16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.
17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.
18 But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.
24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.
25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16-25).
Jesus tells us that He that is in us is stronger than the world, so when we receive the Spirit of God, we can expect to grow in our ability to walk after His Spirit and not the lusts of the flesh that previously ruled us.
I know this to be true, and I have experienced this change overtime. Yet, the battle between the flesh and the Spirit is ongoing—and it is exhausting me. I’m at a very low ebb right now. Maybe the lowest ever since receiving some things from the Spirit in 2016. So low that the only thing I know to do is to confess some of the things I’m dealing with. Jesus knows all things already. I don’t hide from Him because there is no real point.
I know that He sees all things, but people do not, and I fully expect people to start searching for my sins because of the things that I write and will continue to write, Lord willing. So, why not beat them to the punch? I don’t really care what people think unless they have the Spirit of God. If they are of Him, then I do care because He might have somewhat to say through them.
I have experienced relief through public confession, so that’s what I’m really hoping for. I’m just tired. Maybe that’s a good sign. Not long after I received something from the Holy Spirit a few years ago, I heard a name spoken to me. I did not know what to make of it, or even if this was for me. I know now that it was because it makes too much sense. It makes sense because the name had a dual meaning—one was fitting for a faithful servant, and the other was not. They are totally in opposition. So, which way will I go? Which version of me is going to win? The flesh, or the Spirit? The good name was described partially as being “weary,” so I hope that my exhaustion is a good sign. I do not know.
I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately. I know that I sincerely love the things of God given to us through Jesus. There aren’t words enough to honor Him, and I know that I sincerely want to do what is pleasing to Him and I know that His sacrifice and His Spirit is the only way. I also know that God is in control of all things, including this dual nature that I struggle with—and have always struggled with, which is something that I realized somewhat recently.
I’ve always had a double nature. I remember considering this when I was a kid and trying to decide which version of me I should try to be.
One seems very strong, so that was appealing, but that person is also very selfish, vain, angry, a liar, greedy, and so forth. I have some limitations. Mainly, this version of me is very angry and self-protective and self-indulgent.
On the other hand, I had a way of looking at the world and at people that was not normal for a child. A lot of the ways I saw the world were true, but they were taken from me through immersion in ungodliness and gaslighting that made me unable to trust my own judgments or those of God. I also rejected false Christian ideas—which greatly challenged my faith for a time—but I rejected them none the less. Once I heard good teaching, I immediately embraced it as true. I’ve realized recently that this is because God gave His Spirit to me in some measure when I was a newborn.
I was born very prematurely, and my parents were told that I would die. After their church prayed for me, I was suddenly better and soon taken off a respirator because I could breathe on my own. That’s not the first time that God saved me from death, and all of His interventions give me hope. Yet, I still very much have that flesh nature, because I am flesh, and I’m just plain tired of it.
Some things are better, but I am still angry, and I find that my patience with my fellow man is running out and that is the thing that I fear most. I fear that I will be consumed by rage—and then that other me will take over and I will fully give into all the sins of the flesh that are my natural state.
Without Jesus and His Spirit, I am a wicked person. We all are. All who love Him know what it is like to war with the flesh. It is hard. Maybe I’m just tired and a little off my rocker at the moment because life is pushing me to the very brink right now, but I feel as if my experience with this warring of the flesh and Spirit has been to an extreme level. That’s probably a vain idea, but when I consider it all, I think maybe it isn’t. Whether it is or isn’t, Jesus knows. He knows all things. I tell Him all things and at my core I do trust in Him and love what He stands for, or what has been revealed to me so far. None of us know Him as we should, but I want to know Him.
The scriptures say that sinners cannot know God. I know that the blood of Jesus makes it possible for us to approach God, but I still feel blinded to Him because of my sinful nature. I know He has shown me things. I know the Spirit is teaching me and Jesus gave me what I asked for several years ago, though it has come over time and is not fully accomplished. All things are teaching me so that I can do what He created me to do. However, sometimes I feel like I just can’t go on. I won’t make it. The nature that I hate will overrun me and then there will be no turning back and no place of repentance left for me. Yet, as I write that, I know better.
He that is in me is stronger than the world—even the nature of my flesh that I am oh so very tired of warring against. I do not choose that version—if I have a choice—I choose Christ. I want His nature to grow, and I want that B**** to die, crucified with Him as He has promised.
He does all that He says He will do, and I know that my salvation is an accomplished fact. Sometimes though, I just get bogged down and I fear. I have hope because God is in control, but I fear also. I fear because He could make me to be a vessel of wrath to be destroyed, and what say would I have and what right to anything else? I am a vessel of wrath—but that is not all that I am. His Spirit is here too.
I hope that confessing this will help someone. If nothing else, it might shame that nasty, angry, proud, vain, and self-serving part of me into oblivion. Lord willing. If something does not change soon, I don’t know what will happen. I do know that He shows up for me when I’m at my lowest states, especially when I am honest and call out to Him.
Perhaps He will show up for me again soon. I don’t understand His ways, but I know that they are good, even when it gets hard. He endured far more than we ever will. He endured more temptation during His time in the wilderness, more slander, more hatred from man, more pain, and more suffering—and He did not deserve it. He did not deserve it because He is perfect. He was not merely flesh like we are. We can only receive from His Spirit, which is a great gift, but we are not God incarnate as He is. He is One and Only. The Alpha and Omega. We are dust, so it is fitting for us to return to it. I might fight my flesh until the end, but He will overcome all things because He is true to His word, and despite my nature, He gave me a heart that loves His word.
The same goes for all who love Him. Don’t let the flesh win or cause your faith to fail. Ask for His Spirit and keep seeking Him to grow in you and help you walk in the Spirit more and in the flesh less. Pray for one another, and if you would, pray for me too. ❤