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The War between Spirit and Flesh

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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 5:17

There is a war going on between the Spirit and the flesh, and our eternal souls hang in the balance on the outcome. Satan’s goal is to fill us with lies, driving us to satisfy our souls by satisfying our fleshly desires. Nothing received from the world can permanently satisfy our eternal spiritual souls (which contain our thoughts, personality, emotions, and will). Only God, through the indwelling Holy Spirit, can bring us lasting love, peace, and joy. If our souls are not connected to God then we will struggle through life, trying to satisfy our souls by feeding the flesh.

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44). These are the words of Jesus to the prideful Pharisees whose hearts were far from God. If we are not living by God’s truth, then by default we are considered prideful because we are living by Satan’s lies, trying to satisfy our souls through the flesh.

True Christians live by the Word, and are guided by the indwelling Holy Spirit which continually satisfies our souls, for when our souls are satisfied our flesh begins to be satisfied. Our desire for earthly things decreases and is replaced by a longing for God and his spiritual blessings. The longer we walk with the Lord, the more our souls are satisfied with love, peace, joy, and all the fruit of the Spirit. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law (Galatians 5:22-23).

Souls that are not walking with the Lord are living by Satan’s lies; some Christians are complacent, and therefore believe some of Satan’s lies. Satan’s desire is to make Christians complacent so that we don’t realize the divine power that we have over him and his demons. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (Ephesians 3:20). You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world (1 John 4:4). As Christians we have the power of God in us to overcome the world, including Satan and his demons. But Satan desperately attacks to prevent us from knowing the power we have over him and his demons. His goal is to destroy God’s power in us, making us useless to the Lord.

The more worldly-minded we are the less of God’s power we have, because we are considered to be double minded. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do (James 1:8). We can determine where our hearts are by examining our thoughts. 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).

Today, do away with any preconceived ideas that come from false learning, from childhood, or from fear. Read the Word objectively and know the divine power we have to overcome the world and our sinful, fleshly desires.

Prayer: Lord, help me to fill my soul from the Spirit and not through Satan’s lies. Lord, replace my worldly desires with spiritual desires. In Jesus name, Amen