“We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.” (2nd Cor. 5:8)
Perhaps today, this is the thought that enters into the mind of the born-again believer every morning, perhaps today I will go home, whether by rapture or death, it matters not.
The flesh craves the pleasures of the world, the mind desires to be free from them, the flesh sees the supposed needs of the day, food, water, shelter, clothing, the mind that trusts in the Lord knows they will be provided. The wants of the flesh, the desires of the mind, the battle will rage within us until our last breath.
The lost do not understand this, it is normal for them to seek pleasure, is that not the purpose of life, are not the desires of the flesh their only goal? Why else would one toil daily, what other purpose is there in life than to struggle at the grindstone so that one can have bread, to put extra effort into that work so that the pleasures that the flesh demands can be met? They are as we were once, conformed to the world, the only true struggle they have is for more of the world, and they will never comprehend Mark 8:36, “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”
Those who are hid in Christ are blessed with the knowledge of certain truths, that we will indeed die, that this life will come to an end, and that there is more after we close our eyes here for the last time. “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1st Cor. 15:55) We live by faith, not by sight, but we have been shown clearly what is ahead after that final moment, and so each day we awake and say, “Perhaps today.”
We are indeed beset on all sides, yet the real battle is inside, working by the sweat of our brow now means working for the Lord Jesus Christ, for the glory of God, yet the flesh beckons to us every moment. “For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.” (1st Tim. 5:18) How is the pastor to eat if he is not paid, how does the street preacher, even the internet teacher supply for the needs of his flesh and family if he does not toil in the world as well. It is all well to say the Lord will provide, for He has promised He will, so we must consider 2nd Thessalonians 3:10, “For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat.”
Where does common sense end and faith begin, where does the mind truly believe and the flesh thereby provided for in those daily needs? When should we work not for the world but in it so that we can continue to serve the Lord with our mind.
Does the starving man contemplate Christ or food?
“But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19) Both the needs of the flesh and of the mind, but I challenge you that Matthew 6:33 must come first, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”
If you set your face as a flint towards the glory of God, the needs of the flesh will be met, but the flesh will battle against you constantly for more, for in all reality this life is all the flesh will ever know. Perhaps today that struggle will end for you but prepare your heart and mind in case it does not, and pray for strength and guidance if you wake up here tomorrow.