There is a war occurring in every Christian. Fleshly desires of the sin nature besiege the redeemed soul. The battle can be exhausting. Here’s how to win.
1 Peter 2:11 “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;”
A new nature was born within you when you trusted Christ. Your soul was cleansed of sin and conveyed the righteousness of Christ. It wants to please God in all things and cannot sin.
Your flesh did not get converted when your soul did. It has the same old desires. Your body doesn’t care what God wants or about your general welfare. Lust takes what it wants without concern for consequence.
[shareable]Fleshly lusts grow when you feed them, but they weaken when you deny them.[/shareable]
As you strive to live for God today, your flesh cries out for attention. It desires the exact opposite of your new nature. You will never grow as a Christian if you don’t learn how to fight this battle wisely.
This verse reminds us of three concepts to help us overcome fleshly lusts.
1. Dearly Beloved
Love is the opposite of lust. Love cares for the welfare and needs of others. Remember how much God loves you today. Recall what Christ went through to deliver you from sin. As much as God loves you, He hates sin and what it does to you.
Think of all the people who love you. Family, friends, church members, pastors, and teachers love you and want God’s best for you. You have a lot of reasons to say NO to sin. Love is a stronger motivator than lust.
2. Strangers and Pilgrims
As the song says, “This world is not my home. I’m just a-passin’ through. My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue.”
When you were born again through faith in Christ, you became a citizen of Heaven. You are like a traveler passing through this life on his way Home. Don’t give this world your heart. Set your affection on things above.
3. Abstain From Fleshly Lusts
This is the only way to win the battle raging inside you. Every time you give into temptation, it intensifies the war against your righteous soul. The place of peace, joy, love, goodness, satisfaction, blessing, etc. within you takes a direct hit each time you sin.
Fleshly lusts grow when you feed them, but they weaken when you deny them.
Jesus said that to be His disciple one must deny himself, take up His cross, and follow Him. It’s time to get serious about it.
The only way to defeat the flesh is to deny it through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Say NO to fleshly lusts and say YES to God today!
[callout]“Lord Jesus, I don’t want a hard heart. Please forgive me of my sin. Deliver me from even the smallest sins that harden my heart. Use your Spirit and your Word to soften me to thy tender mercies and gracious blessings. Restore unto me the delight of doing thy will. Amen.'[/callout]
Today’s Bible Reading: Hebrews 3
Read this devotional series from the beginning here.