You are human. You are flesh and bone.
What is the flesh? In the physical sense, our flesh is the stuff wrapped around our bones, but on the spiritual front, flesh has a life of it’s own.
- Flesh wants that which does belong to it; it drives us to desire that which we cannot have or afford.
- When our hearts seek to love, our flesh will trash it into lust.
- Our flesh screams out for attention, screeching to world in a thousand voices, “look at me, want me, come to me!”
- It’s our flesh that drives us to have the last word in an conflict – causing the other person to retaliate and escalates arguments into explosions of emotions leaving relationships irreparably damaged.
- When you think to put off until tomorrow what you should do today, that is your flesh bringing you down.
Giving into your flesh feels good – at first. Sooner or later, though, that satisfaction will give way to guilt or shame and you will have regrets.
We’re All Vunerable, Christians Too
Many people, including deceived Christians, think they’re not susceptible. If they give you that impression, it’s a farce. Don’t let anyone lead you believe they’re somehow immune. We all are. It’s the way we humans are now.
One morning last week while waiting for the bus, there was a girl wearing jeans and open-toed sandals with fresh pink toenail polish. From where I was standing, that was all I could see. The rest of was behind a wall and my flesh wanted to know what the rest looked like.
In my heart, I knew sneekin’ the peek was not an option. I belong to my wife. Even if I weren’t married, I’d still have no good reason to even contemplate a gander because she was married or maybe engaged (her significant other was right there). If we were both single, then it would be okay to see what what the rest of her looked like as long as I didn’t lust. (lust and Love is for another post)
The way I handled the temptation of the pink-toed lady was to turn my head the other way (“bounce the eyes” as we call it sometimes). But here’s what happened: After looking away to distract myself, I took a step toward the street to see if the bus was coming. Then, distracted from the temptation and past it, I moved on to a new thought. With the temptation out of mind, I stepped back and guess what, my flesh – out of control, – had literally positioned itself so that it could look. I was actually frustrated with myself. It’s like, man, God help me. When are you going to take me home so I don’t have to deal with this corrupted mind and body!
It was a tough choice to not look and see the challenge my flesh gave me?
Disobedience is a Sign of Weakness
All this talk about how our flesh drives us to commit wrong doings would suggest that the flesh is rather strong, but herein lies the main point of this post: obdience to authority actually requires strength.
My flesh (the physical) is designed to be in submission to my central nervous system, my brain. My spiritual flesh is designed to be in submission to the Spirit, but it’s not. It’s disobedient. Romans 8:1-17
Many think they’re being strong or cool when they tell someone off, check out a girl’s butt, give someone the finger, get gossippy with their girlfriends, drink alcohol before they’re of age, etc., but they’re wrong.
I know, I know *everyone* acts like that. So, you ask “what’s wrong with that?” Giving in to be just like everyone else show’s that you’re not being you; you’re not that unique you God wants you to be.
We all have authorities in our lives: parents, bosses, clients, teachers, government, etc. Making the choice to be obedient to them is difficult; it’s a challenge. If we just continue to give in to the flesh, we don’t grow; conversely, taking on challenges make us grow. If we continue to irritate people, objectify women, make ourselves petty, how is that cool or a sign of strength?
If God Made Us, and He is So Good, then Why are We Made this Way?
Truth is, we weren’t originally designed this way. We were designed to be in constant fellowship with God. In the beginning, we knew only good, but then we fouled it up and thus, we have a separation from God (that’s sin) and most of His qualities. This is a basic tenet of Christianity.
There is only one true God-given quality we all share that no one (even God, He could, but He won’t because it’s choice that defines a relationship) can take away: freewill. We have the freewill to choose how we handle ourselves.
People know the difference between right and wrong. It’s just so dang hard to be good sometimes, right? Well, fortunately for us, Jesus has made it pretty simple. He said:
“… Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. Matthew 11:25-30
Yes, being obedient means being submissive. Being submissive is never easy, but being obedient to our authority figures in the tough times will always make us stronger. Bottom line is – as Jesus said above: You can go to Him and He’ll give you rest. He will give you strength.