In the first part of this article, we pointed out what spiritual growth really means in the context of the scripture and we show how possible for a christian to still be under the influence of the flesh. In this article we will deal with starving your flesh to the point you are no longer interested in the deeds of the flesh.
please click here to read UNDERSTANDING SPIRITUAL GROWTH PART 1, if you have not done so.
Who are you feeding the most?
Whatever you yield yourself to is the one you are feeding the most and the one you are feeding the most is the one you are likely to yield to because the one you are feed the most is going to be the strongest among the two.
Who are you feeding the most: The new nature or the old man?
Every of our day to day activities is feeding either our new nature in Christ or feeding our old man. Therefore, whatever you do per day, per minute, per second will determine which one will be the strongest and which one will be subdued.
Generally in life, you can kill anything by starving it either be it humans, animals, machines, organizations and even habit. In the same way, whoever you feed will come out fresh and strong while the other will be weak to the point of death.
Anytime we give in to the pressure and demand of the flesh (fornicate, smoking, drinking, and gossip, sleeping when we suppose to pray, glutton, lustful thought and masturbation e.t.c.), we are feeding the old man and we are unknowingly increasing its capacity to influence our life, while the new nature is being starved.
Anytime we give in to the demand of the spirit (reading the bible, consistent daily prayer, obedient to the instructions of the bible, and so on), we are feeding the new nature and we are unknowingly increasing its capacity to influence us while the old man is being starved.
Have a quick check on what you do per day; what is it pointing to that you are feeding? Oh! You don’t engage in sin yet you didn’t read the bible and you don’t have consistent personal prayer life. I know you don’t fornicate (you are even a virgin) but what about the hidden lust in your heart that nobody can see. You might even think Pastor, am trying my best to control my thought but what about those times you compromise the instructions of the scripture just to please your lover, your friends, your family members, your colleagues and even your boss at work.
Dealing with the flesh
The only way to deny the control of the flesh is to starve it of what it demands. The more you do it, the more you will feel you don’t want to do the demands of the flesh again till you will come to a point that you will stop engaging in the activities of the flesh.
Starving the flesh is not an easy act. This is the reason you had tried in the past to deal with the flesh but after a week or two weeks of trying, you are back under the influence of the flesh and doing that which you have always do before.
Starving the flesh will be uncomfortable for you for awhile. The deeper you are in the habit, the more uncomfortable you will become and the longer it will take for you to endure the process of starving the flesh.
What does it mean to starve the flesh?
Romans 6:11-13 “likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.”
- We have to be dead to sin and alive to God: Whenever we say we are fighting the flesh, we should never forget it’s just one part of the process, therefore it’s not complete. For every step you take away from the deeds of the flesh, let it take you closer towards God. When you starve the flesh, feed the spirit. When you run away from the deeds of the flesh, engage in the deeds of the spirit. Don’t stay natural because your life must be under the influence of either the flesh or the spirit. Therefore when you fail to move closer to God when you run from the flesh, you will still find yourself coming back to the flesh.
- The scripture went further to examine that we can gain victory over the flesh by denouncing and refusing its reign over our body. You must as a matter of fact resist its influence. Be rebellious to its government. Stand firm on your resolute and denounce its reign over you. And the only way to carry this out is when you refuse to obey its demand. The more you refuse its demands, the more you are breaking it’s influence over you.
- We are further admonished not to yield our members as instruments of unrighteousness. Every demand of the flesh will always go contrary to the will of God. And it will always produce unrighteous act from us. You are to resist it. Don’t yield yourself to it.
Let see how we can apply this:
If one of the demands of the flesh you have being yield to is fornication. To break this is first to resist it and this is first done in the mind. Note that the act of fornication or every other deeds of the flesh begins from the mind. If the flesh can gain control of your mind without resistance, then it will control your body to act according to that which is in the heart without resistance too.
Your effort to stop yielding to the demands of the flesh begins in the mind. Every demands of the flesh will be nurtured in your mind. Anytime you feel like fornicating, you should instant say it aloud: I WON’T FORNICATE, I WON’T GIVE IN TO YOU. IT’S AGAINST THE WILL OF GOD. I RESIST YOU. YOU WON’T CONTROL ME. FOR I AM UNDER GRACE AND YOU HAVE NO DOMINION OVER ME AGAIN.
Then engage the power of speaking in tongues to enforce your declaration. Speak in tongue, it might be for a minute depending on the free window you have, just do it. It will cause a resistance deep down your soul against the demand of the flesh. Then, try as much as possible to leave that environment. You can walk around while you speak in tongues. If it’s in the office, you can just walk to the toilet and do some blasting in tongues.
Also, learn to set boundaries. Most of the deeds of the flesh won’t thrive when we set proper boundaries. You know you are under the influence of fornication. Yet you will always meet an opposite sex alone in your room…aaah why keep fire in your bosom. No matter, how you speak in tongues in that situation, you will still likely fall to the pressure of the flesh because you have set an atmosphere to breed lust.
Write down the names of those you know you are extremely attracted to and make a decision to do the following:
- No meeting alone in rooms with them. Let your meetings be in public places.
- No constant eye contact with them whenever you are around them. It can build lustful thought because you are attracted to them.
- Reduce communications. Avoid daily, constant communication with them. Although, it’s not easy to do because you will love to communicate and stay in touch with them but you need to resist it. The more you reduce communication, the more you are reducing the influence of lust in that friendship.
Have noticed that you always feel helpless to whatever the flesh demands when it comes to the person you are attracted to but you won’t even try it when it comes to the other people. That is why you need to resist it.
Let me conclude this part this way, as a matter of fact you need to always make worship and prayer be the first weapon you will engage anytime you face this. Burst into worship by singing to God, that way you are yielding yourself to God. For all kind of deeds of the flesh you are struggling with, engage that formular, you will notice that the flesh will get weak to the point that you will lose the appetite to engage in them again.
The last part coming soon.
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©Oladimeji Olayinka Joseph