The Spirit is Willing But The Flesh is Stronger

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What if the ‘trial’ is a sweet one?

I recently got delivered from a situation that I can only describe as a reverse-trial. And by that I don’t mean the opposite of a trial, or a blessing.. This was a reverse trial because it was not good for me, it was potentially destructive yet I wasn’t exactly fighting to get out of it. It wasn’t the usual fear, discouragement, sickness or lack, still it was a battle that I needed to win without a desire to fight it. I have always read scriptures like, you delivered me from evil, or you set my feet on solid ground as pertaining to deliverance from painful, unpleasant situations. What do you do if the situation is not unpleasant but it can lead to destruction? What if the scripture the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak feels more like the reverse- the spirit is willing but the flesh is stronger?
The flesh has its own strong desires that can overwhelm anything your spirit wants. It is strong and roots for gluttony, lust, laziness. The flesh enjoys these things and much as you want to get out of it, you are enjoying it so its even harder. Compare that to battling against fear, poverty, sickness etc. These things both our spirit and our flesh hate them and we can’t wait to be rid of it. How then do you deal with pleasurable trials?I learned some hard lessons during my trial.
1) Never underestimate the power of the mind, or the strength of the flesh.During a trial your mind and your flesh are going in an opposite direction to your spirit. The scripture says the flesh is at war with the spirit and wants the opposite of what the spirit wants. You are in an actual warfare and you need to pray and fight. You need to respect what your spirit wants as the truth and choose to go with it instead, even that takes an effort.

Gal 5:17 The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions.

2)Get off your high horse.

Christians need to get off their high horses by not being quick to judge others. The scripture Galatians 5;7 talks about the works of the flesh and the fruit of the spirit. Verse 21 Ends with those who practice such will not enter the kingdom of God. So what we do is immediately label any of the preceding acts as pertaining to ‘those in the world’. It doesn’t apply to us since we are not lustful, gluttons or lazy. The truth is that is a deceptive thought because that scripture was written in a letter to the church- you. Not to the world. It does apply to us. If Christians did not engage in such behaviour we wouldn’t have been warned against it. So next time you read that verse don’t skip down to the fruit of the spirit section.

Ecc 7:20 Not a single person on earth is always good and never sins.

1 John 1:8 If we claim we have no sin, we are only fooling ourselves and not living in the truth.

3)Your spirit is one with God.

This means you are not fighting on your own. God wants what’s best for you so he does not stand afar pointing an accusing finger at you. Ps 139 :8 Even though I make my bed in hell, you are there. No matter where our flesh leads us to, our father pursues us with his love. He goes with us, helping us, telling us to be strong. During that season I came across scriptures to do with what I was going through; devotionals were delivered to my inbox and sometimes even in conversation I was instructed or reminded of God’s presence in the situation. Only God saw the true picture yet not once did I feel He had left or condemned me.

Psalm 139:7 Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? vs 8 If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there…vs 11:I could ask the darkness to hide me and the light around me to become night– vs 12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you. To you the night shines as bright as day. Darkness and light are the same to you.

4) Create the right environment.

Is your battle with drugs or alcohol? Yes Christians have these battles too. Then create a safe environment for yourself by staying away from direct contact or triggers. If depression or loneliness triggers a return to a bad habit, recognise it and the minute you see it coming from afar, fight the depression and not the alcohol. Don’t allow yourself to fall and then attempt to start fighting from a fallen state.
Fill your mind with scripture, the word of God is life and would reignite the power and passion to fight along with the Lord. Play some praise and worship songs to lead you into God’s presence, for sin cannot stay where the presence of God is.

Prov 22:3 A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.

5) Ask for help!
If this trial is bigger than you can handle, enlist the help of a trusted friend. These days you can even engage with good Christians virtually via blogs and forums if you have no one you can confide in.
Prov 27:10 10 Don’t leave your friends or your parents’ friends and run home to your family when things get rough; Better a nearby friend than a distant family. (The Message)

6) Use wisdom

Finally, never, ever underestimate the power of the flesh, in the same way never, ever underestimate the power of God’s love.

Gen 4:7 You will be accepted if you respond in the right way. But if you refuse to respond correctly, then watch out! Sin is waiting to attack and destroy you, and you must subdue it.

Luke 22:31 “Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have all of you, to sift you like wheat. 32 But I have pleaded in prayer for you, Simon, that your faith should not fail. So when you have repented and turned to me again, strengthen and build up your brothers

Our trials always have a purpose and ultimately God is glorified through it. Jesus told Peter he would go through a time of testing or temptation, and even turn away (briefly) from God. But when he was done and had repented and turned back to God, he was to strengthen his brothers, perhaps because of the renewed strength that comes with repentance and also maybe by sharing his experiences.

If you’re going through a time of testing, and your flesh appears to be gaining ground, know that it is God’s will for you to come out victorious, and He is on your side.

I feel the need to share this song…

 

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