HOW TO DEAL WITH FLESHLY LUSTS
Dear brothers and sisters,
Last week we ended with a question. What are you going do with your own flesh? What manner of person are you in these last days where there is such urgency for us to be ready for the Master’s use?
Let’s begin with another question.Did you realize that your flesh has it’s own lusts? Your former way of life is lurking around you and looking for your attention.
Eph. 4:22 tells us that our old man has deceitful lusts. The flesh, the unredeemed nature of man has its own lusts because it is degenerate (it has never been born again.) Thus it has it’s own fleshly cravings.
Look at James 1:13-15.
“Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.” NKJV
According to this Scripture, it is the lust of a person’s own unredeemed nature that draws him or her into error. It’s the fruit of the flesh left unchecked or uncontrolled.
Eph. 2:2-3says, Among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others. NKJV
This is the way people that are not born again live. They conduct themselves in the lusts of the flesh,fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind. However, now that you’re born again, you have the Word and Spirit of God in you. You have the nature of God in your spirit. Your body may want to go back to fulfilling the same lusts it fulfilled before you were born again, but you don’t have to let it !
For example, if a young single man was used to having sexual relationships with women before he was saved, his flesh will want to keep right on doing that. What should he do? He needs to learn to keep his flesh under subjection to his spirit and walk in line with the Word of God because God does not condone sin. He has to crucify or mortify the deeds of the body. (Gal. 5:24, Col. 3:5.)Everyone of us, whether preacher or layman must learn to keep his/her flesh under subjection to the spirit.
To mortify means to kill, cause to be dead, or subdue. Mortifying or crucifying the flesh is something each believer must do for himself; God can’t do that for us. Brother, sister, you must subdue the lust of your own carnal fleshly nature!
Crucifying the flesh is not pleasurable, it’s a death to a way of life. The apostle Paul said, “I die daily.”(1 Cor. 15:31)He also said: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. 1 Cor. 9:27KJV
In other words, it doesn’t matter what your spiritual status is. You are not exempted from keeping the lusts of your flesh in control.
To be able to put your flesh in subjection, you must learn to close the door to Satan in your thoughts. If you fail in that area, you will always have problems with your flesh. But you can keep from entertaining unwholesome and unedifying thoughts. Thoughts may come and thoughts may persist, but thoughts that are not put into action die unborn. Its like the old saying: “You can’t keep birds from flying overhead, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.”
Brethren, you must learn to speak up the Word of God against evil unwholesome thoughts and actions. You must learn to deny your fleshly lusts. If you keep on thinking a certain way that is contrary to the Word of God, you will end up acting on those thoughts. If you keep on feeding your mind on dirty ungodly ideas from books, magazines, the web and media etc. you will end up acting on what you dwell on. Jesus had a remedy for fleshly problems. We’ll take a look at it next week. Till then, brethren, let’s keep our flesh tamed, disciplined and under control of our inner man.