The flesh is the world within us. The Greek word translated “flesh” is the word “sarx.” Its basic meaning is the self-life, where self not Jesus is on the throne of our life. It is the life where “I” am number one and where my will, my way and my desires come first.
Self cannot be domesticated. Salvation does not improve self! Christ did not come to improve self but to replace it. Self has no place in God’s economy. Self cannot be disciplined. However much we try to educate self, expose it to good moral teaching, or change it, self remains wild and deceitful. It is desperately wicked.
Self cannot be dedicated. How prone we are to try and do that. The accumulated result of the effort to dedicate self is a system that operates on selfish motivation and selfish rewards. We have in our churches acres and acres of dedicated self [which is not dedication at all]. Self will do anything before it will die. It will pray, work and tithe. It will teach a Sunday School class and become a deacon. It will even preach! It will steep itself in religious tradition to cushion itself against God. As long as self and Christ remain in the same heart there will be a war.
The works of the flesh are clearly stated in Galatians 5:19-21 and are such a contrast to the fruit of the Spirit. We must recognize that we have been [past tense] crucified with Christ [Galatians 2:20], and that when we became His children we died. Listen to Paul’s instructions in Romans chapter 6: Consider yourself dead to sin [v11]; Choose not sin [v19]; Choose to obey God [v18]. We choose to allow the Holy Spirit to rule over our minds and our bodies. As we walk in the Spirit, obeying His dictates and leading so we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh [see Galatians 5:16]. Holiness is living a life of victory over the flesh!
You may have said that you understand that our old sinful nature was crucified with Christ and that you have sought to follow the steps above to follow the Holy Spirit but there is a sin that continues to keep you in bondage and prayer does not seem to work. Are you prepared if necessary to seek help to set you free from what may have become a stronghold of the flesh and might even be demonic in nature?
Something to do:
Take time today to praise God and to thank Him for the victory that He has made possible over the sins of the flesh. Ask the Holy Spirit to fill you afresh