Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.
The spirit indeed is willing, but the is weak.
At times, it seems like these words written over 2000 years ago were written just for me. Why is it that I so desire to live in God's will and be obedient to Him I let my flesh rule so often? The answer is found right here: the flesh is weak.
I know I'm not the only one struggling with a weak flesh, evidenced by the conversation I had with a good friend this morning. She shared her own struggles of the flesh.
While it seems like this verse was written just for me, the truth is we all struggle against a weak flesh. What the exact item that trips us up doesn't really matter.
I've been on a journey to living surrendered for a while now, and I've experienced times of victory and times of defeat. Sometimes those fluctuations are a result of changing circumstances, but more often than not it's when I'm not faithful in my time with the Lord.
There's a reason Jesus told His disciples to engage in the battle of the flesh with prayer. It is the strongest weapon we have against giving into our desires. Prayer engages the Holy Spirit and wells His power within us. Prayer refocuses us on the eternal instead of the temporal. And prayer reminds us to praise God for the things He has given us already instead of the things we want.
Battling the flesh is a day by day, sometimes moment by moment fight. We will never win it on our own, but already have victory in our Savior. To live in that victory we have to be willing to fight. To ignore the flesh. To redirect it. To beat it into submission.
Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 9:27 - But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.
We've been convinced that depriving ourselves of something is bad. That hard work is bad. That discipline is a negative thing. But biblically, these are all to our benefit.
Yet, even though I know this, my flesh tells me the opposite. For for this decision, this day, I will double down in prayer and seek God for His strength to build up self-control in me to I can resist the flesh. It won't be easy. There may even be tears. But, when I have victory, oh how sweet it will be! Won't you join me?