It Is Either Flesh Or Grace

After an older cousin read my first book he said, “You can’t be so dogmatic.” Dogmatic means: inclined to lay down principles as incontrovertibly true. Isn’t that how the Bible is? The truth of God’s word cannot be altered or changed in any way. We have to remember that Jesus is Truth and He does not change. John 14:6 says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life…”

Romans 8:5 is an absolute truth that we do well to remember. It is an either or verse for me. It says, “For those who live according to the flesh, set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.” Galatians 5:17 broadens it, saying, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another…”

I love this picture that illustrates the word contrary. In your mind I want you to see two magnets turned opposite of each other. The magnetic field is contrary. They cannot mesh together. There is an unseen power force between them.

Here is another verse. 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, that you may inherit a blessing.” Peter helps us see what Jesus did when He was reviled. 1 Peter 2:23 says, “Who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously.”

Here is a verse that helps me. It was in a dialogue between God and Abraham. Genesis 18:25 says, “…Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Yes He will. I lean on this verse when I am praying for our nation. It is a way that I am training my heart to commit myself to the Lord when I see injustice!

Our flesh is contrary to the working of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Hidden lies feed our flesh. They permeate our thought processes unknowingly.  Here is great news. Lies are exposed and uprooted through the work of the Holy Spirit. He knows what lies are hidden. He knows what is driving our words and actions that are contrary to truth. We don’t.

It all begins with our thoughts. If our intention is self-serving, it is rooted in a lie. Hebrews 4:12 says that God’s word discerns our self-driven intentions. He uses His scalpel with precision while we read His word daily. Your hidden flesh rises up in protest when His word confronts it with truth.

The next time you react in your flesh, I encourage you to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal the hidden lie. All lies have a root system. They intertwine. We are absolutely dependent on the Holy Spirit to reveal what holds us captive, and He is the One Who will set us free.

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