When something goes awry in your life, when something unseen happens, something adverse, what is your normal reaction? Many people are left unsure as to how to react, their first instinct comes from the flesh, not the intellect, the flesh wants safety and continuance above all things, nothing matters but the continual existence of the flesh to that part of us. That is why you will see in many medical clinics and hospitals elderly people, they want to stay here, they do not want to feel pain, they want to live.
It is why in the all-too-common scenarios in the United States of wicked men who take the lives of others, people running for their lives, few seek out the shooter to attempt to stop him or her.
There are two verses I would like to offer you that I believe many who are born-again know quite well, especially if you have followed any of these poorly written letters of mine for any length of time. The first would be Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” And the other is Philippians 1:21, “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
The new nature within us, the mind that is being transformed by the Holy Spirit, the part of us that is being sanctified understands the truth of these verses, every born-again believer trusts completely in the path the Lord has laid in front of them, everyone of us would willingly give our lives in the service of Jesus Christ, but Romans 7:19 also stands as truth, “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” Our old nature does not believe the Word of God, it has no desire to submit, whether it be in love or slavery to the Most High, it is filled with pride, lust and self-centeredness, and I dare say that it hates what it feels is being imposed upon our new nature. How can trials and tribulations be a good thing? How can suffering and denying oneself the pleasures of this world be beneficial in any way, how can being a slave be a good thing?
There is no Spiritual nature in our flesh, it cannot comprehend the things of the Spirit, and what little it does recognize, it detests and fights against continually. “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.” (Gal. 5:17) “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.” (Romans 7:18)
There are two types of followers of Christ in this area, those that recognize what is written here and do everything they possibly can to live a better life, to be obedient to the mind, the new nature, and to deny the flesh, and those who submit to the will of the Holy Spirit and let Him do that work of change within us. I fear that most attempt the first of these two examples, and they will live a life of failure.
There is no strength in our new nature, none whatsoever, the Scriptures are clear in this matter, “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.” (John 15:5)
We are to recognize this truth, submit to the will of God, tell Him in all honesty about this part of us, this damnable flesh that drives us at times, and pray in all earnestness for Him to transform our mind. And I would put here one item at a time.
I can put this at this time in no better way than to say that our old sinful nature has been with us much longer than our new nature has, it is well versed in sin. We alone cannot win this battle, we cannot even put up a fight, we hold no power to change it, God does, and if you want to grow in the grace and mercy of the Lord, you must ask Him to fight this battle for you. All He asks is that you be willing to be transformed for His glory.