November 9, 2007
Living Beyond Myself
“The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh, for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.” Galatians 5:17(NIV)
I wanted to do the right the right thing, but when push came to shove I reacted according to my flesh instead of the Spirit of God.
My son had become the victim of a school prank. It just wasn’t any kind of prank. It was the kind of practical joke that could have ended in tragedy.
Mitch was on his way home from school when he noticed a foul smell. Suddenly, his car was filled with smoke. He pulled over, got out to check the car, and noticed that someone had pulled the rubber bumper down over the exhaust pipe of his car. Concerned about the deadly fumes, Mitch called from his cell phone to be picked up.
While I was furious that someone would play such a trick, I was also thankful that my son knew the danger of the situation and called for help. Had he not, and continued driving, the fumes could have caused him to pass out at the wheel injuring himself and possibly others.
The next day, my husband didn’t get the response he had expected while speaking with the school principal. Instead, he got a lesson toward the assumption that “boys will be boys.” Again, I was furious!
Instead of listening to my husband’s advice, I decided to talk with the principal myself. I prayed before hand in hopes of conducting myself in a Christ-like manner. It was my hearts desire to do the right thing. Unfortunately, when the principal said, “Hello,” I let him have it! In the midst of my angry outburst, I even blamed the principal for causing me to sin!
Later, I felt so ashamed. I felt convicted over my actions and for not representing the Name I carry…Christian. I could have defended my son and honored God if only I had obeyed the Spirit instead of reacting according to my flesh. I was hurt and confused. “Why do I struggle this way when I truly want to do the right thing?” I pondered within.
I wonder are you also confused to find that struggling with sin is the basic problem of your life. Aren’t we supposed to be free from the struggle with sin?
The Bible tells us that even though we are Christians, we will battle our flesh which works to keep us from God. Our key verse describes it this way:
“The flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please."
You see, before you and I received new life, we could sin and it wouldn’t bother us because the Spirit of God was not living in us convicting us of sin. Once saved, the Sprit of God convicts us of our sinful ways. Therefore, the struggle is on.
We each have old habits and old ways of thinking to break. The Holy Spirit in our hearts breaks the rule of sin in our lives and gives us a new nature and new life by purifying our motives, renewing our minds, and giving us the desire to become like Him. However, it’s a life-long process. Our flesh will trip us up sometimes, but allowing Christ’s life to flow through us will result in victory over sin.
You and I will continue to struggle while here on earth, but the good news is, one day, when we see Christ face-to-face, the fight will be over. Our flesh will forever be put to death and final victory will be ours!
Dear Lord, I want to live in a way that is pleasing to you but I’m weak and often give in to my fleshly desires. It’s only by your Spirit that I can live free from sin. Forgive me, Lord, and fill me with your enabling power, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Micca Campbell’s blog:
Using the power verses below, present yourself as a living sacrifice before God each day (Romans 12:1). Sacrifice your fleshly desires, asking God to fill you with His Spirit (Eph 5:18). Next, live by the power of the Holy Spirit so that you do not gratify your flesh (Gal 5:15). If you should sin, confess it and repeat these steps.
What sin do you struggle with most—pride, anger, lust, selfishness?
What sins have you already experienced freedom from?
How can recalling your freedom from past sins encourage you about the ones you are still struggling with?
Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.” (NIV)
Ephesians 5:18 “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit.” (NIV)
Galatians 5:16, “So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105