Listen: 64 Question 1

What you have described is a common problem among so many of the Lord’s people.  It’s a problem we all have to deal with at some level.  I can tell from your question that you are miserable in the life you are living.  This is not what the Lord wants for you.  He wants you to live the life of an overcomer; one that is not controlled by the lusts of the flesh, but one that lives a victorious life.  Romans 6:6 tells us, “…that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”  Our old standing before God, as those who knew not God and could only serve sin, is gone through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  The Lord no longer sees us as unregenerate sinners; He sees us as His own children.  That old standing has been destroyed and we should no longer be captive to the sinful desires of the flesh.

Even as believers in the Lord, our flesh is still sinful, and tempts us with its sinful desires.  We learn of some of the evil desires of the flesh in Galatians 5:19-21 which says, “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like…”  Are you plagued with any of these things?  These are the kinds of things that the flesh longs for.  Let’s contrast that with the fruit of the spirit in Galatians 5:22-23, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law..”

So, how do we go from battling the lusts of the flesh to living a life that exhibits the fruit of the Spirit?  Again, we go back to Galatians 5 for the answer.  Galatians 5:16 says, “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.”  To walk in the Spirit means to live in the influence and power of the Holy Spirit.  You may have the best intentions to cease from sin, but until you begin to walk in the Spirit, you will give in to the flesh over and over again.  To walk in the Spirit means to follow His direction as given to us in the Word of God.  Ephesians 4:30 tells us to, “…grieve not the holy Spirit of God.”  We grieve the Holy Spirit when we do the things He tells us not to do.  1 Thessalonians 5:19 tells us to, “Quench not the Spirit.”  We quench the Holy Spirit when we don’t do the things he wants us to do.  We overcome the lusts of the flesh by being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading as He opens the Word of God to us.

Here are a few practical things you can do to accomplish this:

First, begin a schedule of reading your Bible every day.  This is how we learn the Lord’s will; we read His Word.  As believers, the Holy Spirit will guide us through the Word of God.  We learn of the work of the Holy Spirit in John 16:13 which tells us that “…he will guide you into all truth…” and that by us reading our Bibles consistently.

Secondly, become a man of prayer.  King David was a man of constant prayer.  He wrote in Psalms 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”  He understood that every time he prayed, the Lord heard him.  The Holy Spirit will guide us in our prayer life as we read in Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”

Thirdly, you need to be faithful in gathering with the Lord’s people on a constant basis.  There is so much strength and encouragement in being with fellow believers.  Hebrews 10:25 says, “Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.”  We need to be with those of like faith.

And then, if there are people in your life that are a bad influence for you; if there are those that tempt you or encourage you in your sins, you need to separate yourself from them so you can truly enjoy true fellowship with the Lord.  2 Corinthians 6:17-18 says, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.”

If you will begin to do these things, you will find the temptations of the flesh will become weaker and weaker.  They will never go away, but when we are walking in the Spirit, we will have the strength to overcome these temptations and live lives that honor our blessed savior.