To The One Who Struggles With The Flesh

Tired. You know the feeling. You can’t wait to get in bed, curl up underneath warm blankets, and just go to sleep. But your mind has other ideas. You’ve been exhausted for the entire day, but all of a sudden your mind decides that it’s time to make up for its lack of activity all day long. And now? It. Just. Won’t. Stop. Welcome to my life!
It happens to me all the time. My mind is turning, and then, to my dismay, doubts begin to creep in. I doubt myself. I doubt my career choices. Is this really God’s plan for me? Does my husband love me? All of these things are running through my head. And then something else happens. The spirit side of me puts up a fight against these thoughts.
My spirit says,
“Yes, this is God’s will.”
“You are so loved.”
“You are blessed.”
“You are called to do amazing things.”
So here I am. I’m supposed to be falling asleep, dreaming of little lambs in fields of flowers, but instead I’m caught in war between my flesh and my spirit. Somebody please tell me I’m not the only one!
It’s not news to anyone that this spiritual battle never ends. The Bible talks about wars been the spirit and the flesh. . .
“So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.” Galatians 5:16-18
Paul is talking to the churches in Galatia trying to explain the same thing to them. The flesh wages war against the spirit all day, every day. Paul was writing to these churches because they were facing a serious problem: the truth of justification by faith rather than by human works was being denied by the Judaizers. They were insisting that Christians keep the Mosaic Law. In other words, convert to our ways, follow these rules, do these things, and then you are allowed to be a Christian.
Don’t we face the same issue today? We are always trying to perform and be good enough for salvation, when, in reality, it is no longer necessary. Just ask my husband…my flesh is evil. It rears its ugly head in ugly ways. My flesh is self-centered, self-seeking, impatient. It is NEVER satisfied. It is greedy for more money, a bigger house, a nicer car. More, more, MORE. I know we’ve all been there.
I always used to feel guilty for feeling this way. I felt so much shame because I was always wanting more. I thought I was wrong for constantly having to fight. But I soon realized that it was just my flesh being fleshly. All of those thoughts and feelings were natural, but I didn’t need to keep entertaining them. So, instead of feeling guilty, I began to thank God for giving me His spirit to combat them.
Yes, it is a daily battle. Daily, we make the decision to fight. But how? With the living, breathing, inspired Word of God. His Word is powerful! It has more power than I could ever imagine. It truly is a two-edged sword that He has equipped us with. He wants us to fight. In fact, He commands us to fight.
And as daughters of the King, we have to put on our armor daily because the devil is constantly looking for ways to come at us. He is analyzing us, just waiting for an opportunity to use our weaknesses against us. For me, my weakness was never drugs, alcohol, or even boys. It was my mind. It was my thoughts.
The devil knew that the thing I struggled most with was doubting myself and God’s calling on my life. I would be on fire for God, ready to storm hell with a water pistol, and BAM! Doubt runs at me, knocking me off my feet.
“Was it really God leading me?”
“Was it just me doing what I wanted?”
“There’s no way God would call someone like me to do a task like this.”
From there I fell in to a downward spiral of doubt until I hit the bottom. Completely defeated. I would end up convincing myself that I couldn’t do it. I did my best to remove it from my mind all together. I tried at least. But God always has a way of speaking and reminding us of His promises.
He reminds us that He is faithful.
The harsh truth is that this battle between flesh and spirit will never end here on earth. But the joyful, better truth is that we have an eternity full of Jesus and His goodness to look forward to. Until then, we have His love and faithfulness here on earth to help us fight those feelings that are contrary to His truth.
So here I am wide awake at midnight. I should be well into a pretty awesome dream, but I’m not. I’m still struggling with uncertainty if I’ve made the right decisions, but I’m going to pick up my Bible, turn on some Elevation Worship, and meditate on the goodness of God.
I’m going to look over at my handsome, sleeping husband and thank God for someone who cares so deeply for me and loves me at my worst because I remember past sleepless nights that I prayed for a man like him. I’m going to look at the ceiling above me and thank God I have a roof over my head. I’m going to take a deep breath and thank Him for my health. I’m going to close my eyes and drift off to sleep and start all over again tomorrow at six a.m.

Much love,
Whitney Dawn <3

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