Exhortations of humility, steadfastness; Christ's humiliation and exaltation; Christ, our strength and provider.
For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the Spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh . . . If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more (Phil. 3:3-4).
The flesh is the term by which Scripture refers to our human nature that is not subject to the indwelling Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:7), for the flesh lusteth against the Spirit (Gal. 5:17). Satan knows that the effort and energy of the natural man can never please God, conquer sin, or transform lives. The self-effort of the flesh is still the great enemy that continually hinders and quenches the Spirit. Much unsuccessful effort can be traced to this one failure. We can try and try with everything within us and we will never overcome the enemy. We are incapable within ourselves. We have a flesh that desires to sin. Our own righteousness will not stand up to the attack of the devil. But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Is. 64:6).
Reliance upon our own physical abilities becomes obvious when we allow our human efforts to take priority over daily prayer, Bible reading, and waiting in faith for God's direction. The enemy has always used our physical and emotional needs to find weaknesses within ourselves. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (I John 2:16). This is the way Satan attacked Jesus when He was fasting in the desert. The devil first reminded Jesus how hungry He must be. In this, he used the lust of the flesh, as His flesh desired food. Secondly, he showed Jesus all the worldly cities. This used the lust of the eyes. Finally, he tried to get Jesus to throw Himself off the top of the temple. He even used Scripture that said the angels would rescue Him. This attack was using the pride of life. Did Jesus fall to the enemy? No! Why? He countered Satan with Scripture every time. We must be ready to do the same. In our flesh we are no match. Our hope is in God and His Word. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world (I John 4:4).
Remember that we have a host of Scripture at our disposal to combat the enemy. God gave us this great weapon to use in our daily Spiritual warfare. Ask the Lord to help you in all that you endeavour to accomplish. Ask Him to reveal from the Word of God things that will help you in your daily walk.
We are to allow the Holy Spirit to reign in our lives. When we choose to live by our own rules, we set ourselves up for great loss. Let's be like Paul who declared: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me (Phil. 4:13).
Thought for the Day: Sure disaster awaits the Christian who feels so strong that he does not need the Lord's help.
For Phil. 2:7: See Is. 42:1.
1:7 meet, right; 1:8 my record, my witness; bowels, affections; 1:14 waxing confident, gaining confidence; 1:22 wot, know; 1:23 in a strait betwixt two, hard pressed between the two; 1:28 an evident token of perdition, evidence of impending destruction; 2:3 vainglory, boasting, empty conceit; 2:22 the proof of him, his trials have proven his sincerity; 3:1 not grievous, I never get tired of telling you; 3:2 dogs, Judaizers, antagonists, legalists; 3:20 conversation, citizenship; 4:6 Be careful for nothing, Don't be anxious; don't worry; 4:14 communicate with, express your concern, share; 4:18 I have all, I am fully satisfied; 4:22 chiefly, especially.
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Memory Verse for the Week: Isaiah 7:14