Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Reality of the Struggle Against Flesh

It suddenly became so real - the desires of the flesh, the struggle, and the results or deeds thereafter.

Pastor Chris gave us a very apt and timely sermon today - important lessons from the experience of our 40-day fast.

I did not realise the 40 days is going to be so hard, and I am not even going on a full fast. During the past month, I have been irritable, testy and quick-tempered. I became apathetic about things, jaded about life.

On the 2oth day of the fast, the towel was almost thrown in. I was so tired while driving back from work that I "logically" worked it out in my mind that I might as well give up. I blamed everything on the fast. And it is "logical" that I give it up so that thing will become normal again.

I sent Pastor a text message but his reply was simple - hang on.

When I arrived home, I sank myself into the sofa. In a slumped position, I tried to come to my senses. I soon began to realise how much I depended on the things of the flesh. The drawing and pulling of the desires of the flesh is so strong. And it is so real. But it made no sense because at least for me, I was not even on a full fast. My daily hunger and thirst is still being satisfied albeit without meat. Yes, the temptations and desires of the flesh is senseless but very real.

Today's reading was taken from Gal 5:16-24.

Galatians 5:16-24 (NASB)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. 17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. 19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

From my experience, I think I have gained new understanding about the desires of the flesh that Paul writes so much about. The results of the flesh are certainly evident from what I have been going through - the sudden unexplained anger, the sinful thoughts, the sense of giving in and giving up - exactly what Paul had said would happen because of the desires of the flesh.

Normally, we would live day in day out satisfied. But the moment one of the desires of the flesh is withdrawn, the repercussion is immediately felt. The flesh screams and howls for attention. Dousing all logic and reason, principles and truth, it demands for fulfilment. How then can we stand up and deny the flesh? I remember the words of the faithful people of God:
Not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit, says the Lord.
(Zech 4:6)

Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with
distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I
am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Cor 12:10)
And Jesus said,

If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me will find it. What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father's glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
(Matt 16:24-27)


  1. "But this I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh" Galatians 5:16 Praise God for His word!!!!