The Bible commands us to live by the spirit and not our flesh. Internally there is a war: spirit vs flesh. The flesh wants to protect and provide for itself (selfish). While the spirit wants to praise/honor God and love people (selfless).
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions,” — Galatians 5:16-25
#1 Understand The War of Spirit vs Flesh!
The flesh is selfish. The spirit is selfless. The flesh wants to protect and provide only for it self and thinks of no one else. The spirit causes us to think of God and how our actions affect everyone.
FRUITS OF THE FLESH
1. Lies – We tell lies to protect ourselves. Perhaps, we are afraid to be judged, controlled, or overworked.
2. Rebellion, Manipulation & Control – We want to control an outcome because we are afraid and don’t trust God.
3. Coveting, Lust, & Adultery – We are unhealthy emotionally and desire other people to give us emotions comfort. We look to sex as a fix instead of God.
4. Blame-Shifting – We can’t deal with the shame or guilt of a situation so we protect ourselves by blaming it on others.
5. Pride & Greed – We want to make sure we have enough or that other people praise us. We don’t trust God to provide and we want God’s glory.
FRUITS OF THE SPIRIT
1. Submission to God.
2. A stronger desire for God’s will rather than the things we want.
3. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23
4. Pick love even when someone hurt you. “Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; love is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; love does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-6
5. “compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience,” Colossians 3:12
Need spiritual mentorship? I would love to help you through this process with spiritual empowerment coaching! Let’s transform fleshly thoughts to spiritually and biblically sound thoughts!
#2 Find The Cause of Your Weakness!
The desires of the flesh are temporary earthly things. Why? Because, we all have a deep whole in our hearts that need to be filled. We are thirsty! Some of us fill the thirst for love, safety, approval with things and people. However, the things of this world are temporary and like drugs we will always need more! Only God can satisfy our thirst FOREVER (John 4:13-14)!
Jesus understood the weakness of the flesh. When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of good and evil it opened the door to experiencing shame, guilt, punishment, murder, etc. However, Jesus came to show us away to escape the tempting emotions that cause us to sin.
Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit when we got saved. Therefore, if you are struggling with lust, negative thoughts, shame, guilt, etc. you are emotionally unhealthy. In my life, I realized I wanted to lie or manipulate when I was scared. That realization helped me to get prayer, to pray, learn bible scriptures that tell me not to fear, and grow in the area of fear.
For some people, they struggle with shame and guilt so they blame other people for everything, lie, avoid people, become prideful to hide their insecurity, etc. The point is, our flesh naturally protects us in a unhealthy way if we are unhealed. God gave us the spirit so that we don’t have to use manipulation, drugs, abuse, etc. to protect ourselves from pain.
#3 You Must Die To Self Effort — Human Strength!
When Jesus died on the Cross and you accepted him as your lord and savior He defeated the devil’s grasp on your life. Works of the flesh such as fasting and praying in your own strength will not solve the whole problem. Fasting and praying should be done to renew your mind!
To renew your mind, you must learn the ways of the spirit and forget the ways of the flesh. What does that mean? You may need to learn to trust God when you are afraid instead of manipulating, controlling, and rebelling. Or, you may need to repent instead of blaming others when you feel guilt or shame. And, you may need to forgive yourself and stop thinking about what you did wrong after you repented.
To access the power of God in your life, you need to build an intimate relationship with God. That means, you are to focus on getting to know God for his personality not His power. Fasting and praying to understand how God loves you, heals you, and protects you will give you the tools to walk in the spirit. Read more about unhealthy and healthy fasting and prayer to learn how to get closer to God!
#4 You have the Holy Spirit!
Jesus gave you the Holy Spirit to help you defeat the thoughts that try to get you to sin. Remember when Jesus was on his 40 day fast? The enemy came and tried to get him to eat and to show off his power! The trick was to get Jesus to be selfish and think only about himself. However, Jesus was selfless and knew he came to die for our sins and show us the path of Heaven with our Father!
That’s what the enemy is constantly trying to do — get us to think about ourselves and not God.
Following the will of God or the enemy requires human sacrifice. To be a good person it requires sacrificing yourself and your wants to put God’s agenda of loving people first (Selfless). To be known, powerful, fill unhealthy needs, and/or be in control requires putting yourself before everyone else (Selfish). The sacrifices get harder each time… it’ll reveal whose cause we are faithful to.
- Heal by BREAKING generational curses!
- Crucify your mind: 4+ Ways To Remove Negative Thoughts (15+ Bible Verses)!
- Understand what causes masturbation and lust of the flesh!
- 5 Reasons You Can’t Be A Good Person Without Jesus!
Verses About Dying to Self!
Love nothing and no-one more than God. “And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27
Let Go Control and Trust God. “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6
Dying to self happens when we love others when it’s hard. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount.” Luke 6:32-34
Don’t be selfish, crucify the flesh. “For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,“– 2 Timothy 3:2-4
Everything we have is to help people not to be better than them! “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
Help the people around you. “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” — Philippians 2:4
Let God change your old thinking to spiritual mature thoughts! “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Romans 12:2