Unforgiveness. Strife. Blame-shifting. Pride. Sarcasm. Profanity. Envy. Complaint.
If there were restaurants in Hell (which there aren’t, but bear with me), the items above would be top menu entrees. I put it this way because sinful, hateful, back-biting ways that lead to death are what the flesh (or the natural man) desires the most. The flesh craves only the qualities, characteristics, and behavior that are destructive.
The unredeemed (unsaved) nature will NEVER want anything truly good for you. Never.
To that, you might say, Well, the natural man wants food, and my body needs food to live. That sounds like a good thing until you invite the flesh to a buffet dinner. What would the natural man eat if he/she had total control there? Only desserts. The unredeemed nature would go straight to the cakes, pies, and ice cream to fill its bowls and plates; then, it would eat itself sick. No meat, fish, or vegetables of any kind would be ingested by it; only the things leading to weight-gain and bad health.
Behavioral and spiritual things work the same way. To believe God or not believe – the flesh never believes. To swear or not to swear – the flesh swears. To complain or not complain – the flesh complains. Sex before marriage or not – the flesh will fornicate every time. If a path doesn’t lead to ruin, the flesh wants no part of it. Why? Because the flesh was sold out to the enemy in the Garden of Eden. Via Adam’s betrayal of God, the ground was cursed. Our flesh was formed from “the dust of the ground”. Therefore our flesh, per se, is cursed and headed for the grave. The soul can be redeemed from the curse – when Christ Jesus enters our lives through repentance and acceptance of Him – but the flesh we’re born in will NEVER be saved. It can’t be renovated, it must be completely changed (See 1 Corinthians 15:51-54). The Lord will completely replace our current bodies with glorified ones that are not “of” this world any more than our new inner-man is. Hallelujah!
You might ask, How can I know when I’m doing God’s will or the will of the flesh? Well, let me ask you this: What are you craving? If you fulfill that craving, where will it lead?
If what you desire is righteousness, peace, and joy in Holy Spirit, it is of God and will lead to life; it is not of the flesh. However, if you’re wanting revenge against an enemy, or you’re lusting after someone’s husband or wife, or you’re seriously considering overeating, overspending, or giving someone “a piece of your mind”, beware! ALL of those things are of the flesh and will lead you to disaster. Only the sinful nature of humanity enjoys such troublesome nonsense, because the flesh craves destruction.
Pray with me:
Heavenly Father, we submit our hearts, thoughts, and actions to You. Please lead us in the ways of righteousness and enable us to turn away from feeding the flesh. Empower us by Your Spirit to starve all sinful ways to death, in Yeshua’s (Jesus’) Name. Amen.