This was the third message in the Talking Back message series and this week Pastor Carl taught on a theology of the flesh. For the purposes of this message series we defined the flesh as the base, animalistic, primal drive in us for self-gratification. We all have desires. God has desires. But unlike God, we have desires that are beneficial and harmful. Also, some of our non-harmful desires are better than others.
In 1 John 2:16 we read that the lust of the flesh the lust of the eyes and the pride of life does not come from the Father. Instead, the enemy animates our desires in ways that are harmful and self-destructive. Higher order desires lead to abundant life while base desires lead to death and destruction. As followers of Jesus, we are called to seek a higher path while turning from the base desires in our life.
When we normalize sin, we live with disordered desires. Disordered desires are harmful because they bring about our destruction. The enemy plays toward disordered desires that are normalized in sinful society.
Even though these disordered desires originate in the flesh, they are thoughts that are animated by the enemy and they cannot be conquered with willpower, or as the bible calls it the flesh.
Jesus came so that we could walk in true freedom. Biblical freedom is the absence of external powers causing us to do things that are destructive to ourselves or society. Modern culture tells us that freedom is the power to do whatever we want. This is opposite from what Jesus promises us. He did not bring us freedom to become slaves of sinful society. He brought us freedom so that we would not be slaves of the enemy, our own flesh, and the society which has normalized sin.
Each of us has a deep longing to be loved and to be safe. But we often find that our strongest desire is not our deepest desire. Our strongest desires come in the way of temptation which wars against the life God wants us to live.
Each of us has a battle against an inner desire that seeks to destroy the life God has for us. Jesus came to give us freedom from that. Galatians 5:16 “walk in the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.”
The flesh produces all types of wickedness, but the Spirit produces what our heart genuinely longs for.
This week, spend time reading Galatians 5:16-23. Ask Holy Spirit to show you where He wants to bring you freedom. Repent of any sin that Holy Spirit brings to light and ask Jesus to fill you with the Spirit so you can walk in freedom.