As Christian believers we encounter many battles during our walk with God. Many members of the body of Christ tend to believe that these battles are of the enemy, Satan and or his dominion, and permitted by God for whatever reason. Although this line of thinking is sometimes true it is also not always correct!
What we will learn here is that many of the battles are of our own doing and not so much because God is testing us or because the enemy is attacking us, rather because our sin nature remains within our flesh.
(Joh 6:63) It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
When we receive Jesus the Christ as Savior and receive the indwelling Holy Spirit we become born again. We become new creatures, new creations of which Jesus was the first fruit. We become the branches which grow off of His vine.
Now although our spirits are made anew, according to Jesus, our flesh does not profit. The apostle Paul says that sin, or our sin nature is in the flesh.
(Rom 6:19) I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity (astheneia - feebleness of body or mind, moral infirmity) of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members (melos – a limb or part of the body) servants to uncleanness and to iniquity (anomia - illegality, that is, violation of law) unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
The “members” of which Paul is speaking are parts of the body (flesh) which he is telling us to yield onto righteousness and holiness (clean). This same illustration is used in explaining the body of Christ which has “many members”.
(1Co 12:12) For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
When the individual believer is born again in his or her spirit, by the power of the Holy Spirit, he or she immediately enters into this battle between the spirit and the flesh!
The battle between the two is for control of your soul!
Before you were spiritully born again you, that is to say your soul, was unable to serve God. Because your soul could not serve God, who exists in the spiritual realm, your sole became subject to the natural world or realm because it had no where else to draw from.
Subsequently our souls, that is to say our natures, became sinful as the flesh is sinful.
(Rom 8:5) For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
(Rom 8:6) For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
(Rom 8:7) Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
(Rom 8:8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
When we are born again, renewed in our spirit, our flesh does not profit from it because is it still carnal. We have a carnal mind and are carnally minded. We have yet to learn the ways of the spirit because although we are “matured” in the natural realm we are still babes in the ways of the spiritual realm.
The fullness of the Godhead is that of a three part or person being; The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit. Man was created in the image and likeness of God and is likewise a tripartite being, spirit, soul and body.
The soul is the seat of emotions. It is, for all intent and purposes, the very essence of who we are. It is not our physical brain. The brain is where the spiritual is made manifest in the natural. It is where the body or flesh acts out the will of our soul.
When we will our bodies to run, for example, the brain begins to fire electrical impulses and signals which are transmitted to our legs and our legs move. The body is subject to the will or desires of the soul. The brain is not the mind. It is natural just as our legs, arms and feet are natural. Before we are spiritually reborn we operated in the natural realm only. Therefore we used our natural brain to receive and process natural information.
Now that we are born again we must learn how to function in the spiritual realm. We must now learn to use the mind of the “inner (spiritual) man” and not the brain of the physical man. The brain receives information, which is of no use in the spiritual realm. Our mind is spiritual, as our soul is spiritual, and receives revelation from God, when we are born again, which is always opposed to what our natural brain tells us.
You see the brain is nothing more than an organic computer. It receives information from the natural realm, processes it and stores it. Information comes from our natural eyes and ears, from our sense of touch, smell and taste. What we think about it or how we fell about it occurs in the soul. That is why some prefer some colors or smells, for example, over another. We call it personal preference. It is all a natural response to natural stimulation.
When we are born again in the spirit, Paul tells us that we are not to be conformed to the world. This means that we are not to follow the natural or the old nature or what our natural senses tell us. It also says we must renew our minds. That means that we must change the way we perceive things. We must bring our souls under subjection to our spirits which are subject to God. Then our souls will bring our bodies under it’s subjection.
The end result is our spirit, soul and body come into alignment with the will of God!
This is not to say that Satan or his dominion play no part in this at all. It is not his will that we become subject to God. He is the prince of this world and want’s to keep us subject to it. When we remain carnally minded we are, oft times unknowingly, subject to him.
The word of God tells us that we cant serve two masters. It says we must put off the old man and put on Christ. It tells us not to conform to the age (world) and to be “transformed” by the renewing of our souls (mind). The more your soul submits to your spirit the easier the battle between the flesh and the spirit becomes.
(Luk 9:22) Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day.
(Luk 9:23) And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.
(Luk 9:24) For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it.
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