There are days when we can feel as if we are being attacked at every turn. There are seasons when we are weary and battle-worn, hoping for some relief. Many times the enemies we face are not just from without but within our own hearts and souls. Are you battling an enemy today? Could you use a deliverer?
I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies. —Psalm 18:1-3
He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me. They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the Lord was my support. He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me. —Psalm 18:16-19
I know in my own life one of the greatest enemies I am confronted with and battle on a daily basis is my own sin and selfishness, the Bible refers to it as “my flesh”. It’s that part of me affected by sin and living in a fallen world. In Christ Jesus I am a new creation, with a redeemed heart and spirit alive to the ways and things of God. In Christ I have a new desire, motive and passion to live in a way which pleases God. But because I am still clothed in this body of flesh, I will still battle the flesh and its ways.
- My flesh lashes out in anger.
- My flesh has road rage.
- My flesh is impatient with others when I’m in a hurry.
- My flesh yells at my children.
- My flesh sees interruptions as obstacles.
- My flesh seeks its own way.
- My flesh wants praise.
- My flesh likes to overeat.
- My flesh complains about circumstances.
- My flesh is not grateful.
- My flesh likes to boast.
- My flesh criticizes others.
- My flesh judges others’ weaknesses.
- My flesh always wants to be right.
- My flesh does not accept constructive criticism.
- My flesh is selfish.
We deal with our flesh and its desires on a daily basis, in every aspect of our lives. The flesh is constantly ready to rear its ugly head and demand, “I deserve it my way” and “I have rights!”
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. —Galatians 2:20
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. —Philippians 1:21
According to Galatians 2:20 and Philippians 1:21, we are no longer to live for the flesh, but surrendered to Christ Jesus. Take a look at this list, composed by Elisabeth Elliot, of some of our rights that need to be surrendered. And she includes Scriptures to back it up!
- The right to take revenge — Romans 12:19-20
- The right to have a comfortable, secure home — Luke 9:57-58
- The right to spend money however we please — Matthew 6:19-21
- The right to hate an enemy —Matthew 5:43-48
- The right to be honored and served — Mark 10:42-47
- The right to understand God’s plan before we obey — Hebrews 11:8
- The right to hold a grudge —Colossians 3:13
- The right to “fit into” society — Romans 12:2, Galatians 1:10
- The right to do whatever feels good — Galatians 5:16-17, 1 Peter 4:2
- The right to complain — Philippians 2:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:18
- The right to put self first — Philippians 2:3-4
OUCH! There is no getting around that daily battle of dealing with our flesh. But we are not left without help. Jesus promised when he left earth that He would not leave His followers without help. Jesus is our help and deliverer every single day, in every single moment! Praise Him!
Apart from Jesus, not one of us can prevail for a moment. But united to him, we not only can prevail but will prevail. The Bible promises that “he who began a good work in [us] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1: 6). —James Montgomery Boice
But I am poor and needy; hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O Lord, do not delay! —Psalm 70:5
Spend some time reflecting on the verses from today and on the fact that God is your freedom. What attacks of the flesh are you battling today? Remember, in Christ Jesus we have been set free from the penalty and power of sin in our lives! In Christ Jesus your are a new creation, with a redeemed heart and spirit that is alive to the ways and things of God. Praise Him!
It’s my prayer that through this series we will, “from the rising of the sun to its setting”, focus on and praise our amazing God! We’ll take the Word for the day and think about it, ponder it, pray it and practice it. We’ll allow it to really SOAK into our hearts and lives. And then we’ll SHINE — boast, rave, praise and celebrate God’s presence in our lives, reflecting Jesus to those around us.
©2014 Susan Cady, susancady.com