Cleveland Prayer Group Website

Resolve the Conflict

by Dr. George Jacob

"For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would," Galatians 5:17.

The lust of the Spirit, striving against the flesh, makes it so the flesh cannot do the things it would. It is through that new man with new desires that are stronger than the old desires that we are able to do what we see in Colossians 3:5-6: "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."

We do things by the power of that new desire that overcomes the old desire. We mortify the fleshly desires through the Spirit lusting against the flesh. This is why the flesh cannot do the things it wants to do. The Spirit overpowers it and mortifies it. We do not gratify these old lusts. We mortify them. We cut them off. We pray against them. We seek the Lord's help to overcome them.

Now in verse 7 it says: "In the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them." When we live in these lusts of the flesh, they will rule over us, but we are to cut them off.

in verse 8: "But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth."

So, where does this start? We put off anger. The fruit of the Spirit is love. We put off anger by coming from a motive of love. That is how we conquer anger. We must let a motive of love control our decisions rather than wrath.

Do not get in the habit of using nasty words. Do not get in the habit of telling filthy jokes. If we do, pretty soon the new man of the heart gets killed. You cannot entertain both. When you hear people telling dirty jokes, instead of standing around and listening, you walk away from them. You just tell them, I do not like them and walk away from them. We have to cut these things off. Otherwise, these things start controlling our minds.

in verses 9 and 10: "Lie not one to another, seeing that ye have put off the old man with his deeds; And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him."

We are to put off the old man and put on the new man by mortifying these things where the flesh is lusting against the Spirit. The old man cannot do what he wants to do because the Holy Spirit works grace in our hearts and gives us a new desire, that new man of the heart. We must put this warfare into action, and we must come against these evil thoughts. We must come against anything that brings about what ought not to be in our hearts.

If evil thoughts and desires control your heart and mind, you will not get them out of your mind by making up your mind to forget about them, because the more you try to forget about them, the more they will rule. You forget about them by thinking about holy things. You start filling your mind with holy desires. You start thinking about things you can do for God's honor, and all of a sudden you have changed the traffic of your mind. This is how you put off the old man. You get rid of these evil desires by filling your heart with good desires, with things that pertain to holiness. We put on the new man by trafficking our minds with things that pertain to the things of God.

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