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How To Keep The Flesh Under Subjection
Do you know that your body is not saved yet?
I didn’t. I gave my heart to Jesus when I was thirteen years old. But I noticed very quickly that, while a part of me desired God and the things of God, like reading my Bible and prayer, another part of me still wanted the things of the world, the things of the flesh. Am I the only one?
This was what really confused me at the beginning of my walk with Christ. And because of things which I did not understand, when I gave my life to the Lord Jesus Christ, I doubted my salvation for over a year. I am not joking.
This was because I was taught wrong somewhat. I use to sing in the youth choir at the church I attended and they sang a song that said, “I look at my hands and they looked new, I looked at my feet and they were too.
I thank God for that church, for because of its influence upon my life, through the preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ, I got saved. However, this song was wrong.
My hands were not new when I got saved. Nor did my feet get reborn. The only part of me that got saved was my spirit. My body did not change. And neither did yours.
This is why a person may feel like doing wrong, even after giving your life to Jesus. Even though you did undergo a change, a real, supernatural, Holy Ghost change within, nothing changed without.
And if you yielded to your flesh and sinned, the mental torture and sadness really hurts, because within, you know that you just want to please God. Am I right? Take heart, my bothers and sisters. God has made a way for us to control the ungodly desires of the flesh.
The body will one day experience change, and this mortal flesh, this death-doomed body of humiliation will one day be changed and glorified to conform to the body of our Master, the Lord Jesus Christ (Phil. 3:20-21; 1 Cor. 15:50-58).
But until then, we must go to the Word of God and find out what we are supposed to do with our bodies so that they do not sway and deter us from the Will of God, and back into old modes of operation, from our past lives.
Have you been having any problems with your flesh? Does your body, at times, still want to do things you know are not right, things which does not line up with God’s Word. We all can identify with this, can’t we?
Maybe you came out of a life of fornication, which is sex outside of marriage. Now you are saved. You have given your life to the Lord Jesus Christ and experience the power of His cleansing blood washing your sins away and making your spirit a new creation in Him. Oh, the wonder of it all. You are new, recreated and regenerated with the very life of God by the Spirit of the Living God. And for a time you reveled in His Presence. Yet after a time you started to feel a pull back to your old life.
Feelings of an ungodly sort start to try and entice you to do things you know God does not like. You wonder what it’s all about. You try to figure it out. You are disturbed. What’s going on, you begin to ask yourself? Am I really saved? I thought I was. People told me that I was. The person who prayed with me told me I was. And the enemy says to your mind, maybe you are not saved. If you were saved you would not be thinking such thoughts and desiring to do such things. Maybe your sins are not washed away.
Do not listen to that liar. The devil is a liar and the father of lies. Jesus said so (John 8:44).
If you gave your life to the Lord Jesus Christ, on the authority of God’s Holy Written Word, you are saved (Rom. 10:9-10).
The feelings you are experiencing is because your body, while already paid for by the blood of Christ, has not yet experienced its redemption. God, knowing this, therefore admonishes us to give our bodies to Him and yield it to Him, keeping it under control at all times.
Even the apostle Paul, who had several visitations from the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and had been caught up to the third Heaven and heard things unlawful for a man to utter, to whom came the revelation of Jesus Christ and who established churches for the Lord Jesus Christ, said he had to keep his body under subjection in 1 Corinthians 9:27. “But 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.”
Permit me to once again quote this passage of Scripture from the Amplified Bible.
“But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it but hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].” (9:27)
Why would the apostle Paul have to keep his body under subjection? He was saved, was he not? If there was anyone who had a real bona-fide and authentic experience with God, it was Paul. Yet he had to discipline his body by hardships and handle it roughly. He had to make his body obey God. Why would Paul have to do this, you may ask again? The answer is because his body had not yet experienced redemption. It was not saved. Paul was saved, but his body was not. And neither is yours.
Until the Master comes and our bodies are changed, you, like the apostle Paul, will have to buffet your body, handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships and train it to obey the Word of God. It will want to go contrary to God’s Will at times. But you must let your spirit, the real you, control that body and bring it under subjection. Don’t let your flesh rule your life. Sure, what it attempts to push you to do may seem like fun and feel like fun. But your flesh, if allowed to be in control, will in the end, destroy you and keep you from experiencing God’s best for your life.
Let me prove this to you from God’s Word in Romans 8:5-6, and 12-13, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to carnally (fleshly) minded is death: but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.”
What can we do with our flesh, you may ask? What is the answer for dealing it its ungodly passion and desires? How can we get victory over it? This I will cover in more detail in another article. But, for now, please hear as the apostle Paul give us the answer:
Romans 12:1, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
Here is how the Amplified Bible translate that verse:
“I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” (12:1, AMP)
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