"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would." Galatians 5:17
Have you ever heard the Native American wise tale about the two dogs? It goes like this- A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.
There is so much truth in this, but instead of there being two dogs inside of us the Bible says that it is the flesh and spirit that are constantly at war with each other. "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." (Galatians 5:17- NLT)
The key to overcoming the flesh is to stop feeding it! There is a natural principle that lets us know whatever we feed is what will live and grow. Feed a baby and it will grow, starve it and it will die. The same is true with plants, animals and any person.
So what are the things that we do that feed the flesh? When you give it everything it desires and withholds nothing from it, you are feeding it. When you sit for hours in front of the television, you are feeding it. When you neglect to fast, you are feeding it. When you sit at the computer playing games all evening, you are feeding it. When you stay in bed when it is time to go to church, you are feeding it. When you listen to gossip, murmuring and complaining- or engage in it yourself- you are feeding it. When you spend more time involved in entertainment then you do doing those things that will feed your spirit- like reading the Bible, prayer, worship and Christian fellowship- you are feeding your flesh. (These are just a few ways we feed our flesh, there are many others.)
There are three categories of people: 1) the ones who feed the flesh, 2) the ones who feed flesh and spirit, 3) the ones who feed the spirit. Feeding the flesh will never overcome it. Feeding the flesh and spirit together will never overcome the flesh. Starving the flesh by feeding the spirit more is what overcomes the flesh. We need to stop feeding the flesh and start starving it instead so that it will die. "Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry." (Colossians 3:5) Have a great day. The way to overcome the flesh is to stop feeding it.
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Coffee Break is a morning devotional written by Lorraine Ezell
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