DAILY DEVOTIONALS BY PASTOR BILL MUIR
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We are to be led by the Spirit. And the Spirit guides us into truth by speaking to us the word of Christ (John 16:13; Romans 10:17). The flesh leads us by carnal and selfish desires (1 John 2:16). Only Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:68). That’s why,
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all.” John 6:63
That’s also why Paul tells us,
“…walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” Galatians 5:16–17
And that’s also why Paul says,
“For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.” Romans 8:13–14
God’s children are those who follow the leading of God’s Spirit by heeding Jesus’s living word (Hebrews 4:12; John 6:68).
When it comes to resisting the powerful demands of our weak flesh, the Bible describes it as a kind of dying (1 Peter 2:24). That’s because our deceived, corrupt flesh believes our life will be happier if we gratify it. Denying it can feel like dying to something life-giving.
We must remember every day that,
“… nothing good dwells in [us], that is, in [our] flesh.” Romans 7:18
When we, in following the Spirit’s direction, die to our flesh, we are dying only to what would destroy us, things like,
“… sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness …” Colossians 3:5
All we are dying to is death. That kind of dying is worth dying every day (1 Corinthians 15:31). For in such dying we choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19).
When our weak flesh seems to wield great power through its cravings and compulsions, we must watch and pray for the Spirit, for greater is he that is in the new (regenerated) us than he that is in the old us. All our sinful flesh will yield is death. But if by the Spirit we put our flesh to death, we will live (Romans 8:13).
Today, when your unruly flesh makes maddening demands on you, remember:
It will not kill you to die to your flesh.
You are choosing life.
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