Tug of War
Tug of War
Imagine your flesh and your Spirit in a game of tug of war. The flesh tugs hard on your rope attempting to pull you over the line into sin. The Spirit tugs back in an attempt to draw you away from the line in order to prevent sin and preserve your life. The flesh tempts us into sin and leads to death while the Spirit never tempts us and gives us life. God never desires to see any of His children experience death due to sin. So the Spirit will oppose the flesh and remain in the game as long as you desire to play. And depending on your desires, a game could last a lifetime.
But what would happen if you let go of the rope and decided that you did not want to play with your flesh any more? What would happen if you decided to turn away from your desires and crucify your flesh? In a game of tug of war, if one side lets go of the rope while the other side is pulling, the side that is pulling will fall down and the side that had let go will remain standing. When you let go of the desires of your flesh, when you release it, the flesh loses its power and ability to pull you towards sin. When you let go, you will not fall but you will stand in victory. When you let go, you are no longer at risk for harm or death. When you let go, you are free.
Remember, Jesus already defeated death and conquered the grave. He is greater and stronger than your flesh and its desires. The flesh is no benefit to you, it only leads to death. There is no reason to continue playing tug of war. Let go of the rope and set yourself free. But know that when you let go of your rope, your flesh will continue to ask you to play. Your flesh will tempt you to pick the rope back up and start playing again. So when you hear your flesh calling, what you have to do is politely turn away and say no thank you. And then turn and look to Jesus and thank Him for His strength and courage to say no.
If you’re not sure what desires of the flesh might be tempting you into sin, Galatians 5:19 offers some examples. “Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife (conflict), jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions (disagreements), factions (division, taking sides, grouping, cliques), envy, drunkenness, and carousing. As you can see, some of these deeds are behaviors and actions while others are conditions of our heart. It is beneficial to know what desires of the flesh keep pulling on you so you can release them and be free from sin. The good news is that you can ask God what you need to release and He will show you and help you.
Father, in the name of Jesus would you please reveal the desires of the flesh that are pulling me towards sin and please give me the strength to turn away from them and the courage to release them from my grasp. Father, I pray that you set me free from temptation of the flesh and deliver me from all evil. I pray that you purify my heart and my mind so that I may walk in the Spirit all the days of my life so that I may glorify Your holy name. Father, I thank you and praise you for all that You are and all that You do in my life yesterday, today and tomorrow. I love you. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the desire of the flesh is against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, in order to keep you from doing whatever you want. Galatians 5:16-17
Now those who belong to Christ Jesus crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. Galatians 5:24
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh provides no benefit; the words I have spoke to you are spirit and are life. John 6:63
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father. 1John 2:16
For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8:6
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: sexual immorality, impurity, indecent behavior, idolatry, witchcraft, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing. Galatians 5:19