It is the flesh that makes us weak. Let us consider the following: sickness and disease break the body down. Physical, intimate and emotional desires can cause us to act rashly, selfishly, immaturely or even ignorantly. Fear can cause anxiety and hold us in place even when that place is not a positive place to be. Fear takes up valuable space within us emotionally and intellectually that can be exhausting even on a physical level. Anger or aggression can limit us from growing emotionally and limit our ability to connect with others in a meaningful way. Depression can be so debilitating that individuals lose their motivation to participate in basic daily acts of living and may suffer biological symptoms as well. A sense of helplessness can inspire fear, anger or depression perpetuating a cycle. 2 Corinthians 12:7 ESV So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, To keep me from becoming conceited.
We have been given a code to live by. This code is known as The Ten Commandments. The first three commandments specifically have to do with our relationship with God and our loyalty towards him. I am paraphrasing here. Number one: Thou shalt not have any other Gods…Number 2: Thou shalt not make any graven images to bow down to or serve…Number three: Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain…Yet, for the alcoholic, alcohol becomes their God. For the sex addict, sex becomes their God. For some, control becomes their God. Whatever our obsession, if not moderated, it can become our God and we begin to serve that obsession. In essence we become dependent on feeding the object of our obsession. Matthew 26:41 ESV Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. I think you get the point. Do not misunderstand me. I’m not suggesting that we intentionally, thoughtfully and literally make these things our God. I am using these as examples to make a point. The point being that we should be mindful of what we allow into our lives and moderate with thoughtful intention.
Commandments number four and five have to do with honor and a display of proper respect. Number four is about honoring the Sabbath and keeping it holy. Commandment number five is about honoring our parents. Commandments six through nine have to do with taking something from others. Commandment number six: Thou shalt not kill (taking a life). Commandment number seven: Thou shalt not commit adultery (taking another individual’s spouse). Commandment number eight: Thou shalt not steal. If you break Commandment number seven then you in effect break Commandment number eight because you have taken something that did not belong to you. Commandment number nine: Thou shalt not bear false witness and Commandment number ten: Thou shalt not covet. 1 John 2:16 ESV For all that is in the world-the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions-is not from the Father but is from the world. Yet, we violate the Sabbath in pursuit of our own interests allowing our spirits to wither and atrophy. There is very little honor reserved for parents by many while lying, cheating and stealing are way too common. Coveting what your neighbor has has become an epidemic in our society as we each try to out do each other with bigger and better.
What is it that causes us to sin?…Weakness. What causes us to be weak?…The flesh. It is the flesh that makes us weak. We violate the set of rules that we have been given to live by for many reasons… Ignorance, we are misguided, in search of something, weakness of character, lack of discipline, weariness, we are over extended in some way, a sense of entitlement, our ego is too big, sickness of mind, body or spirit, jealousy, rage, loathing of ourselves or others, retaliation or retribution for an actual or perceived transgression, lack, need or indulgence. Romans 7:18 ESV For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. Our flesh influences and drives our impulses. It is with the flesh that data is gathered from our environment and perceptions processed. Whatever the reason, our journey through life is both a physical one, as well as spiritual. It is a constant battle to conquer and overcome the weakness of the flesh. Galatians 5:17 ESV 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.
It is my own weakness of flesh that has been the core source of my problems and from which all my troubles have been given life. I battle this weakness within my flesh every single day that I exist. Yet is because of this battle with the weakness of the flesh that I am drawn deeper into my relationship with God because I must learn to rely on him as my protector and provider rather than relying on myself. And it is the battle with my physical being that allows my spiritual self to grow even when it doesn’t feel good. However, as I’ve said before, God isn’t so much concerned with my physical comfort as he is with my spiritual growth. In my weakness God’s power is made perfect. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 ESV But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong. It is the flesh that makes us weak.
Until next time, Live Authentic. Live Intentional. Pursue your dream. Live with purpose.