Winning the Battle Over My Flesh

Ok, so climbing mountains just isn’t my thing.  But that is just what I’m facing with this pilgrimage on El Camino de Santiago.  Each week I’m adding more time carrying my backpack at full weight, and this morning was rough.  I spent a good portion of my walk trying to figure out a way to pay for the daily transport of my backpack from one albergue to the next.   I have so much physical training yet to do, and the time is getting shorter by the day.  I need to find some new terrain to train on as well, as I’m certain that my muscles know this route by heart.  There will be many new muscles utilized when I am faced with real mountains.  It is difficult to not get discouraged.

Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (Galatians 6:7-9 ESV)

Following Jesus’ call on my life is hard – especially when it is painful.  It is daily dying to myself and what my body (and brain) wants to do – which on many days is NOT to walk.  I’m fighting against my flesh.  And have I told you that all this walking has caused my appetite to raise its ugly head?  Arrgh.  Really…fighting wanting junk food on top of fighting to have a good attitude and put in my time and sweat.  (So far no tears but I’m sure they are coming!)  I try to just rest in Jesus.  I do rest in Him spiritually while my physical body is being disciplined.   This physical battle is real as He is changing my heart, my mind, and my body.  I know that I could not do this if it were not for the power of God’s Holy Spirit within me.

You shall be careful therefore to do as the LORD your God has commanded you. You shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left. You shall walk in all the way that the LORD your God has commanded you, that you may live, and that it may go well with you, and that you may live long in the land that you shall possess. (Deuteronomy 5:32-33 ESV)

A few days ago and for the past several days the Lord has been placing this question in my mind.  Why am I finding all sorts of things to do with my time other than what He has called me to do?  Why am I avoiding this physical discipline?  And the only answer I have is that it is my old self, my old ways, trying to gain control again.  Several of my close sisters in Christ and I are in this same battle.  We know what we need to do, we just NEED TO DO IT!  We need to acknowledge that God is sovereign.  We need to obey His call on our lives.  We need to be intentional with our time and energy.  We need to confess our sins of laziness, lack of faith, and procrastination.  We need to walk by faith and not by sight.  No more excuses.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24 ESV)

It is ok to say this is hard, because it is.  Change is hard work.  But PRAISE GOD He didn’t leave me where I was.  PRAISE GOD He loves me enough to push me.  ALL GLORY to Jesus!  I know the blessings that flow from obedience to God.  I just need to remind myself each day of how good He is.  I must continue to crucify these fleshly passions and desires.

Lord Jesus, please place a passion within my heart to pursue all that You have called me to do.  Give me strength physically and mentally to stay the course.  Thank You for the other people in my life who encourage me and support me on this path.  Thank You Lord for the reminder that walking in Your will is the best place for me to be.  Amen.

For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil. (2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV)

I pray that your heart is filled with passion for the things that God is calling you to do.  If you are battling the flesh as I am, take heart!  He who overcame the grave, has overcome your sin, conquered death and offers us great grace!  Tomorrow is a new day.  There is no condemnation for those of us who are in Christ Jesus.  Praise God!  Spend time in prayer and in God’s word to renew your heart and mind.  Ask God to fill you with the power of His Holy Spirit.  You can do this because God is with you!

I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13 ESV)

Believe His promises.  Trust His heart.  He is with you.  Be encouraged.  Press on, beloved, press on!

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