The Christian life is war.
We have already looked at two of the Christian’s enemies and how to combat them. Satan seeks to distract and render you ineffective for the work of Christ. The world wants you to conform to their standards and keep the message of Christ to yourself. Both these enemies are formidable in their skill and ferocity. Yet they pale in comparison to the Christian’s ultimate and most deadly foe. This enemy will bring a Christian down faster and harder than Satan or this world. What we are talking about today is the flesh.
Make no mistake, there is no enemy the Christian faces today that is more dangerous than their own sinful flesh. The flesh, our sin nature, is an infected, diseased corpse that will rot our soul if left unchecked. Before Christ, we were totally and radically depraved. Every thought, motive, word and action were filtered through the lens of sin. We were incapable of choosing or even desiring the things of God. The wonderful truth is that Christ saved us from this nature and its consequences when He died and rose again. We are free from the slavery of our old nature, yet the effects and the struggles still remain. We are free from the consequences of our sin nature, but we still sin. We still fight against this body of death we are trapped in until our Savior brings us home.
Our flesh is a deadly foe. If left unchecked and unchallenged, it will infect us until the disease and rot firmly root themselves in our hearts. Pride, anger, selfishness, lust and hundreds of more sins will take over our lives if we allow them to. If we allow our sin to remain, it will grow and fester until the cancer reaches fruition and renders us useless for Christ and His kingdom. Ultimately, our flesh looks Christ in the eye and says “you aren’t worth the effort. This man here, that calls himself a Christian, he’s mine. I would rather do what I want than live for you.” Our sinful flesh mocks Christ and His sacrifice and claims to hold us in its grip. Our flesh desires nothing of God and subtly whispers in our ear, “feed me, just a little more. Make me stronger.”
So what does the Christian do? How do we fight this horrendous enemy that dwells within us? Are we helpless and doomed to a life of defeat and compromise? Consider this verse from Rom 8:12-13,
“So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”
Dear Christian, you stand in the gladiator pit with your flesh. It stands across from you and taunts you and your Savior. Are you gonna stand there and take it? Are you going to let your flesh make a mockery of your wonderful Jesus? Or are you gonna put the gloves on, pull the sword out, put the shield up, lock and load and fight? Show it something! Burn it, shoot it, drown it, hang it, mutilate it, beat it into bloody submission without mercy, chop it into pieces like Samuel to King Agag and make war with your sin. Come at it with blinding ferociousness because by heaven and hell you can be sure it’s coming at you. It wants to bloody you. It wants to make you its slave. It wants to kill you so you cut its head off and kill it first. Put. The. Flesh. To. Death. Don’t keep it as a pet. Don’t keep it as a prisoner. Kill it. Hate it like the rotting pile of excrement that it is.
Friend, you must hate your sin. You must despise it. It is separating you from a greater relationship with Jesus. Is He not worth the fight? Is He not worth the effort? Remember, you aren’t defeated. You aren’t held captive. Christ has given you the power through the Sprit to win this fight. You have the ability to overcome whatever sin is holding you captive right now. If you are in Christ, you are a new creation and nothing in this world has the power to hold you prisoner. Deny your flesh its desires and make war. Honor Christ and live for Him and make war. Put away the ungodliness and sin in your life and make war. Put to death the old man and its ways and cling to Christ and His righteousness. I guarantee you, He is worth it all.
Your flesh stands and mocks your Savior. It claims to have dominion over you. It says it is more important than Jesus. Simply put my Christian friend, put a bullet in its head. Make war.