The Battle Between The Spirit And The Flesh

By: Kristen L. McNulty

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The battle between the Spirit and the flesh. If you're anything like me, you face this battle on a daily basis.

You see, as Christians, in Spirit, we want to do what's right. We want to please our Heavenly Father and we want to obey Him. Unfortunately, our flesh or the sinful nature in us does not. The flesh pulls us towards things of the world: greed, lust, the quest for power, selfishness, dishonestly; in simple terms: sin.

So we are stuck in the middle, being pulled in two opposite directions. And even though deep down we want to go the way of the Spirit, the flesh gives in easily to temptation. Just to clarify: no Christian is immune from this battle. Every Christian, no matter how old or young faces the battle between the Spirit and the flesh. The only difference that exists is how hard they fight.

There are some Christians who do an awesome job fighting. They get up early to prepare themselves spiritually for the day. They pray and read their bibles. They bring God with them wherever they go. They are accountable to others. They know where they are weak and take measures to prevent the opportunity for temptation to arise.

There are also some Christians who are constantly being pulled in different directions. They try, they really do, but since they do it in their own strength they often fail.

Finally, there are some Christians who just quit fighting. Such was the case with a girl I went to high school with. She was a Christian, involved in church, in the youth group, when suddenly she just gave in. She got tired of fighting and decided to stop. Now she does whatever the flesh desires.

Now just because I mentioned three types of Christians, the majority of us fall somewhere between the three. It's up to you to evaluate where you are and me to do the same.

So we are all involved in this battle, with some being more successful than others, but we can all be the first Christians I mentioned. Yes, we will still face the battle, but if we are like the first Christian we actually have a shot at winning.

You see, what set the first Christian apart from the others was not a special retreat, a book they read, or a degree in theology, but rather the level of their relationship with God. As it has often been said: "The closer we walk with God, the less room there is for the devil to come in between." We may still face temptation, but because we are closer to God and His ways than we are to satan and his, it's easier to defeat temptation.

I am saying to be legalistic and that if you get up at 6 am read your bible and pray for an hour, God guarantees success. No, that's not the way it works. I'm saying that if you daily pursue a relationship with God, your chances are going to increase as your desire for the flesh decreases. As I said before, no Christian is immune from the battle, but some are able to fight better than others and having a good relationship with Christ will certainly help prepare you for the battle.

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This devotional was aired as a part of the Making A Difference Christian Radio Show.