Jesus said “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” (John 3:6 KJ ) In the New Living Translation this reads: “Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives new life from heaven.” In Galatians 5:16 (NLT) Paul writes: “So I advise you to live according to the new life in the Holy Spirit. Then you won’t be doing what your flesh craves.”
We all have flesh! The flesh, simply defined, is the body, mind, will, and emotions of man under the control of something other than Jesus Christ. Believers and unbelievers alike have flesh. Living in the flesh is the opposite of living in the Spirit.
Have you seriously considered that your flesh will never improve? It is an important point. How can we expect the flesh to be something other than flesh? Flesh is flesh and can do nothing that is of the Spirit. We have all seen bad flesh and are often on a constant quest to find good flesh in ourselves, our mates, our church family, and our children. This determining to do better in the flesh will change nothing.
Flesh is hostile to God. The best of flesh is the worst of it, for it keeps us from humbly seeking Christ. Why does God leave such a way of living possible for the believer? The answer simply put, is to keep us focused on Him. You see, we get miserable in our flesh and that misery will always drive us back to the Spirit.
In Ephesians 5:18 we are told not to be drunk with wine which leads to debauchery but instead to be filled with the Spirit of God. Now being filled with the Spirit is not a one-time occurrence.
You don’t go to the gas station and fill up, then tell the attendant to seal the tank because you will never need more gas. That would be presumptuous, foolish, and stupid.
Well, the same is true with engine oil. A dipstick is used to check the level of oil in your engine. Well, people are dipsticks! It’s true, but not in the way you might think.
The Holy Spirit is the lubricant of the believer’s life. When fully lubricated, we run smoothly, without friction, quietly and calmly. But when we are running impatiently, angrily, full of frustration, low on kindness, goodness, and self-control; God sends someone along as a dipstick to check the level of our lubrication. It may be the driver who cuts in front of us, a rebellious child, that person at church, or your spouse.
We think in the back of our minds “People are such dipsticks!” But actually, they have been sent by God. When we stop and see God in the situation, we turn to Him, acknowledging that we are short of the oil of the awareness of the Holy Spirit. In that moment we pray, “Father, fill me up!” He does; we can then thank God for those dipsticks who came along and warned us that we were running low before we blew up.
Simply put, there is nothing good in the flesh…Flesh will not improve. Only when Christ…who lived in flesh and overcame it…is flowing through us will we experience power over the flesh. At that point victory is a natural thing, not contrived, not achieved by the effort toward improving, but through the power of the Spirit life within.
LIFE LESSON: Live according to the New Life. Stay filled, and you will not carry out the desires of the flesh.
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