JESUS’ REMEDY FOR FLESHLY PROBLEMS
Last week we talked about crucifying the flesh. Let’s now look at more practical ways of actually doing it.
Matt 5:29-30 If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. NKJV
Wow, Jesus was quite graphic. He was pretty direct in His instructions on how to deal with your flesh. What did He mean? Of course He wasn’t saying to literally pull your eye off nor cut your hand off, that’s symbolic. He was saying that sometimes it will hurt you to deal with your fleshly lusts and appetites just about as much as it would to cut a part of your physical body. It will be painful to your flesh to put these cravings away from you. That’s why the Bible uses the words crucify and mortify; it is not pleasant, it hurts the flesh.
Jesus emphasized that you are the one who has to pluck out the evil tendencies, lusts, appetites and cravings of your own flesh and put them away from you. God is not going to do that for you. Neither do you need a “spirit of lust” cast out of you. You can deal with it yourself. God will strengthen you and encourage you of course, but He will not do it for you.
Brother Hagin used to tell of a woman who would come down to the altar to pray. She would really cry and every now and then she would yell: “Take it away from me. You know I don’t want it.” And then she would scream out loud. She did this Sunday after Sunday after everyone had left. Finally, brother Hagin asked her, “What is it you don’t want?” She answered: “That old snuff.” Brother Hagin explained that God wasn’t going to take away the snuff from her, but she would have to crucify her own flesh. She said she couldn’t give it up. She wanted some kind of short cut. But the fact is she’s the one who needed to throw that stuff away and fill that void with the Word of God.
I heard of yet another woman who used snuff. She was actually John Osteen’s mother (Joel Osteen grandmother.) She used snuff throughout her married life. Her husband died. Later she met a man who liked her. His only condition for their getting married was that she gives up on that snuff. Do you know she did it? She got rid of it fast and married that man. She wanted him bad enough to cast that stuff away. She considered herself too special for that snuff.
Carnal desires including physical addictions will always try to dominate you if you don’t do something about them yourself. Romans 6:11-12 tells us to “consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus. 12 Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions.”Amplified Bible.
The Message translation says of Rom. 6:12-14 That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. 13 Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time — remember, you’ve been raised from the dead! — into God’s way of doing things. 14 Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God. (from THE MESSAGE.)
Many fleshly problems control people’s lives because they want them. But we need to know that we can rebel against those urges and tendencies and simply say no. Cut them off and refuse to entertain them. Just like its your right and responsibility to go out and vote this week, it is also your right and responsibility to vote against the flesh and vote for walking in the spirit. Amen.