“For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called:” (1st Cor. 1:26)
It is impossible for those who have been born-again to live in two worlds at once, if you truly have been saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, those things in your past that once consumed you now hold no appeal to you, what once drew your attention you no longer consider, and that which you once desired is now detestable in your sight.
Your flesh, your old sinful nature refuses to allow you to accept this new nature, will call you almost constantly to return to the pleasures of sin you once enjoyed.
“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)
My friends, we fight against the will of God, whether we will admit it to ourselves or not, we envy at times those who have great financial wherewithal, all those “not manys” in our opening verse entice us at times, and we begin to forget the price that was paid for us. Our adversary is well aware of these truths, for if he was not he would not be proficient at what he does best, lie.
Someone may be one of the wisest persons in the ways of the world that ever lived, but when it comes to Spiritual discernment, they are completely inept.
“Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?” (James 2:5)
This does not mean that we who have been crucified with Christ are of a lesser sort, in a manner of speaking, we are in a way wiser in the ways of the world than any other that walks upon this earth, for the blessing of Spiritual discernment, of wisdom, of the ability to discern between good and evil opens our eyes to the truth of the ways of unregenerate mankind.
“Be not desirous of his dainties: for they are deceitful meat.” (Prov. 23:3)
The traps of Satan, the deceitfulness of riches, the desires of the flesh, envy, lust, pride, all of these we can clearly see.
“Lest Satan should get an advantage of us: for we are not ignorant of his devices.” (2nd Cor. 2:11)
The mind that serves Christ can be swayed by the flesh that Satan tempts. “Change these stones to bread, accept the honors from all by jumping off this high tower and incurring no harm, be the ruler of all these kingdoms.” If one can find no others to serve them, they will serve themselves.
This is where the majority of the wicked live, for they are, at least in their minds, masters only of their destiny, none follow them, so they follow their flesh in all its desires. Some garner great wealth, others the wisdom of the world, some the accolades of recognition. “And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” (Matt. 23:12)
Humility, humbleness in recognition of the Sovereignty of the Most High is the first step away from the flesh, a view of the eternal makes the temporal fade away and reveals it as of little value, save for how we serve the Lord today. How you look at your death determines how you will live your life, who you call master determines where you will spend eternity.
“If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.” (John 15:19)
We face formidable enemies on two fronts, the attacks of our adversary and the desires of our flesh, and realize this truth, if you do not agree in full and without hesitation the assistance of the Holy Spirit, you will fail. The Kingdom will still be yours, but how much of it no man can say.
Willful obedience to the Sovereignty of the Almighty is the first step.