Today’s Scripture: Romans 8:1-4 says:
Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in sinful man, in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit.
If you ask the average Christian, “What is the worst enemy of the Christian life?” the most common answer will be Satan. I do not want to diminish the fact that Satan is a strong adversary to the Church and the individual Christian, but he is not your greatest enemy. In these verses, Paul reveals your worst enemy. Your worst enemy is YOU! Each day you live, you carry your worst enemy around with you. Satan can momentarily be in a separate location from you. It is possible that, for the moment, there are no demons trying to influence your life. It is also possible to remove yourself from the influence of the world (television, movies, magazines, etc.) and be unaffected by it. But you can NEVER ESCAPE YOURSELF.
The enemy within is called the FLESH.
It is called the flesh because it is located in the body. We have possessed this nature since we were born into the earth and will not lose it until we die, or the rapture of the Church occurs. Our body does not change at the new birth; it travels with us from our old life into the new. Paul’s desire was to serve the Lord, but he found a problem present; his FLESH tried to block his spiritual progress. Paul’s Dilemma documented in Romans 7:21-23 says:
So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members.
Paul was just admitting that he was human, like you and me. He was being honest by telling us there were days he faced difficulty in his walk with God. Along with his desire to serve God was a desire to solve his own problems. He realized he had a problem, but did not realize he had an answer. What is the answer then?
THE ANSWER: A HIGHER LAW
Romans 8:5-8 says;
Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace; the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.
Dear beloved, We may have the nature of the flesh, but we also have the Holy Spirit living in us. Paul lets us in on a revelation: the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death (the nature of the flesh). The flesh is our enemy, but we have a greater ally or comrade in the Holy Spirit. By trusting in the guidance and leadership of the Holy Spirit, we are freed from the power and control of the flesh. The Holy Spirit does not remove the nature of the flesh but OVERRIDES its power or hold on our life. The flesh still exists, but it is POWERLESS to control our life when we are under the authority of the Holy Spirit.
CHECK THIS ANALOGY
An airplane does not eliminate gravity but can override it. With the combined law of thrust and lift, the airplane rises above the law of gravity and flies through the air. Gravity has not been eliminated. If you turn off the airplane engine, you will discover the law of gravity is still at work. The airplane will come down.
The same is true with the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus. When we walk by the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit we do not eliminate the power of the nature of the flesh, we override it. The greater power has set us free from the lesser power. If we stop walking in the Spirit, we are overtaken again by the power of the flesh, the law of sin and death. The flesh tries to imitate the Spirit. The nature of the flesh will tell you it can produce answers for you just as the Holy Spirit can. Yet, it is impossible for the flesh to produce spiritual answers. Your need of peace, joy, and love are all spiritual problems. They can only be solved by the production of the Holy Spirit in your life. Jesus told Nicodemus that the new birth had to come from the Holy Spirit.
“That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3:6).
Flesh can only produce flesh and Spirit can only produce spirit. Since the flesh is temporary and will die one day, it can only produce answers that will die also. Because the Spirit is eternal, it produces answers that are eternal. This is why Paul said, “…to be carnally (fleshly) minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace” (Romans 8:6). The flesh may produce an answer that looks like an answer from the Spirit, but the result is only temporary, it will die.
SUMMARY OF THE MATTER IS
If you’ve ever doubted that you can trust God, take heart. You are not alone. It may have been years since you have been waiting, be confident, God hasn’t forgotten about you If you have been talking to Him. Our impatience and despondency force us into sleepless nights and great negativity but
God never leaves us … we leave God because we are an impatient tribe of the human race. When you cannot understand God’s purpose and it looks like God is not doing anything to rescue you … learn to be still and trust the process. Do not be tempted to lean on your own understanding of the problem. God wants us to know Him and to trust Him with the plan. It may look impossible, but the worst it looks is the greater the victory. When God acts on our behalf then we will know that if it wasn’t for the shaking, we would not be ready for what God is making out of us. Destiny comes out of the difficult things we are forced to endure. Many are the afflictions of the righteous but the LORD delivers them out of it all. Everything we’ve been through is preparing us for greater things and destiny is about to be revealed.
To the faithful, God shows Himself faithful. When God seems silent let go of needing to know why. The expected end will make believers out of the doubters. It’s not like God didn’t promise that ALL things will WORK IN OUR FAVOR …it is that we did not listen to Him because of we became impatient and despondent.
OUR MIND CAN BECOME OUR WORST ENEMY. WATCH THOSE THOUGHTS, THEY BECOME OUR REALITY!