I’ve come to notice that it is easy to not do what is considered worldly. BUT that which is considered ‘fleshly’ is absolutely difficult. For instance, it’s easy to avoid drunken orgies, but harder yet to restrain a tongue ready to unleash its fury. It is truly difficult to resolve and forgive and seek understanding of a situation/action (mine and others). It is truly difficult to take each day’s stresses to God and only if necessary to another AND do all this before going to bed, leaving each day’s baggage unpacked and aired out.

The ‘flesh’ – that nature that lives within us that is untamed, cunning, proud, revengeful and wicked. This flesh wants nothing to do with God. This flesh?! This flesh is difficult to overcome but it is indeed possible.

I’ve learnt two ways to subdue the flesh that I want to share:

1. Training – a continuous exercising of self-control – putting yourself literally under heavy restraint. Do NOT do what your flesh wants you to do – only what the spirit wants.

2. Now, the way to *discern between flesh and spirit is through time spent with God. Time spent adoring, praising, honoring Him – his presence automatically washes away lies, sorts through any baggage that might have piled up, opens our eyes to truth, teaches us and guides us each step of the way following in the spirit. We will know His will. [This is a similar principle to what is described in Romans 12: 2 – Do not be conformed to the patterns of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind so that you may test and approve what God’s will – his good, pleasing and will.]

This flesh?! It’s difficult – it really is, but God’s grace is sufficient –  let us trice to rely on God’s grace to win over it, rather than fight in our own efforts only to lose. The more we break our flesh’s determination to stay in charge, the greater the opportunity for the spirit to rise up instead and lead the way.

Galatians 2:  20  – I have been crucified with Christ; it is now no longer I who live but Christ lives in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the son of God who has loved me and gave Himself for me.

Because I strive to always write so that everyday life is made relevant, let me highlight a particular area of subduing the flesh, that perhaps you could identify with.

-> I really need to make an effort to say less.

Living by faith in the son of God sometimes means that I must avoid saying what I think and feel – because again, in this flesh, we often experience the world, through the lens of our personalities and experiences. This would mean then that not everything that angers, saddens or hurts is truly angering, saddening or hurtful – although to me, as an individual, it might be. I need the discernment of God to sort through which emotions are to be expressed to another anad which ones kept to myself and released in my quiet times with God. The Holy Spirit has the ability to help me understand myself better as well as understand those around me better, and ultimately I will find that silence can often be better than talking.

Time spent with God {*instead of in discussion} can bring about the resolve to let go of my own ways of seeing things and  see things as God sees and by so doing, be released to love others in the way that 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7 describes.

*This, of course, is not going to be the case always but taking it to God, does teach us, more and more, what to do and when.


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