Why am I writing this blog post today? I don’t know, it just came to me. Maybe this is for you, maybe it is for me. Let’s just see where it goes.
When you think about the vices that weigh most people down, you really have to place the blame on our inability to tame our flesh and rise above the primal desires that were designed into these mortal bodies we live in. Financial issues, non-medical obesity, adultery, laziness, theft, the need for the next electronic gadget; all of these things relate to an issue with controlling our fleshly desires for things, physical pleasure and comfort.
This is not just a modern day issue. Even the apostles had to deal with these issues. Look at what Jesus said to them. It was the night that Jesus would be betrayed by Judas Iscariot (sold him for some silver coinage). Jesus had took his closest disciples with him up on the hill to pray, but they fell asleep instead. Mark 14:37-38 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,”he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Bible.com) After all the miracles of healing, casting out demons, feeding the multitudes and walking on water, how could these guys fall asleep when Jesus asked them to pray?
At some point in your life you are going to have to decide that you are not going to give into the desires for things that bring no lasting benefit to you physically, spiritually, or emotionally. Sometimes you also have to decide if something that will benefit you physically is really beneficial to you in the complete sense of your personal wellness when the spiritual and emotional benefits must also be included in the calculation. The most obvious answer to which of these three things is most important relies heavily on the fact that our spiritual well-being has eternal consequences. Doing anything for momentary pleasure or short term benefit, without first thinking of the long term consequence, can have long lasting impact on ones life. Especially if those short lived pleasures are partaken of frequently.
In the book “Smart Money Smart Kids”, Rachel Ramsey states that winning with money means “learning patience, delayed gratification, and contentment” (p. 201). I would contend that these principles are important for winning in many areas of ones of life. Yet, these principles of living are not necessarily strengthened by the fact that we are advertised to almost constantly by all these electronic devices all around us. Then these advertisements put small subconscious messages in our minds that tell us that these things we see are acceptable and normal to have or do. I’m not saying these things are all bad, they are probably not. But the problem comes when you start to think that you must have these things to be content with life.
This is why we must continually be mindful of why we are doing the things we do each day. What is the real reason why you are going to buy that new iPhone? What is the real reason why you are eating that third plate full of spaghetti? What is the real reason why are are dashing on a little extra cologne today? We must make sure that our actions are being governed by something other than our own flesh. Sometimes you can’t follow your own heart or your mind alone, but you should have your heart, mind and the Spirit working together to make the bigger decisions in life.
The apostle Paul in the book of Romans says it this way; “Romans 8:7 The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so.” (Bible.com) Knowing this, that the flesh is not able to submit to the law, our Lord the creator sent His son Jesus in the flesh to be a sin offering. Because Jesus, in the form of sinful flesh, was sacrificed as an offering for our sins, if we believe in Jesus he will be faithful to send His Spirit to us to help us make the right decisions in life. Our job then is to make sure the we are listening when the Spirit is guiding us.