All Writings,  Life

Flesh vs. Spirit

Do not quench the Spirit. I Thess. 5:19

Because I believe in Jesus, I know His Spirit lives in me. Over the years of my faith walk, I have grown as a result of: digging into God’s word, trusting it to be true, and then following through with obedience. Sometimes this is as easy as 1-2-3, and sometimes it just plain isn’t. My flesh is still very much alive and, quite frankly, it can work in complete contradiction to the Spirit.

To explain, I will share an experience from the other day. Only to make a contrasting point, I will share two Spirit-led “good deeds”from that day. One, I met with a dear lady for brunch; she just needed a listening ear, some biblical encouragement, and a friend who cared. So, I willingly sat with her. This encounter was certainly Spirit led. And then a little later, I went to get my suburban’s emission’s test done. For years now, I have intentionally paid the required fee for the the car behind me without them knowing it. (There was a time in my life that I was not able to do this financially, but now that I can, I do.) Again, Spirit led.

Now, for the flesh. In between these two acts of kindness, I had a trip to the post office on my to-do-list. For some reason, I have a strong aversion concerning the post office. When I go, there’s ALWAYS a long line. And then, there’s that AKWARD silence inside. And sometimes, postal people aren’t very nice when you finally reach them. Anyway, I was sitting in my suburban about to get out, when I saw a young mom who had a baby in a stroller, a toddler, as well as her package; because her hands were full, she was trying to open the post office door with her leg. While observing this scene, I spoke out loud to myself, “Oh great, you mean I’m gonna have to stand next to THAT?!” Whoa! And wow! Really? Yep, that’s Chris without Christ. Flesh at its finest. The crazy thing is that I used to be THAT–I had four kids in under six years and I home schooled; so for about a decade, I was like a walking amoeba, with all kinds of arms, legs, heads, and noises coming from my moving conglomeration. Why in the world would I so begrudgingly target this innocent mom trying to enter the post office? Flesh. The saving thing is, the Spirit keeps me in check. When I heard my own words, I was quiet surprised at my rottenness; I confessed to Lord, and then got out with great intention to go help that dear momma. (Turns out, I forgot to bring the address to my own package, so I never even made it inside. Ugh, the post office!!!)

So that’s just one day in my Spirit vs. flesh existence. I could share more of my fits of Christ-less-ness, but I might lose some readers. Instead, I will finish this post how I started: the more I’m in the word, trusting its validity, and obeying it submissively, the more I grow in my faith. I will never be an angel on earth, but my hopeful prayer is that the Spirit will win out more and more and more, not only for my own sake but for others around me, INCLUDING YOUNG BEUATIFUL AWESOME MOTHERS WHO HAVE THEIR HANDS FULL, even at the post office.

But I say, walk by the Spirit and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please…But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Gal. 5:16-17, 22-25