Over the past five weeks, we have been talking about the battle of our flesh and Spirit.
Jesus was our example in the garden; the flesh is NOT greater than the Spirit of God. Right and tough decisions can be made if we are willing to say “no” to self and “yes” to God.
The problem with our culture is that it has convinced us that we are deserving of temporary stuff that is only toxic to the longevity of our spiritual lives.
We have given into this flesh way too often by thinking it is greater.
“Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41
Let me just say loud and boldly today, the flesh is NOT greater. It is weaker.
Our problem is that we choose our earthly sinful desires over what the Spirit is desiring because we want immediate gratification.
If you would be honest with yourself, every immediate gratification you have given into has only set you back, not moved you forward.
That is what the devil wanted Jesus to do in the garden. He wanted Him to give up the cross for immediate flesh gratification.
This is the devil’s M.O. every time. Ask Judas.
Many people through the Word of God have given into the fleshly desires and have paid the cost of sin – spiritual death. Ask Adam and Eve.
Then there are others that stood against temptation, proving it is possible to win. Ask Joseph.
What you and I need to realize is that this is a spiritual fight.
It is a war against our soul.
It is a war against our destiny.
Everything that the devil tempts us with is not about us having fun; he couldn’t care less about our enjoyment.
The purpose in his temptation is for you and me to join him in hell!
So, my question today to you, are you willing to fight?
Paul’s final words to the believers in Ephesus.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;”Ephesians 6:10-18
Since man fell at the very beginning, there has always been a fight.
“For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.” Romans 5:19
Israel (God’s People) was no different. They won many times, and they lost many times in this spiritual fight.
The great thing is there was always a forgiving, merciful God that was pursuing them and He did not give up on them.
In the first post in this series, I talked about other words that go along with willing, such as, eager, ready, enthusiastic, prepared, agreeable.
Look what the prophet Jeremiah says to Israel, His chosen people.
“Go and shout this message to Jerusalem. This is what the Lord says: “I remember how eager you were to please me as a young bride long ago, how you loved me and followed me even through the barren wilderness.” Jeremiah 2:2 NLT
“Has any nation ever traded its gods for new ones, even though they are not gods at all? Yet my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols!” Jeremiah 2:11 NLT
Spurgeon comments, “God recollects those zealous times, those happy seasons, those enthusiastic hours; and if we have come to an ebb, if we are now cold and almost dead, and have forgotten the better days, God has not forgotten them.”
The flesh was winning against God’s chosen people.
God loved them so much He would send a prophet to try to turn them around from the false gods they were worshiping.
“Therefore, go and give this message to Israel. This is what the Lord says: “O Israel, my faithless people,come home to me again, for I am merciful. I will not be angry with you forever. Only acknowledge your guilt. Admit that you rebelled against the Lord your God and committed adultery against him by worshiping idols under every green tree. Confess that you refused to listen to my voice. I, the Lord, have spoken!”Jeremiah 3:12-13 NLT
It doesn’t matter how much you have given into your flesh up until now, you can beat it this today by the Spirit of God.
You cannot do it by yourself. Your flesh is too weak. You will fail every time.
But with God on your side, anything is possible His Spirit is a helper that will give you the power you need to overcome any temptation. That Spirit is a gift promised to you in the Book of Acts. It’s available to you today!