When Spirit Rules Flesh

Tuesday, May 14th, 2024

Early one recent morning I turned to God looking for some wisdom to help me through a challenging season. I’m finding myself back on the roller coaster of not taking EVERY though captive and I am seeing how much it is affecting. For me, it’s thoughts of fear and anxiety. I know God has given me tremendous victory in this area, but it’s seasons like these where I see there is still work to be done. The enemy knows the thoughts that trip me up and if I am not checking every one at the door, it’s not long before an army of stinkin’ thinkin’ has taken over.

So, as I was hanging laundry up outside (do people even still do that?) God gave me a prayer to pray, “My spirit trusts You; help my body to trust You.” After years of burdening myself with fear and anxiety, I can see the effect on my body. All the excess hormones and the fight or flight responses have taken up more space in my life than God designed. It’s a journey to get those things back in check. My spirit knows the best thing to do is to trust God. I can finally see that His way is best. Even if what I see doesn’t yet look the best, He is busy getting me to that place. My role is to make sure that my body, my flesh, my thoughts and my emotions are not causing my spirit to stumble.

This prayer has me very intrigued. After the fall in the Garden of Eden, the flesh became dominant over the spirit. It takes a concerted effort to flip the balance so that the spirit is back on top. It’s not something we can just do once. We have to make day-by-day, moment-by-moment decisions to ensure the flesh stays submitted. A scripture that came to mind as He gave me this prayer is from Matthew 26:41:

41 Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Jesus told His disciples this as they were falling asleep in the garden of Gethsemane. He knew they wanted to pray with Him as He was battling in the spirit, but He could see they were letting their flesh take over.

One other thing God is showing me more lately is that this message isn’t about us trying harder or falling under another set of burdens. He didn’t ask me to figure out how get my body to trust in Him. He simply asked me to pray that He would help my body to trust. It’s one of those slight but major differences. We all have areas where we would like to see change, but how often are we actually asking God to help us with those things? How often are we seeking and listening for the heavenly strategies for victory? Many of us want to work harder, do more, and tire ourselves out trying. What if God just wants us to pray and let Him do the “work harder and do more” part?

Final Thoughts…

Lord, no matter the utterances of our flesh may we hear Your Spirit above them all. May we rest in who You made us to be, how much You love us and the wonderful plans that You have in store for us. May every ache, empty longing and broken fiber cry out to You and You alone. May our body surrender to its Maker and stop trying to rise above. Made in Your image we are, but bound by our flesh we are not. Help us to live in unison between our spirit, soul and body. That all three would desire and trust in You more and more.