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.

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