BATTLE OF SPIRIT AND FLESH

The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.
Matthew 26:41

There is a war raging within the souls of all believers, and it is the battle of spirit and flesh. When our spirits are soaring upon the heights of God’s great power living in us, we feel unstoppable in the face of enemies and are confident in our allegiance to Christ. We may even proclaim our willingness to lay down our lives for our Savior, just as Peter did when he declared, Even if I have to die with You, I will never disown You (Matthew 26:35). Yet, when confronted with the circumstances that we are so certain we can conquer, our flesh becomes weak and we choose to do the very opposite of what we desire (Romans 7:15).

Great conflict surges in our hearts and minds, for as the apostle Paul stated, [We] do not understand [our] own actions (Romans 7:15); they are contrary to everything we believe. However, even though we are made new in Christ through our salvation, we still must walk in physical bodies on this earth. And because we live in the flesh, which is hostile to God (Romans 8:7), we are constantly fighting against the nature of sin within us. Just as Paul struggled with this inner conflict, we too can feel disappointed almost daily in the battles we lose. However, we do not need to lose hope, because Jesus Christ is our victory over sin.

God, through Jesus Christ, acted on our behalf. He sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so He condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 8:3-4). When we are made new in Christ, we are truly free from the condemnation of sin. Although we will continue to struggle for victory over our flesh here on earth, we do not have to live as though we are condemned forever by sin. If we do, we only discredit the power of what Christ accomplished for us on the cross, and we will weaken the power of the Spirit within us. Therefore, let us live victoriously through Christ, who has freed us from sin and counted us worthy to continue His work here on this earth. Thanks be to God, who delivers [us] through Jesus Christ our Lord! (Romans 7:25).

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How do you fight your battles with the flesh?


by Jill Holler

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 Jill Holler grew up on a farm in western Illinois, enjoying a life of running free through the pastures during the day and gazing at the countless shimmering stars at night. All around her, she could see the work of God’s creative hand, and she knew He was real. Yet it wasn’t until years later that she would discover the abundant life of faith that comes from taking hold of the living power that resides in God and His word. After struggling to find purpose and meaning for much of her young adult life, she found that it resides simply–yet powerfully–in Jesus Christ, her God and Savior.

About Be the Light Editor

Martin Wiles is a minister, author, freelance editor, and English teacher who lives in Greenwood, SC. He is the founder of Love Lines from God and is the author of Grits & Grace and God and Grits, Gumbo and Going to Church. He serves as Managing Editor for Christian Devotions (www.christiandevotions.us) and Assistant Editor for Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of three.

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