How To Get Your Flesh Under Control
The Amalekite people of the Old Testament hated God, detested Israel, and seemed to delight in wicked and destructive acts. God's instructions to King Saul, therefore, fulfilled the vow He swore to Moses. Saul was to wipe out the tribe forever. He and his armies were the instrument through which a righteous God would carry out His holy judgment on a sinister people.
But sometimes when we first see Him execute judgment we pause and secretly wonder why He was so severe, don't we? Let me show you one such place is God's Word. It is 1st Samuel 15. In previous studies about Saul’s life, I explained that God rejected him for disobeying a very clear command. Turn there again with me please.
1 Samuel 15:3 “Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.” (NKJV)
God's Word clearly warns us that we do not conquer our flesh by physical means—asceticism, religious activity, or human effort. It is only by the power of the cross worked out in our life by the Holy Spirit. There is a war always brewing between our flesh and the Spirit of God within us.
"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would” (Gal. 5:17).
God commands His people to destroy their enemies completely. As we are to also through Christ.
- Amalek was their foe. Deuteronomy 25:17-19 "Remember what Amalek did to you along the way when you came out from Egypt, 18 how he met you along the way and attacked among you all the stragglers at your rear when you were faint and weary; and he did not fear God. 19 "Therefore it shall come about when the LORD your God has given you rest from all your surrounding enemies, in the land which the LORD your God gives you as an inheritance to possess, you shall blot out the memory of Amalek from under heaven; you must not forget. (NASB)
- The flesh is our foe.Colossians 3:5 “Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry.” (NASB)
The Amalekites make an apt illustration of the sin that remains in the believer’s life. That sin—already utterly defeated—must be dealt with ruthlessly and hacked to pieces, or it will revive and continue to plunder and pillage our hearts and sap our spiritual strength. We cannot be merciful with Amalek or Agag, or they will turn and try to devour us. In fact, the remaining sin in us often becomes more fiercely determined after it has been overthrown by the gospel.
In Romans 6, Ephesians 4-6, and Colossians 3—we find the tactics God left us to win this battle against the flesh. He has defeated our enemy, armed us with superior weapons, and offers to lead us into victory every time we follow Him!
To read more about the weapons left for you, please click here.
For more from Discover the Book Ministries, please visit discoverthebook.org.