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No ‘Body’ Is Going to Tell Me What to Do

Jesus said that He has given us power over all the power of the enemy. There are three fronts on which our battle is fought – the flesh, the world, and the devil. If we win the battle on the flesh front the others lose their effectiveness.

The first place that we have been given authority is over our own flesh! We have authority over our flesh!

Our spirit has been made alive!

Ephesians 2: 1-10

1 And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins,
2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience,
3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.
4 ¶ But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,
9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

When man sinned his spirit died and his soul (mind, will, and emotions) took over.

Then, because man’s thoughts became “only evil continually” (Genesis 6: 5) his flesh was completely out of control.

God created us as flesh and blood – with legitimate desires of the flesh. But the flesh was designed to be always under subjection to the spirit. When the flesh is not in subjection to the spirit it is out of control.

“For as many as are led (and controlled) by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” – Romans 8: 14

Now that we are born again and our spirit has been made alive we have authority – and with that authority, the personal responsibility – to command our flesh. We should no longer be servants of our flesh – but our flesh should become our servant as we live for God.

Romans 12: 1 – 2

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

We now have authority to say, “Sin shall not have dominion over me” (Romans 6: 14) and so because we have been given authority, we also have personal responsibility to ensure that I don’t “…let sin reign in my mortal body” (Romans 6: 12)

That is why fasting is such a powerful tool in conjunction with prayer – because it is your spirit taking authority over your flesh and telling it when it can or cannot eat!

Jesus said that there are some kinds of demonic stronghold that can only be broken by the level of spiritual authority that results from prayer and fasting – the power twins!

Personally, I have realised that – unpleasant as it may be – I have to acknowledge that my flesh LOVES to sin!

There is a part of me which left to its own devices will always gravitate towards self indulgence and self interest – SIN!

It is as I acknowledge my susceptibility to sin that I am prompted to take seriously my personal responsibility to exercise spiritual authority and mortify, crucify, and put to death my sinful (out of control) desires and appetites, while still enjoying the pleasures of Spirit-led and Spirit-controlled legitimate desires and appetites.

This is the key to balance. Sin is generally the out of control and insatiable pursuit of what is really a God-given desire or appetite. When God’s order is restored in our lives – spirit, soul, and body – then we are free to enjoy life to the full without hurting ourselves or anyone else in the process!

Luke 4: 1 – 13

1 Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
2 being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry.
3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” – THE FLESH
4 But Jesus answered him, saying, “It is written, `Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.'”
5 Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
6 And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.
7 “Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours.” – THE WORLD
8 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Get behind Me, Satan! For it is written, `You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.'”
9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.
10 “For it is written: `He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you,’
11 “and, `In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.'” – THE DEVIL
12 And Jesus answered and said to him, “It has been said, `You shall not tempt the LORD your God.'”
13 Now when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from Him until an opportune time.

Jesus met with temptation on the 3 battlefronts:

the flesh; the world ; and the devil

If you win on the battlefront of the flesh then the world and the devil are no real threat.

When Jesus resisted the temptation to feed His flesh outside of God’s Word He was saying, “I would rather starve to death than step out of My Father’s will for My life”. Likewise, the devil lost any opportunity to control Paul the day he established in his life “For me to live is Christ to die is gain” (Philippians 1: 21).

The LAW revealed to us that there is only one way to deal with sin – put it to DEATH!

In the parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15) there is a clear picture of the truth that there is only one way to truly enjoy kingdom life – and that is to live in close intimate relationship with our heavenly Father.

There is no peace for the carnal christian (who has a handle on grace but has no genuine fear of the Lord) or the hardline religious zealot (who has no handle on grace and so remains at a distance because of his irrational fear of the Lord).

You can imagine the two brothers taking pot shots at one another from their distant corners. In fact, you can see the younger brother as he blows his inheritance in his descent into the pigpen, writing letters to the older brother telling him that he doesn’t know what he is missing.

Maybe they would communicate with each other through the local press, with the older brother pontificating self righteously about the younger brother’s prodigal ways.

I wonder how many younger sons never make it back from the far country – but instead develop an appetite for pig food regardless of its inability to satisfy. Every country dweller knows that you soon get used to the smell!

The truth is that your flesh doesn’t ever want to live for God – it won’t ever want to submit to God or put God first!

The scary thing is that your flesh may want to parade itself on a platform preaching to the crowds – it may want to perform signs and wonders and receive the acclaim and applause of men.

It is this fact that makes sense of Matthew 7 – “I never knew you” – it is this that Paul was addressing when he said in 1 Corinthians 9: 27, “I keep under my body, and bring [it] into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” It was this anomaly that Paul was speaking about in Philippians 1: 15 – 17, “15 Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from good will: 16 The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains; 17 but the latter out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.”

As you read on into 1 Corinthians 10, which is an unbroken continuation of chapter 9, it becomes clear that faithful perseverance in pressing in to know Him in real intimate relationship is the only guarantee of enjoying the fruit of the promised land.

1. Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea;
2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea;
3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat;
4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.
5 But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.
6. Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.
7 Neither be ye idolaters, as [were] some of them; as it is written, The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
8 Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
9 Neither let us tempt Christ, as some of them also tempted, and were destroyed of serpents.
10 Neither murmur ye, as some of them also murmured, and were destroyed of the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.
13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].
14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, flee from idolatry.
15. I speak as to wise men; judge ye what I say.
16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?
17 For we [being] many are one bread, [and] one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.
18 Behold Israel after the flesh: are not they which eat of the sacrifices partakers of the altar?
19 What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or that which is offered in sacrifice to idols is any thing?
20 But I [say], that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God: and I would not that ye should have fellowship with devils.
21 Ye cannot drink the cup of the Lord, and the cup of devils: ye cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table, and of the table of devils.
22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? are we stronger than he?
23. All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

We must live out of our born again spirit – submitting to God and resisting the devil!

The cry of Paul’s heart was “to know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death” (Philippians 3: 10)

You can’t have a resurrection until there is a death, and so it is impossible to experience resurrection power until our flesh dies.

“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin, that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh for the lusts of men, but for the will of God” (1 Peter 4: 1 – 2)

“…We were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life…he who has died has been freed from sin…consider yourselves to be dead indeed to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 6: 4, 7, 11)

This is and always has been the key to walking in daily personal revival. When the flesh is dead the world and the devil have nothing to work with. Why? Because dead men don’t sin!

Be blessed as you “put on the new man which was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4: 24)

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One Response to "No ‘Body’ Is Going to Tell Me What to Do"

  1. Tea says:

    SIN: Self-INdulgence, Self-INterest

    Thanks for the great teaching!

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