Recognizing Attacks By The Flesh
I once worked as the manager of the service department of a computer company. When someone brought in a computer they would describe what was wrong, the symptoms. The first thing we did for them was run diagnostics. This enabled us to understand the root problem causing the symptoms.
Problems are a regular part of our Christian lives. We get anxious and fearful. We get discouraged and depressed. We have desires to do things we know are wrong and all too often give in to those desires and sin. There are times when the problems are so intense that it seems like our Christian life is broken!
Wouldn’t it be great if we could run diagnostics to understand why we have these problems? For some of the problems we can! One type of problem all Christians face is when one of our three spiritual enemies attack us. It’s possible to learn how to recognize when they attack us. Let’s look at the attacks by the flesh.
Recognizing The Attacks By The Flesh
The flesh, which is our inclination to sin attacks us with moods and desires according to Galatians 5:24-25. Those who belong to Christ and walk by the Spirit can learn to put to death the flesh with it’s moods and desires. We can’t do that if we don’t know what they are!
What are the attacks by the flesh? Paul lists many of them for us in Galatians 5:19-21.
Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.
The phrase “the works of the flesh are evident” is the key to understanding this passage. When we have a desire to do any of the things in this list Paul says it’s the flesh that is producing the desire.
Examples of Attacks By The Flesh
- When you get angry and want to lash out at someone
- When an evil sexual desire pops into your mind
- When you are jealous of something good that happened to someone you know
- When you have feelings of hostility to others
- When you have feelings of resentment and care only about what you want
Today as you go through the day, pay attention to your moods or desires. If you start to get angry or jealous or anxious ask yourself the question, “Where is this desire coming from?” You know it isn’t coming from God. The same is true from all of the desires related to the deeds of the flesh above.
You don’t have to let any of these desires have a place in your thoughts! In our next post we’ll discuss how to have victory over the flesh.
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