Flesh in Perspective
“Thou hast made us for Thyself, and our hearts are restless until they find their rest in Thee.” —St. Augustine
It doesn’t matter what flavor of flesh you favor (USDA Choice, Homemade Vanilla or Yuck), living by the flesh just doesn’t work. Those with USDA Choice flesh end up self-righteous. Those with Homemade Vanilla flesh end up in a never ending fight with sin. And Yuck flesh ends in guilt, failure, and despair. It just ends badly no matter what.
Yeah, that’s all bad enough from a personal perspective… but it’s tragic from a divine perspective.
Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God. —Romans 8:5-8
Would you read that passage a couple of times and really let it soak in? I’m serious. Read it again.
Those words speak for themselves. There is nothing selfless or noble about trying to live life in your own strength. It’s just wrong. It sets your mind on yourself, not the Spirit. Living according to the flesh is selfish, self-centered, “death” and “hostile to God.” Period.
You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. —Romans 8:9
Listen, Augustine was right about this. God created us for Himself. He is the “realm” in which we are to live. He is to be the focus of our hearts and minds.
Dear God, I praise You that I am designed to live “in the realm of the Spirit” and that my restless heart can find its rest in You there. Indeed, Your Spirit lives in me. I reject the flesh today so that You can live through me in Your strength. Amen.