He ran helter-skelter not minding if he carried his garment along. He saw a glorious future and decided not to sacrifice his destiny on the altar of temporal fleshly passion. Unlike many young men and women who give in easily when lured by the opposite sex, his approach was to forcefully leave the seduction ambience – his master’s wife bedroom, before he incurs the wrath of God and his master. Unfortunately and fortunately for him, he was falsely accused and ended up being behind the bars. At 30, from prison, he became a prime minister in a foreign land and savior of the land and neighboring nations when famine set in.
Another young man was already a king in Israel and was God’s favorite. He was meant to support his nation’s army in the battle field, but got himself entangled with someone else’s wife after watching her bath in the open and was connected to the murder of her husband. He couldn’t bear the guilt of committing adultery and murder thereafter and not even his prayer for forgiveness could stop the death of the first child he got after marrying the widow. Little did he realize that an idle moment can trigger fleshly appetites and desires, which can result in devastating consequences. Many people struggle with different kinds of fleshly passions and desires aside from the examples I have narrated. The Amplified version of the Bible describes flesh as godless human nature. This nature is meant to be crucified when a person receives Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.
“And those who belong to Christ Jesus (the Messiah) have crucified the flesh (the godless human nature) with its passions and appetites and desires.” (Galatians 5:24)
What does it mean to crucify the flesh? Is it to construct a cross to nail or bind drunkenness, idolatry, immorality, anger, indecency and other works of the flesh as listed in Galatians 5:20-21? In Colossians 3:5 (Amplified Classic Version), Paul admonishes us to: “…kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness…).” And in Romans 8:13, we are told that the Holy Spirit helps a believer to kill fleshly appetites:
“For if you live according to [the dictates of] the flesh, you will surely die. But if through the power of the [Holy] Spirit you are [habitually] putting to death (making extinct, deadening) the [evil] deeds prompted by the body, you shall [really and genuinely] live forever.”
So, deeds of the flesh result in spiritual death (separation from God) and crucifying the flesh means putting aside every form of godless human nature – the old self (See Ephesians 4:22) through the help of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will never encourage you to watch pornography, tell a lie, sleep with someone you are not married to or engage in any other habits and practices that offend God. The Holy Spirit transforms the spirit of the believer and speaks against deeds of the flesh through the Bible, His servants and one’s conscience.
You can receive the Holy Spirit and maintain a relationship with Him to always overcome fleshly lusts by receiving Jesus Christ into your heart (John 1:12; Revelation 3:20). Say this prayer of salvation: Lord Jesus, I accept that I am a sinner. Forgive me of my sins. Come into my heart. I receive You as my Lord and Savior and I receive Your eternal life. I believe that You came, died for me and rose again to save me. Conform me to Your likeness. I declare that I am born again. Amen!
By Sunday Omori