Continuing with our Focus on F words, today we look at Faith in its fight against Flesh.
Bible League: Living His Word:
. . . when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the LORD. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
— James 1:6-8 NIV
According to the Apostle Paul, there is the mind of the Spirit (Faith) and there is the mind of the flesh. The mind of the flesh is the mind of an individual person governed by the sinful spiritual state, but the mind of the Spirit (Faith) is the mind of an individual person governed by the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:6). These two mindsets stand opposed to one another.
The mind of an individual person governed by the Spirit is the mind of a Christian who believes in faith that they have whatever good thing they ask of God (Mark 11:24). If, however, that person’s mind allows the flesh, the old sinful spiritual state that was “crucified with Christ” (Galatians 5:24), to influence its thinking, then a conflict is set up. On the one hand, there is faith in God and, on the other hand, there is doubt that God will come through.
James likens the Christian person that allows doubt to enter the picture to a wave tossed about by the wind. Every Christian has had wave experiences, has experienced being tossed back and forth between faith and doubt. Every Christian knows what it’s like to be double-minded and unstable. It’s not a pleasant experience.
James also says that when we are being tossed by the wind we should not expect to receive what we ask of the Lord. It’s obviously very important, then, that we stop allowing ourselves to be tossed about like waves. It’s very important that we stand fast in the “peace of God that transcends understanding” that comes to us when we present our requests to God (Philippians 4:7).
Today, let us make up our minds that we will not allow the flesh to rob us of our peace by doubting the God who can even do “immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20).
Two Wolves is a Cherokee Indian legend and illustrates the most important battle of our lives – the fight between our faithful and fleshly thoughts. Here is how the story goes:
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life. “A fight is going on inside me,” he said to the boy.
“It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves. One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.” He continued, “The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. The same fight is going on inside you – and inside every other person, too.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf will win?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
Decide today which will you feed, Faith or Flesh?
“…if it is evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15(ESV)
Fighting the Good Fight along side you,