May 27

Romans 8:12-14

“for if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.” vs.13

There are many ways of describing the complexities of being human. Most would agree that we have a soul, that which is the essence of our personhood–it’s what gives us our identity, the sense of being “me,” as opposed to someone else. In addition we also have flesh and spirit, flesh being those bodily appetites that are so essential for existence, and spirit being that which animates and gives life. What complicates things is that the natural appetites of the flesh frequently dominate and can even become our passions. Almost against our will we are drawn to the seamy side of life and begin to do the very things we don’t want to do. Our spirits do battle against the temptations of the flesh, occasionally win a skirmish or two, but ultimately are defeated, leaving us with a sense of wretchedness. Paul knew this feeling very well, but he also knew that there was another Spirit, the indwelling Spirit of Christ, who could overwhelm the power of the flesh and enable us to live in soul-satisfying ways. That happens when our spirits surrender control to the higher power of God–until that takes place the flesh will always win. But once we start our one-day-at-a-time walk with the Spirit, life can become as good as it can be.

Thought for the Day: What good is the flesh?

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