“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (Romans 7:25)
My flesh tells me that I should stop pretending to be a Christian, that the life my mind says I am living for Christ is no more than a charade, a play I put on and hold the lead role in to give the illusion of a saved, born-again person. That these letters are no more than the fanciful imaginations of an overactive mind, that my prayers avail nothing, that the words I speak to others about Christ go unheard because they also can see through the lie that I have believed in my mind, that God Almighty has chosen me to serve Him here and live with Him forever in His eternal Kingdom.
People tend to focus on the bad, the terrible news of the day, approaching disaster and doom, as long as it is not at their doorstep, but my friends, your flesh is much closer than your doorstep, it is you, it is the part of you that wants to say, “I will, not Thy will,” and if you are following the Lord Jesus Christ it will buffet you every step of the way.
“But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matt. 16:23)
Neither does our flesh.
I will not burden you with page after page of the lust of our flesh, of its sinful nature, its desire to please itself and not the Lord, you know them well enough and have fought against them since the Lord called you to Himself, but I will offer you this truth. “So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.” (Romans 14:12)
It does not matter what the infraction is, it does not matter what the sin committed is, not one of us on our day of accounting, whether it be for us before we walk into the glory of the presence of the Living God for all eternity or those at the Great White Throne of Judgment who will know the suffering of the Lake of Fire forever, not one of us is going to be able to say, “It was Satan’s fault.”
“And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.” (John 13:27) It took three years for Judas Iscariot to commit that fatal sin, three years of Satan’s subtleties, yet Judas was held accountable for his action.
“And the LORD God said unto the woman, What is this that thou hast done? And the woman said, The serpent beguiled me, and I did eat.” (Gen. 3:13)
The devil cannot make anyone do anything, the gift of free will makes that impossible, the mind that serves Christ pays no attention to him, the flesh follows him wherever he leads, the mind that loves the Lord will not listen to the flesh, the flesh will do all it can to persuade the mind, and doubt is the foundation of its actions.
Doubt, desire, lust, vainglory, pride, selfish ambitions, envy, jealousy. The things of man, that is what the flesh savors.
The mind knows a perfect peace, the flesh can find no contentment, the mind that serves Christ rests in the promises, the flesh knows no rest. Without free will, man cannot be tempted, without free will, love cannot be given or received.
It had to be this way, as the Lord Jesus Christ gave up His life for the glory of the Father, we are to do the same, He stood against the wiles of the devil, we are to do the same.
Your flesh, your old sinful nature hates you, part of you despises you and will do all that it can to dissuade you from what you know to be the truth, that you have been born-again. The battle will end one day but realize this truth today. “If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.” (John 8:36)