if… you will die, but if… you will live
For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live (Romans 8:13).
Chapter 8 of Romans deserves the believer’s focus and meditation! It is the solution to Chapter 7 where we read and empathize with Paul’s weakness of doing what he doesn’t want to do and not doing what he does want to do… If we stop reading there, it appears all hope is lost and we are stuck in a continual cycle of falling to the temptation of fleshly desires.
What are we to do? Two things: 1) ASK the Lord to give revelation regarding any partnership with the enemy’s work of destruction through misdeeds of the body.
There are so many manifestations of gratifications of the flesh, and 2 Timothy 3:2-5 identifies behaviors and heart attitudes that lead to a life surrendered to the flesh: “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God- having a form of goodliness but denying its power.”
2) Put to death the misdeeds of the body. This is not a work of mental strength, nor is it realized through physical endurance. It is by the Spirit. It is the all-surpassing power of the Holy Spirit that enables the believer to see the plot of destruction mapped out for their lives and to turn from it. We all have cooperated with Satan, but we also all have the same invitation to put to death everything that separates us from LIFE!
Here’s the cherry on the top: When we get over ourselves, meaning, when we conquer the battle within, we will lead the victorious life that Christ invites us into as stated in John 10:10. Our goal in life is not to be self-consumed, but Holy Spirit-infused so that we live for the glory of God.
Father, I come to You now to hear You gently speak to my heart and to reveal any misguided partnership with the enemy of my soul. Reveal to me now any thought pattern that I need to take captive, any attitude and/or behavior that I need to put to death. I declare right now, by your Spirit, that those former ways no longer are a part of me for I cast them off, out and away from my life and back to the pit of hell from where they came. In the mighty name of Jesus, Amen!