The subject of the previous post “To Soar in the Spirit You Have to Be Hardcore” deals more with the preparation needed to effectively deal with the nature of sin rather than the subject of dealing with sin directly. A key part of aligning ourselves for deliverance from sin is making a firm decision on whether we are going to yield our bodies to serve sin or if we are going to yield our bodies to serve righteousness as discussed in Romans 6. Yielding to the power of the Holy Spirit leads to righteousness and life, while yielding to the carnal nature leads to sin and death.
Before the Holy Spirit comes, we don’t even have the light to identify what carnal is because there is only the carnal nature and the carnal mind driving our actions. We do have a conscience that lets us know when we are treating someone in a lesser way than what we would like to be treated but that is fathoms below the heavenly ways of the spirit of Yahweh. When the Holy Spirit comes we are illuminated and understand when we are being compelled to be selfish, or lustful, or greedy, or spiteful or idolatrous. Once we are aware, we still have to make a decision on how we will respond. Remember, the spirit is subject to the prophet, we have to yield to the moving of the spirit. If we have not made a firm decision on whether we are done serving the flesh, we may choose to ignore the compelling of the spirit and satisfy the carnal appetite. When the scriptures speak of crucifying the flesh, it is speaking to exactly what Christ speaks of when he says, “If any man will be my disciple let him take up his cross and deny himself and follow me.” The crucifixion of the carnal man occurs anytime we deny ourselves the freedom to serve the flesh to obey the compelling of the spirit. As Yeshua mandated, to be His disciple, you have to give up your tendency to wander about and follow him only. As followers of Christ, we choose to take up our cross daily which mindset is, I will look for and obey the compelling of the Spirit that Yahweh’s will is done and not my own.
Before the Spirit of Truth comes we are fettered to the lies and deceits about what we are and what we are capable of along with all the rejection and condemnation that comes with all of that, BUT after we are quickened by the spirit, we come to understand that we were created in the image of Yahweh and even as He is Holy we CAN be holy too, and even as He is Righteousness, we can be righteous also. We gain the ability to discern what is of the spirit and what is of the flesh. We then have a choice. Even though now we have the power to live spiritually and fulfill the law, we still have to choose to obey. If we have taken up our cross and the time comes, we do what is holy and righteous. If we have not taken up the cross and the time comes then we are double minded, meaning we may choose to serve our flesh sometimes we and we may do what we know to be right other times depending on the level of discomfort to the flesh.
To mortify the flesh means to subdue it or deaden it especially by abstinence or self-inflicted pain or discomfort (Merriam Webster).
1 Peter 4:1,
“Therefore, since Christ suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same mind, for he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin.”
We have to be willing to suffer in the flesh for the reward of righteousness the way we suffered in the flesh to fulfill the lust and pride of carnal living. You have heard the expression that people will cut off their nose to spite their face, it comes from watching people endure pain and suffering out of spite or pride. Animals and people fight and endure pain for the chance to mate. Men fight wars for riches and land. People go on crash diets and workout hard to prepare their bodies for display on the beach. There are numerous examples of people subjecting themselves to sufferings willfully for causes that are fleshy. We just have to be honest with ourselves about what we really believe and were our allegiance really lies because Yahweh deals in spirit and in truth. People stand in awe of Yeshua for what He suffered but the glory and beauty really lies in why He suffered. He endured it all so that we could be set free and have an opportunity to have true life in abundance. He knew that some of us would still reject Him and not value the benefits that He purchased with His own flesh but he did it anyway. The suffering of the flesh that is required of us is just reasonable to sustain life, unity, and peace for our self and with our fellow man according to the Word.
Brother thats right on time. You sum it up in the narrative exspounding on the fact that this is a fight and it is hard core. That the HOLY SPIRIT rightly decerns the difference to us between flesh and spirit. There are great rewards for those saints that walk after the spirit and not after the flesh, as it is not easily done. Praise GOD almighty that I have seen what warfare looks like and have looked victors in the eye and have been compeled to fight as well. Iron sharpen iron and I am grateful that the LORD has moved so mercifully and powerfully for me to witness. I agree you are right that a man mortifys his flesh willfully then he sets about the fight.