The Battle Between Flesh and Love.

Today, I have been reminded of my flesh. 

I hate that I am human, that I say what I think, and act upon what I act on, most of the time, completely oblivious to my surroundings; completely unaware of how my mishaps are effecting myself, others, and my relationship with Christ. 

All day I have been reminded of the fact that the battle I am fighting is real.  I have been reminded that although I long to do what is right, it’s just not that easy.  In his letter to the Romans (7th chapter), Paul describes his war with war against his flesh beautifully,

What I don’t understand about myself is that I decide one way, but then I act another, doing the things I absolutely despise.  So if I can be trusted to figure out what is best for myslef, and then do it, it becomes obvious that God’s commands are necessary.  

But I need some thing more!  For if I know the law, and still can’t keep it, and if the power of sine within me keeps sabotaging my best intentions, I obviously need help!  I realize that I don’t have what it takes.  I can will it, but I can’t do it.  I decide to do good, but I don’t really do it; I decide not to do bad, but then I do it anyway.  My decisions, such as they are, don’t result in action.  Something has gone wrong deep within me and gets the better of me every time.

It happens so regularly that it’s predictable.  The moment I decide to do good, sin is there to trip me up.  I truly delight in God’s commands, but it’s pretty obvious that not all of me joins in that delight.  Parts of me covertly rebel, and just when I least expect it, they take charge.    

I’ve tried everything and nothing helps.  I’m at the end of my rope.  Is there no one who can do anything for me?  Isn’t that the real question?

The answer, thank God, is that Jesus Christ can and does.  He acted to set things right in this life of contradictions where I want to serve God with all my heart and mind, but am pulled by the influence of sin to do something totally different. 

I love this. I love that I don’t have to have it all together, because I know I can’t.  I love the fact that Grace came to conquer my life of contradictions and compromise, redeeming me for a life of purpose and fullness. Lately, it seems as if it is becoming increasingly obvious to me that I am imperfect.  I seem to become more aware of my shortcomings, and the areas in my life that Christ is asking to take and refine.  

I have been, once again, asking God to take my eyes off me, and fix them onto Him; teaching me to Love Him beautifully by revealing to me more of Himself.  

Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents.  Mostly what  God does is love you.  Keep company with Him and learn a life of love.  Observe how Christ loved us.  His love was not cautious but extravagant.  He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of Himself to us.  Love like that. 

I want to be one who is learning  what it means to live a lifestyle of Love.   I want to be one who loves like Jesus, extravagantly.  I don’t want my flesh to get in the way of what Christ wants to do in me, and through me.  Jesus, get rid of my filth.  When in the midst of battling my flesh, may You strengthen me, and spur me on to Love.  

In the battle between flesh and Love,  Love wins… always.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone and the new has come!

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