Victory Over the Flesh
Greetings Fredonia Hill Family,
Happy New Year! I pray your 2014 year has started with fresh vision from the Lord and a renewed and refreshed focus for you and your family.
A few weeks ago I was sitting in a church in Flower Mound, Texas and I was pondering how quickly and easily I can sometimes allow my flesh to take over and lead out in my life. In that moment with the Holy Spirit, He showed me just how ruthless my flesh is in its desire to lead my life in a self-centered way. Maybe you can relate. You start off by allowing one self-focused thought to produce an action or word and pretty soon, you’ve put together a string of several hours or days where all you’ve focused on and thought about was yourself. These are frustrating moments for me. However, in His infinite kindness and grace, there is never condemnation, simply opportunity for growth.
So, in my repentance, I began to have a conversation with the Holy Spirit about having victory over these moments where your flesh seems to creep in and gain control. Hopefully in an encouragement to you, I will share with you the two things the Spirit revealed in that moment. Both are profoundly simple, yet when applied, both are profoundly powerful.
First, we must never, under any circumstances, trust our flesh to lead our lives. Apart from the Spirit of the Lord, our flesh is only capable of reacting to the world around us and it can only do so in a selfish manner. Our flesh is made up of our soul (mind, will, and emotions) and our body (our physical makeup) and apart from submission to Christ, it will pursue self preservation at all costs. So, in every thought and in every action, we must not even for a moment, trust our flesh apart from the Spirit.
Second, we must continually submit to the Holy Spirit who is in us. Jesus promised us the Holy Spirit would lead us into all truth and so we must immediately begin to trust those words of Jesus and pursue the Holy Sprit for truth. In this exchange with the Spirit, I asked Him how often I must submit to His leading. His response was, “as often as you are vulnerable to your flesh leading the way.” I thought for a second about how easily I can switch from being Spirit-led to being flesh-led. Sadly, it can happen so quickly and sometimes without me even recognizing it. So how often must I submit to Him? Without ceasing. This is what Paul meant when He told us to “take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ” and “pray without ceasing”. We were never designed to be self-sustaining. We were created to continually rely on the power and the presence of God in us.
I want to encourage you at the beginning of this new year to take time to focus on this reality. We are so easily distracted and our eyes are so easily fixed on things which are not above where Christ is seated. We must become aware of this tendency and with desperation cast ourselves into deep abiding relationship with Jesus. He has given us the Holy Sprit for this very purpose. There is not one moment where your flesh can be trusted to lead you into the fullness of all God has for you. But fear not, He is with us and in us. In Him we have fullness of joy. In Him, we have victory. In Him we live and move and have our being. Trust Him today for more than salvation. Trust Him to lead every second of every day. Give yourself fully to Him and allow Him to transform your heart and the lives of those around you.
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