The Apostle Paul tells us in Philippians 3:3 to put “no” confidence in the flesh. But the flesh says to us, “Oh, I can do that! You don’t need Jesus for that.” However, the Scripture tells us “apart from Him, we can do nothing.” (John 15:5) “All our righteous acts are like filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6) and “there is no one who does good, no not one.” (Romans 3:12) We need 100% of Jesus.
In the book The Indwelling Life of Christ (all of Him in all of me) written by Major Ian Thomas, he writes this about The Ways of the Flesh. “You may have harnessed the energy of the flesh in an otherwise quite genuine desire to honor the Lord Jesus in your life. The flesh, which has its origin in Satan, will go along with you; to survive, it is quite prepared to engage in every form of Christian activity, even though this may seem to honor Christ.”
“The flesh will sing in the choir, teach Sunday school, preside at a deacons’ meeting, preach from the pulpit, organize an evangelistic crusade, go to Bible college, volunteer for the mission field, and a thousand other things, all of which may in themselves be otherwise legitimate, if only it can keep its neck out of the noose. The flesh will threaten, shout, strut, domineer, sulk, plot, creep, beg, plead, or sob, whatever the situation may demand in the interests of its own survival. By any and all means it will seek to cause every Christian to live by his own strength instead of by the power and grace of the Lord Jesus, and to conclude that doing so is actually a good thing!”
“The characteristic of the spiritually immature is that they are unable to discern between good and evil (Hebrews 5:13-14), and the baby Christian, like the foolish Galatians ‘having begun in the Spirit’ still tries to be ‘made perfect by the flesh’ (Galatians 3:3).”
“We must be particularly patient with those whose lack of understanding allows a genuine love for the Lord Jesus to be satisfied with, and sometimes to be quite enthusiastic about, Christian activities involving means and methods which are heavily contaminated by the flesh. These are more deserving of instruction than rebuke, for they are still in their spiritual babyhood.”
“God does not honor men and women and their deeds or their books or their organizations. The Father in heaven delights to honor His Son. It is only the Life of the Lord Jesus—His activity, clothed with you and displayed through you—that ultimately will find the approval of God.” It’s a great book and a great read and I encourage you to get it.
The Word of God tells us “Whatever you do (no matter what it is) in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus and in dependence upon His Person, giving praise to God, the Father through Him.” Colossians 3:17 AMP
You can try to steer clear of sin. Avoid temptation. Refuse to steal, lie, or use drugs and alcohol. You can indeed try to be sinless. But that is still you. And you are still trying.
Jesus Christ was not holy because He focused His efforts on avoiding sin. Instead, “He refused to allow there to be any possible explanation for the quality of His life but the Father, as God, dwelling in Him, as Man.” writes Major W. Ian Thomas.
So whom do you want dwelling in you? More of you? Or all of Christ? Remember the mystery revealed in Colossians 1:27: “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” So, watch out for The Ways of the Flesh!
We appreciate your continued prayer and financial support. We need both to meet the ministry obligations. Thank you for your faithfulness.