I am reposting something I wrote awhile back, but it speaks encouragement to me in the midst of what feels like a ‘tug of war!’ But the beauty of it all, is victory is possible with God!
manna for the moments of ‘tug of war’…
Tug of war? Yes! It is going on every minute in our hearts and minds. And the sad part is, ‘out of the abundance of our heart, the mouth speaks’,(Matthew 12:34.)
You and I both know all about this. We all have an ‘old nature’ that we were born with, much like a ‘roaring tiger’ that often times ‘gets out of its cage!’ This nature is known in the Bible as the ‘flesh’. “But whenever a person turns (in repentance) to the Lord the veil is stripped off and taken away.” 2 Cor. 3:16. Something new happens when we receive the Lord, we ‘see’ the power for the ‘new nature’ of God. And we see that we don’t HAVE TO let the ‘ol tiger’ out of the cage -but still, oftentimes, it does!
God gives us provision to lock that ‘ol roaring beast’ (or otherwise, the flesh) in a cage, so to speak – but He doesn’t take that ‘ol nature’ away! My only comment to this, is…’Lions and tigers and bears remain in us…
Well, the provision is NOT good works. We can know that because in John chapter 3, a man who was ‘very good’ by human standards came to Jesus at night with questions, and Jesus Himself instructed him, (Amplified version), “I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, that unless a person is born again (anew, from above), he cannot ever see – know, be acquainted with [and experience] – the kingdom of God. (John 3:3).
God doesn’t look at our ‘good works’ the way we think He does. The Scriptures are quite clear about this: “…our best deeds or rightness and justice – are as filthy rags or a polluted garment.” (Is. 64:6).
Jesus tells us quite simply, the ‘good work’ that we must do in the eyes of God,”This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29).
“But, how does this put that ‘ol roaring beast behind bars and locked up?” you and I ask. Even after believing in Jesus, there is a tug of war…
“For the desires of the flesh are opposed to the (Holy) Spirit, and the [desires of the ]Spirit are opposed to the flesh, (that human nature without God,) for these are antagonistic to each other…” Gal. 5:17. That ‘ol beast seems to keep clawing his way out?
BUT GOD gives us provision,“But clothe yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ, the Messiah, and make no provision for [indulging] the flesh – put a stop to thinking about the evil cravings of your physical nature – to [gratify its] desires (lusts). (Romans 13:14. Amplified.)
And God even provides more insight to victory, “But I say, walk and live habitually in the (Holy) Spirit – responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh – of human nature without God. (Gal. 5:16, Amplified).
The provision is there. We simply need to HALT and seek first the Kingdom of God. We need to bow our hearts to the Lord and pray, “Father ‘lead me not into temptation and deliver me from evil, for Yours IS the Kingdom and the power and the glory, forever'(Matthew 6:13). ‘Your love never fails'(1 Corinthians 13:8). And a ‘bruised reed You will not break and a smoking flax You will not quench'(Matthew 12:20). ‘Help me!’ (Psalm 119:86). Yes, we give thanks to You Lord, because You never give up on us, never, even when we have given up on ourselves. Our hope is always in You. Looking to You IS our victory! In Jesus name, Amen.”