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. –
There is a war, always going, between the flesh and the spirit. It is in all of our lives. Some days I can sense the struggles coming before they even begin. It’ all about self control. Truthfully, since I began this chapter on self-control .. it’s like I have none. Every little thing is under my skin. And this is where the Word of God really comes in.
Self control is probably one the most challenging things for us to learn. Right?
For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I
would not, that I do. – Romans 7:19
How can I train up a child; how I can be a wife that makes her husband proud, if I cannot be self controlled? If I continually am doing as Paul says above?
It takes great strength to bring your flesh under subjection to your spirit. And we need to be refined; those hard things are what build our faith. Choosing His way when it goes against everything that we feel or want; when it gets messy and uncomfortable.
“The Bible compares the refinement of our faith to fire. It
hurts. It stings. It’s difficult to endure… But once you come out on the other side, you see that “joy unspeakable” is yours for the taking.” There is nothing greater, truly, than when you experience the joy and peace, of the Lord in your life.
There’s an old Cherokee legend about two wolves at war.
It goes like this:
One night a grandfather was teaching his grandson about
life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight between two wolves. One is evil – he
is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity,
guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority,
and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy,
peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness,
benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and
faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside
every other person, too.”
The boy paused to think for a moment before looking up
at his grandfather. “Which wolf will win?” He asked.
The wise man simply replied, “The one that you feed.”
Some good food for thought!
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the
affections and lusts. – Galatians 5:24
We must make the decision; we must choose to walk in the Spirit and we must then exercise our self control that we may put away sin. Every day. Do we fall? Let me count the times I have fallen this week alone….Just get back up – we have that power within us; we are the temple of the ONE true God! But we must be determined; according to His word – we need to feel that sting of conviction.
As Paul says: “Everything is permissible for me–but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me–but I will not be mastered by anything.” – 1 Corinthians 6:12
What is it? Does it control you or do you control it? Give it up to God. Trust His wisdom and not your own (mine own). Then let us exercise this self control every day. Let us pray on it, seek His way and His words that we may do it to the glory of God. The struggles we have, they are not really about the things we think they are. It is flesh against spirit. Spiritual warfare. We are either rules by the flesh or we are ruled by the spirit. We cannot follow both.
I love how Darlene Schacht says, in The Virtuous Life, “A virtuous woman isn’t ruled by her passions, she passionately pursues an incomparable God. She is strong because she knows that she can do what she wants, but she chooses to do that which is good.”