We read in Mark 9:45-49, “And if thy foot offend thee, cut it off: it is better for thee to enter halt into life, than having two feet to be cast into hell, into the fire that never shall be quenched:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out: it is better for thee to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye, than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire:  Where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched.  For every one shall be salted with fire, and every sacrifice shall be salted with salt.”
As believers we need to know how to subdue our bodies, not other people’s but our very own, to subject its appetite, self, will and passion.
The true position of our natural desires is that they should entirely be our servants, and not our masters. Never should we follow then or be led by them, but that they should follow and be led by us. Paul says, “But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.” 1 Corinthians 9:27
Romans 8:1-3 says, “…walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh.”
When led by the spirit – the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus is that which sets you free from the law of sin and death whereas when led by the flesh, you’re weak, and thriving in you are your sinful ways. “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 8:5-6
It’s your duty to make sure you bring your body into subjection; so as not to serve and obey it in the lusts thereof; but to mortify it – “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” Romans 8:13-14.
We’ve not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but we have received the Spirit of adoption, that which makes you overcome, subdue or mortify the deeds of the flesh; “Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: For which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience.” Colossians 3:5-6
Unless the spirit keep the body under, the body will get above the soul. The body may be made a good servant, but is a bad master. “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall.” 2 Peter 1:10
Jesus said to Peter, “Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.” (Matthew 16:23). It’s possible for believers to walk in truth and yet indulge in sin or to neglect the body in a subtile way while “satisfying the flesh” (Col 2:23).
But you my friend, exchange your old life for the new life in Christ. Galatians 2:20 says, “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” Yes, he loves you! “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16). We are to obey the Spirit so that we will not obey the flesh.
What’s hindering true faith?
“How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only?” John 5:44
What people call faith these days is sheer pride – self will, self seeking, self exaltation, self confidence. Faith is that which strengthens the inner man not flesh which cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. “Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.” (Romans 8:7). So most of the faith you hear about these days is all rubbish, superficial and a hindrance to the true faith of God. Jesus left us an example of true faith – humility! All those he said had great faith, was because they had deemed themselves nothing before him.
“Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me. And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life. I receive not honour from men. But I know you, that ye have not the love of God in you. I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour that cometh from God only? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father: there is one that accuseth you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words?” John 5:39-47
What’s hindering true faith?
You’ve not honoured me; “I am come in my Father’s name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.” (John 5:43). No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the only God!
Finally, we need to understand that we must give up everything to follow Jesus. This is the condition for discipleship. Look at the words of Jesus, “If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:26-27).
Come after him!
Now is best time to make that commitment. Please pray the following prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, I realize that I have been trying to live the Christian life in the flesh, but have failed. Therefore now I purpose to bring the flesh under subjection, to take off the old man and put on the new, to deny the flesh, to make no provision for the flesh, to mortify the members of the flesh, to reckon the flesh crucified, and to live a transformed life. Today, I choose the path of grace and humility to forsake my life and to follow Christ, in Jesus’s name, Amen.