Contending with the Flesh
As you read today’s passage, did you see the conflict presented in it? The apostle Paul is explaining that even though believers struggle with sin, we are no longer “in the flesh,” because God’s Spirit dwells in us (Rom. 8:9). The word flesh signifies the natural part of each person that desires to operate in opposition to God. That’s why Paul says, “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:8).
Even though Christians have been freed from the domination of the flesh and now have the Holy Spirit, the conflict is not over—that’s because our old fleshly patterns have not been eradicated. However, we don’t have to succumb to living by them. In fact, we are “under obligation” to put the deeds of the flesh to death by the power of the Spirit (Rom. 8:12-13).
To fight this battle, we need powerful spiritual weapons, and that’s exactly what the Lord has given us. In Ephesians 6:10-17, we find the full armor of God, which helps us stand firm and guards our mind and heart with truth. We have the shield of faith to extinguish Satan’s lies and the Word of God as our weapon against temptation.
Romans 13:14 tells us, “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lust.” Are you using the resources that the Lord has provided to help you put to death those sinful desires and deeds of the flesh? Since the battle begins in the mind, that’s the place to start. As you reprogram your thoughts with God’s Word, your desires and deeds will follow suit.
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