The lust of the flesh is our constant desire to live by our own accord. Humans are sinful by nature (Romans 3). By nature, you can expect humans to be selfish, greedy, and insist on their own way (Galatians 5: 14-24). The ways of the flesh lead to death, but the ways of the Spirit should always be the goal. The issue is that you can’t do it on your own. Spoiler alert – You need the Holy Spirt!
One of the gifts Christians receive when we put our faith in% Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised his disciples that he would leave a helper when he leaves to be with the Father (John 14). The best way of thinking about the Holy Spirit is that we can walk through this earth like Jesus when we yield to it and kill the flesh.
Compete Dependance on Christ and The Holy Spirit (Leave Behind The Lust of The Flesh)
The one thing that most people don’t want to have to do is submit. We want to be in control at all times and feel like we have a say in our own destiny. Being American is fighting for the American Dream that says that you can be whatever you want to be if you work hard enough. None of that is dependant on the Holy Spirit. Instead, it calls you to trust in your own work ethic and even your country more than God.
For the Christian, the call is to be completely dependant on Christ in everything that you do. The job of a servant is to please his master. Romans 6 tells us that were either slave to Righteousness or we are slaves to sin. Everyone has a master, but you have to choose which will be your master.
1 Timothy 4:6-10
If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.
In Matthew 16:24, he told his disciples that they would need to deny themselves and take up their crosses if they are to follow him. The call is not an easy one at all. Denying yourself means that you have to let go of all of your ways, and that includes sin.
Set Your Mind On Christ and Yield to The Spirit
There is a reason that reading the Bible in the morning and listening to worship music to kick off your day is so powerful. When you start your day with Jesus, it’s easier to spend your day with your mind on things of the Spirit.
Most people start their day by waking up as late as possible and then rushing off into the day.
- Rushing to eat their food
- Jumping in and out of the shower
- Racing off to work
Rushing during the morning leads to frustration, anxiety, and other emotions that are not helpful. When you feel this way, it’s straightforward to set your mind on the things of the flesh; when your mind is set on the flesh, you can’t do things that are pleasing to God because of your sinful nature.
Part of depending on God means making room for the Holy Spirit in your life. When you find you’re giving in to your fleshly desires, you can stop at any point and invite the Spirit in. Ask the spirit to have his way in your life and thank the Holy Spirit for what he has already done. The lust of the flesh cannot compete with the Holy Spirit.
Colossians 3: 1 -11
If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. 3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.
Keep in Step with the Spirit (& Defeat The Lust of The Flesh)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentlenesses, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
One of the Easiest Ways to know if you are walking in line with the Spirit is by the fruit you see in your life. For example, would people describe you as being:
When you are yielding to the Spirit, you become these things. When you don’t consistently see these fruits in your life, you’re more likely dependant on the flesh and producing bad fruit.
The good news is that even if you don’t meet the mark of perfection according to God’s law, for those who believe in Jesus, you will be saved because of the grace of God. God loves us so much that he sent his only son down to earth to live a perfect life and then to die for our sins (1 John 1:7).
He took on the death that we deserved. God used our sin to wipe away our sinful ways for those who believe in the name of Jesus. Three days later, God raised Jesus from the dead, proving that he is God and beating death. Those who call on the name of Jesus also share in all the gifts God bestowed upon Jesus.
What Do You Do When Caught In The Lust of The Flesh
When you find that you did not yield to the Spirit given to you to be your helper, the best thing to do is repent and turn to Jesus (Acts 3:19). To repent is asking for forgiveness and choosing to TURN away from your old sinful ways. When you repent, you recognize that you can’t do it on your own. You need the Holy Spirit to intervene on your behalf.
The best part about following Jesus is that we can always Repent and sin no more (1 John 1:9). Although, of course, in our own strength, we cannot, with the power of the Holy Spirit, we can walk through this world and be blameless like Jesus.
The devil loves to use shame to hinder us. Shame is what you feel when you have sin in your life that you think is too bad to be forgiven. Don’t fall for these lies of the devil. ALL who call on the name of Jesus will be forgiven no matter how bad. We are all sinners and separated from God, and God shows no partiality (James 2). Let go of your lust of the flesh and lean into the Spiri today.