thoughts, because fleshly desires don’t gain power until we start entertaining them in thought. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5). It’s critical that we capture every thought that is displeasing to our Lord, because if we entertain the thought it becomes stronger and can shut down our Godly conscience. The more we capture our thoughts to the obedience of Christ, the more we gain control over our thoughts and emotions. And this is what the Lord desires. Therefore, pray fervently for the Lord’s power in controlling your thoughts and emotions.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7).When we run to the Lord with our emotions and thoughts, he will enable us to change them and align them to his will. As we strive to have the Lord change our thoughts, and as we train ourselves to run to the Lord immediately with our emotions and thoughts, then we have the ability to change our fleshly sinful desires.
We learn to recognize sinful thoughts coming from our fleshly desires, which then triggers us to run to the Lord. The more we let the Spirit control the flesh, the more power we have from the Lord to control our flesh. We will never have freedom in Christ until we learn to control our fleshly desires and emotions. Picture your soul surrounded by the Holy Spirit, who tells you that nothing coming from the world gets to your soul without first going through Him. This mental picture depicts living in the Spirit. This is what it means to be still and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10). Be still and think about what the world is feeding you, and use this time to listen to the Spirit. Don’t be anxious to speak, but choose your words carefully from the Spirit, which means getting control of your fleshly driven emotional responses.
Today Lord, help me to have control over my thoughts and emotions. Guide me by the Spirit and keep me from being guided by the sinful cravings of the flesh. I know victory comes only through Christ when fighting this spiritual war. The more I run to you when tempted by the flesh, the more victorious I will be.
Let’s Pray: Lord, thank you for giving me your power to overcome my inherited sinful fleshly nature. I pray Satan’s temptations will be a trigger for me to run to you for victory. In Jesus’ name, Amen.