God’s word never changes. Joshua 1:8 says that we are to observe to do. Therefore, we need God’s wisdom to make His word applicable to our lives in our present situation. His wisdom will give us His perspective.
Before salvation, our flesh was unbridled and self ruled. Have you ever set your mind to do something and you were interrupted by someone else’s need? Did you react because your goal was blocked, or did you respond with spiritual flexibility?
Galatians 5:19-21 is a list of the works of the flesh. There are nine that pertain to fleshly attitudes: hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders. Verse 22 is the fruit of the spirit. It is visual, evident fruit of one who is controlled by the Holy Spirit. There are nine: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. It is an intentional contrast to help us recognize who is in control at any moment in our lives.
We are called to bless those who are reacting in their flesh. 1 Peter 3:9 says, “Not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this…” Our fleshly reactions are evil. We bless one who is walking contrary to the Lord by NOT reacting in our flesh. Flesh has no power over the flesh. 2 Corinthians 10:4 says that we don’t fight with our flesh. We fight through the power of God’s word. We take up our weapon of the opposite spirit which quenches the fight. Where there is no wood, the fire won’t burn.
When our agenda, desire, or will is blocked we have a choice. We can react in our flesh, or we can respond in our spirit. In that moment of decision, if we remember Who redeemed us and Who we serve, we will respond as the Lord would have responded.
Ephesians 4:20-21 is a great governor for our attitude and actions. It says, “But you have not so learned Christ, IF indeed you have heard from Him and have been taught by Him, as the truth is in Jesus.” The Lord uses our adversities to train us to conform our thoughts, purpose and actions to His will in all things.
Any fleshly reaction within us is an opportunity to right then die to ourselves. Our hidden flesh is reacting to another’s flesh. It’s a good thing. We wouldn’t have known that was an unyielded part of our inner being unless we reacted. When God’s word is hidden in our heart, we will not sin in the moment of that flesh-temptation. His truth has taught us to stand and to keep on standing. We stand strong in our spirit because it is fortified by His word written in our hearts.