Have you ever noticed how the flesh is like a two year old? It wants what it wants and wants it now! Then in those times you do give in and give it what it wants it seems to only want more. There’s no satisfying it. According to the Bible we aren’t meant to satisfy it but rather mortify, or put it to death. We consider ourselves dead to the flesh and alive to the Spirit of God. We don’t focus on the flesh trying to fight it, instead we turn our attention to Christ in us and how he is our life now.
As a believer we are told we are one in the Spirit with Christ. “He that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.” “We are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you.” In other words the real you is your human spirit joined to God’s Holy Spirit so we are one with him. The flesh is the realm of self-effort or the realm of humanity apart from Christ. It’s living as if we are independent or according to our own power or life. The more I read the scriptures the more I realize humanity was never intended to operate apart from the Spirit of God but that is exactly what Adam attempted to do. There’s a problem with this though because humans aren’t able to operate independently. What really happened is he joined himself to another spirit, a spirit that desired to be “like God.”
As a lost man we are joined to the spirit of error, the spirit that now works in the children of disobedience. So, we are either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness but either way always a slave and never our own boss. That was the lie from the beginning, remember? If you eat this you will be “like” God. Since then mankind has been born deceived, thinking our lives are our own and we can live however we want to live. This is the mind of the flesh.
After we’re born again and the Spirit of God takes up residence within us the old spirit of error goes out but it doesn’t mean we can’t be tempted and drawn away. This is where the flesh comes in again. The enemy can’t get to us in our center where we are joined to Christ, but he will try anything to get us out into the flesh realm if possible. You see, the flesh itself isn’t the problem so much as the lie that we can live there and be okay. Once we find ourselves in the flesh realm we’re easy prey for the enemy. He gets us out there and starts twisting our thoughts and playing with our emotions. Soon we’ll start to believe all the lies he’s been telling even though we are joined to Christ in our spirit. As a believer we have to walk after the Spirit instead of the flesh because walking after the Spirit is the only way to not fulfill the desires of the flesh. We have to live according to what God says about us rather than letting our thoughts and feelings rule us.
Looking back on my days of using drugs and alcohol I now see it as a way of pacifying the flesh. I didn’t like how I felt or the thoughts I was having so the only thing I knew to do was numb them. Of course this isn’t the answer but when you’re operating apart from the Holy Spirit you’ll try anything that appears to work. The truth is it did work momentarily so I kept doing it and of course that’s what addiction is. The more you feed the flesh the hungrier it becomes and pretty soon it has completely taken over. There is only one real answer to this dilemma and his name is Jesus Christ.
It takes a supernatural intervention to really free someone from addiction. The spirit of a man has to be quickened by God’s Spirit. God designed us to be run from our inner man joined to his Spirit. Until that happens we’re only propping up the flesh which is destined to crash. We’re not meant to be lead around with our thoughts and feelings dictating our lives. God created us to be ruled by him from within. When we have those thoughts or feelings that tempt us to run to something like drugs as a pacifier instead we look to the Spirit for refuge. We determine Christ in us really is our only hope. When our childish flesh starts making demands we remind ourselves we are instructed “to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ.” The enemy holds out promises of comfort, peace and meaning that are only mere counterfeits, but Christ is the real solution the next time your flesh pitches a fit.
Written by Louie