Archive for April, 2013

Our Identify Part 3 – Characteristics of the flesh.

What are some characteristics of the flesh? The flesh is a controller. It can keep God from controlling or getting too close to us by keeping our focus on things of this world instead of God and His goodness. The flesh helps us from being overwhelmed by circumstances; it helps suppress our emotions and pain. When people get stress out, overwhelmed they turn to the flesh to help them deal with the stress. For a lot of people looking at porn is the stress reliever. The porn takes them into a fantasy world and helps people deal with their pains and hurts. The flesh can never truly fulfill a person; it still leaves them empty inside. Only God can fill that place, and Him alone. The flesh is self-protective, and we come to believe that the flesh can protect us from our wounds which cause us great pain. It’s like an onion, an onion has many layers, and it stinks and makes you cry when you cut it. The flesh is the same thing, there are many layers to it, it’s nasty, and it still causes you to be frustrated, you still cry. The flesh acts like an octopus. An octopus has one head and eight arms. The flesh is one problem with many symptoms. Let’s call the head of the octopus the problem, the flesh, and the eight legs the symptoms. For some the symptoms are, lust, looking at porn, drugs, drinking, pride, love of money, power, fame, etc. A lot of people try to deal with the symptoms but never the problem. If you cut one of the arms off an octopus, it grows back stronger and while it is growing back the outer arms of the missing arm gets stronger. If someone is just trying to manage looking at porn, (cutting the arm off) then they start struggling with other things. The only way to kill an octopus is to take out the head. Same thing with the flesh, we need to deal with the root issues. Deal with the root issues, you deal with the symptoms. The flesh is deceptive, it’s like a chameleon, it tries to blend in with the environment, changes colors. The flesh blends in with our lives so that we don’t even know it’s there. Flesh is very prideful. Pride is one of the chief obstacles to grace and the cross. The flesh has to be right all the time. Others get blamed for our mistakes because we are too proud to be wrong. Blame shifting occurs. Flesh is idolater; we will use anything to have our four basic needs of love, acceptance, worth, security to get met. The enemy will lie and use anything he can to get us to stay focused on the flesh, instead of the grace that Jesus offers. The flesh can never fulfill us, is leaves us empty and used. There is only one who can free us and fulfill us…Jesus.

Our Identity Part 2 – The Flesh

Man’s basic problem at birth is that he is separated from God, and therefore without life. Therefore, we go to the flesh to try and have our basic needs meet. The four basic needs every human has to have met in their lives are: Love, Acceptance, Worth/Approval, and Security. What is the flesh? The flesh is the condition (mind-set, attitude, strategy of living) where my focus is primarily on myself; where I am living out of my own resources (such as heritage, education, IQ, personality, sense of humor, looks, talents, abilities, etc.) in order to cope, deal with life, solve my problems, meet my needs, and become a success. The flesh is the condition in which man (women) operates out of his own resources, doing things his way. Now there is two different views of what the flesh is. There is the traditional religious view and the Biblical view. The traditional religious view is like the Friday night flesh, your “gross sins”: adultery, drugs, porn, drinking, the nasty stuff. There is also a Sunday morning flesh, where people try to get God to love them by attending church, sharing the Gospel, people pleasing, serving, and praying. The Biblical view is what the Bible has to say about what the flesh is. Judges 21:25 says, “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” Doing what’s right in our own eyes, doing things our own way (Isaiah 53:6) is what the Bible says the flesh is. Living our lives the way we want to live instead of living our lives the way God wants us to live. Many people think the flesh is that Friday night wild living, a lot of people in church thinks this too. People try to put sins in different categories, like saying murder is a really, really bad sin, but lying is a little sin. In God’s eye’s sin is sin is sin. God doesn’t have categories when it comes to sin, its sin no matter what and the punishment is the same, DEATH. Most people don’t have a problem living the way they want to. It’s their lives and they can live the way they want to. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.” Proverbs 14:12

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