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Ephesians 2: 3

Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.

My favorite word in this verse is “formerly.” I am glad that living in the flesh is in our past. None the less, this is something we all have to be vigilant about. It is also one of those things which is overcome in stages. So, perhaps we are learning to live in higher and higher revelations.

Much of the church reads a passage about “lusts” of the flesh and all they can think about is sexual lust. Sure, that qualifies, but it is the small part. Many people who have conquered sexual lust still have plenty of trouble with living to the flesh instead of to the Spirit. The easiest way to think about this is to first consider the tri-union nature of who you are. You are a spirit who has a soul and a body. As mature Christians we are trying to grow in the spiritual part of our being. We are dying to the body and soul. Consider your soul as your emotions, desires, thoughts and your will. Now when people think of lusts of the flesh some are really reading in here “lusts of the body.” That is not what the scriptures are about though. Your soul is part of your flesh too. When you sow to your flesh it may have very little to do with your body but it may have a great deal with your desires, your ego, your fantasies or even the injuries in your personality.

I’ve known people, and so have you, who needed to amass money just so they could feel good about themselves. Their energy, then, is spent serving that brokenness. God has already made us worthy in Christ Jesus. Once one receives that, the broken part of them can be healed. Then they can set goals about what they can do for the kingdom of God rather than what they need to do in order to feel good about themselves.

Many of us serve our egos instead of our God. That is the hardest thing in the world to overcome. First, you’ve got to be really, really honest with yourself. And sometimes the truth is not comfortable. But once you see the truth, it is really liberating. Most of us cannot even see how we elevate our needs, our wants, our desires and our egos above God. It can be difficult, but I want to challenge us all to look closely at ourselves and ask why we do the things we do. Even our “good works” can be works of the flesh if we do them out of a sense obligation or for the attention we seek to receive.

Let’s go deeper with God. To do that we need to survey ourselves. As we do, He will lead us to deeper revelations. And while it may be painful for a moment, it is just that, a moment. The joy is everlasting and much greater than the moment of discomfort. Besides, if you hurt for a moment, He is the great healer. He can heal you of that problem forever instead of you continuing to struggle with it all your life.

This is a call to higher ground, to maturity, to greater real spirituality. It is your great calling unto Christ; to keep growing in the revelation of him, and to fulfilment.

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