DEFINING THE “FLESH”
“Much of our distress as Christians comes not because of sin, but because we are ignorant of the laws of our own nature” Oswald Chambers (ref#7, March 22nd).
The Bible terms our born-with natural nature, “flesh” (Rom 8:8). “Flesh” denotes “sinful propensities and passions” of my entire nature Barnes’ Notes (ref#16, [John 3:6]).
This “flesh” urges me to carry out its “sinful passions.” I am the host this sinful nature works through. But as a Christian, You, FATHER have implanted another nature in me—Your nature, Your SPIRIT. He not only overpowers my sinful nature but also allows me to be the host of You accomplishing Your will through me.
CHRIST’s activity on the cross has given me the ability to render useless my fleshly nature, not simply the sins of my flesh. But I am too often concerned with the sins. I’m “occupied with today’s anger, tomorrow’s jealousy, or the day after tomorrow’s strife” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p96).
FATHER, please sensitize me to focus on, not individual sins but denying the urgings of my fleshly nature. It’s a given that my sin and lust keep me away from You, but also remind me that this fleshly nature is a totally selfish nature. Anything I do for my profit, or to make me look righteous, and anything I do out of what I deem my duty to You—all these actions are sin also (ref#35, p255).
Attempting to follow You without denying the flesh is the foundation of failure (ref#33, p116). Whenever I lack trust that is flesh in action (ref#33, p114). Flesh is impatient. It will resist waiting on You, FATHER. It also will not have faith enough to trust the SPIRIT. Flesh will make its own plans never having “the sense of utter dependency” Watchman Nee (ref#33, p114).
FATHER, I ask You give me strength to upstage my flesh so I may sit before You experiencing my dependence upon You. I praise You for the grace You have given me to put into practice the death of my fleshly nature. My most concern is always to recognize and render useless this “flesh.”