Fighting Your Flesh
“All generalizations are false, including this one.” —Mark Twain
Of the three enemies of faith (Christian philosophy, Paralyzing fear, Personal flesh), my personal weak spot is the flesh. That is not a false generalization! Flesh says, “I can take care of this!” Flesh says, “I don’t need God; I can do it myself.” Flesh says, “Independence from God!” Flesh preaches the antithesis of dependence; it promotes the opposite of the faith that pleases God.
I tend to try to do things on my own. In ministry I know how over my head I am, so I tend to stay pretty dependent. However, my flesh shows up in areas where I think I have some capabilities—like coaching my children’s basketball teams—where the drive to win unleashes my flesh to run wild in all its demented glory. Romans 8:8 says:
Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.
So even when I “win” in the flesh, I lose. But God isn’t asking, What did you win for Me today? He’s asking, Did you trust Me or not?
Did you hear me? If your goal is to please God, and you’re trying to do it in the flesh, you can’t please Him no matter what you accomplish, no matter what you win. You are not going to reach your goal of pleasing God unless you are doing it out of trust in Him and His presence in you. Bill Gillham says Jesus tells it to us this way:
“Your job is to do the very best you can, trust that I’m doing it through you, and leave the results to Me. If it turns out well, praise Me. If it doesn’t, praise Me anyway, and let Me handle any problems that are created as a result. Your job is to concentrate on your method which is ‘dependency!’”
God of Peace, I surrender to You again. You are my Lord, my strength, my wisdom, my very life. Thank You for Your grace, mercy, and promise that You will never leave me or forsake me—no matter how many times I find myself in the flesh again. I send up the white flag, laying down my fleshly impulses of independence, pride, and self-glorification. What can I do but bow before You and ask You to have Your way in me and through me?
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