The Conflict Within
Are you responsive to and controlled by the Holy Spirit? Galatians 5:16 in the Amplified Bible states, “But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God). Ask yourself this question: is your flesh controlling you?
Do you find yourself doing the things that you know you should not do? If this is you, then you are not alone. Verse 17 says, “For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the [Holy] Spirit, and the [desires of the] Spirit are opposed to the flesh (godless human nature): for these are antagonistic to each other [continually withstanding and in conflict with each other], so that you are not free but are prevented from doing what you desire to do. Yes, there is literally a fight going on inside of us. There is a voice of good (God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit), the flesh or godless human nature, and a voice of evil (devil and demons). How do you know which voice is talking to you? God speaks to us by our human spirit. For we are spirit, soul, and body. The spirit of man is the real you and your body is just the house that you live in. The enemy contacts us or operates through our soulish realm, which is your mind, will, and emotions. Then there is the flesh, which finds things that appeal to our five physical senses. It constantly wants to be gratified and acts out through the body.
What is the key to getting the victory? First, we must renew or wash out our minds with the word of God. We do this by reading the word. When we get an understanding of what Jesus taught, said, and did in the word, then we will know when another voice comes that is not in line with His teachings. This is particularly important in distinguishing and discerning between that which is good and that which is evil. The flesh or body you will have to put under or not let it have its way. You may need to physically fast to get that little beast under the control of your human spirit. But know that 2 Corinthians 10:5 tells us that we are to cast down thoughts, theories, arguments, and reasonings that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God that is in Christ Jesus. We must learn to bring our thoughts in line and obedience to Christ. However, demons need to be cast out of our minds through our words. James 4:7 tells us to submit to God, then we get to resist the devil and flees from us. That means that they will run from you as in terror.
Particularly important is understanding through scripture the difference between the workings of flesh and the Holy Spirit. Galatians 5:19-21 in the Amplified Bible shows us the flesh by saying, “Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear (obvious): they are immorality, impurity, indecency, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness, divisions (dissensions), party spirit (factions, sects with peculiar opinions, heresies), Envy, drunkenness, carousing and the like. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. Understand that the workings of the flesh are not demons. So, you cannot cast them out. Although, the enemy can hook up with these areas of the flesh and make them worse. But these learned behaviors or natural fleshly tendencies have to be washed out by the washing of the water of the word. Then once the scriptures that you read venture past your brain and into your heart, the Holy Spirit will bring them back to your remembrance as the tests and trials of life arise. At that moment, you will have the opportunity to choose which voice you will respond to and obey.
However, verses 22-24 help us to see the work of the Holy Spirit. It states, “But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience, (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge]. And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.” Know that the Holy Spirit is our helper, and He will teach and guide us through every temptation if we let Him! In fact, in paraphrasing 1 Corinthians 10:13, we see that every time we are tempted, the Lord provides us with a way of escape. If we do not ignore the opportunity, we will have a way to win in every test and trial. Now let us pray and ask the Holy Spirit to help us take our way of escape today!!!