~Controlling The Sinful Man And The Works Of The Flesh~
If we are honest, how many of us can say that we have a tough time doing what’s right?
And how many times has the evil voice inside your mind told you it’s OK to ignore what’s right, and you do what’s wrong anyway?
Paul tells us in Galatians 5:19-21 about that inner man, the one that lives in the flesh…
“Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” Let me repeat that last line, “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God”
“As in water face reflects face, So a man’s heart reveals the man.” Proverbs 27:19 What does your heart reveal? What’s your true character?
For our inner man, the man that no one else knows, is evil and corrupt! Our true inner man is sinful! And tells us to do wrong when we know we should be doing what’s right! And the struggle to overcome… is real!
So what do we do? We take responsibility and break away from the sin within, by sharpening our minds with God’s Word!
Ecclesiastes 10:10 tells us, “If the ax is dull, And one does not sharpen the edge, Then he must use more strength; But wisdom brings success.”
And just like a dull ax, if we don’t sharpen our minds with God’s Word, the more strength we will need to defend ourselves from the evil ones cunning and decisive ways which releases that inner sinful man and leads us down the path towards unrighteousness!
“A wise man is strong, Yes, a man of knowledge increases strength;” Proverbs 24:5 NKJV
We sharpen our minds with God’s Word so we can defend ourselves when Satan comes in and tries to take over and steer us off course! We do this by opening up our bibles daily, and saturating our minds with The Word of God! We get wisdom! We have knowledge!
Ecclesiastes 12:11 tells us, “The words of the wise are like goads, and the words of scholars are like well-driven nails, given by one Shepherd.” Ecclesiastes 12:11 NKJV
The more we read God’s Word, the more it will sink in and the sharper our minds will be! “Just as an ox goad prods an animal in the right direction, so will the words of God when properly understood“ “Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.” (Proverbs 30, verse 5) We put our trust in God, we put our trust in His Word and He will shield us from the fiery darts of the wicked one, that always seems to help us bring out that inner man!
The Bible tells us to, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” – I Peter 5:8 NKJV
The key words here are not about the devil, but about being sober and being vigilant, which means keeping careful watch; being on the look out for trouble! And being of sound mind! We need to think before we do, and say no to sin! And stay away from the things that cause us to sin!
Nelson’s Illustrated Bible Dictionary defines the word Sober—marked by self-control; of sound moral judgment. Sober Christians deny themselves worldly pleasures (Titus 2:12). This allows them to be always alert, able to guard against Satan’s attacks (1Peter 5:8) and ready to receive the revelation of Christ (1 Peter 1:13) And what is the revelation of Christ? To know and do the will of The Father!
If we keep ourselves from idle time—those times when there’s nothing goin on—those times that we may be alone and the idols that we worship draw us away from God—that we would find it much easier to control our inner man and abstain from the sin within!
When we have down time and we have nothing to do, we open our Bibles Instead of turning on the TV, we open our Bibles instead of turning on the computer, we open our Bibles instead of playing that video game! We open our Bibles and turn to God’s word rather than committing the sin! And if we have something we struggle with, we get rid of it! We ditch the laptop or put restrictions on the things that cause us to sin! We put time limits on the TV and video games, and we spend time with other people! Like our brothers and sisters in Christ! The devil will always use our free time to help us commit the sin within! He will use that vice, and entertain us with it every chance he gets!
The inner man is evil, and we need to control him with our outer man! The one that everyone else sees! And we need to follow the example of Jesus Christ! We listen to that still small voice and we listen to the Holy Spirit which we received, when we made the next step to believe and follow Jesus Christ! We think carefully before we speak, we put a rein on our tongues, we abstain from doing evil, we abstain from the sin within and we continue to be on the look out for the evil one, and his shifty ways! We stand strong in the faith and stay in God’s word, and follow what it says!
And one more thing!
We follow the words of Paul The Apostle, and we put on the whole armor of God! We turn to Ephesians, chapter six verses ten through eighteen to learn more…
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”.
We thank you for Your Word and we thank you for the wisdom and knowledge that we receive, when we read and study Your Word. We sharpen our minds, we stand strong in the faith, and we control our inner man! We refrain from the sin within and choose to start out our days, by putting on the whole armor of God so we can stand against the wiles of the devil! Lord God thank you for filling us with Your Holy Spirit, thank you for giving us Your Word, and Thank you for giving us Your Son! Without Jesus we would be lost, without Jesus we wouldn’t be able to stand strong! Without Jesus we would have no hope! Father we ask that you lead us down the right path and help us to do what’s right in the sight of Your eyes! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!
Craig L Bradshaw Jr – February 2, 2020