Oh, it’s time for the weekly battle once again, the struggle that has besieged many a harried housewife for generations, the epic fitted-sheet melee. When we remodeled our master bedroom years ago, we purchased our first queen-size bed, complete with a thick pillow-top mattress and an extra topper for an additional layer of comfort. That’s all well and good until the time comes to put on a clean, fitted sheet. I get one stupid corner secured, flop gracefully across the bed, sink instantly into those 7 layers of fluff, reach the opposing corner just in time to have the first corner pop off. The bed-sheet tussle continues, wearing through my Christian armor until tempers flare, well, my temper flares, the sheet remains rather passive. From corner to corner I bounce, ricocheting like a billiard ball off the sides of a pool table. Eventually my knight in shining armor arrives, quiets the hostilities, and assists in securing the sheet. Victory is mine, at least for this week.
That weekly sheet skirmish reminds me of another clash in my life, a minute-to-minute confrontation, a dogfight that seems endless, my battle with me. I can relate to the words of the apostle Paul as he pens this quandary: “For the good that I would I do not; but the evil which I would not, that I do,” and I sigh with him in agreement as he shares this frustration, but “how to perform that which is good I find not.” My flesh needs no encouragement to display anger, jealousy, bitterness, impatience; that takes no effort at all. But to live as Christ is against my carnal nature, requiring me to “put off…mortify” my flesh, and to “put on the new man,” the characteristics and mannerisms of Christ.
But often, as with the sheet battle, I find myself defeated, weak, with spiritual anemia. Although I try to “abstain from all appearance of evil,” I fall victim to my flesh. As I get one area, or corner of my life, under control, often another corner slips off. “Oh, wretched man that I am.” Any victory over the flesh is temporary, requiring me to “die daily,” to confront my flesh every moment of every day. And when I do succumb to that “old man” inside of me, it serves as a type of spiritual acid test, for it sickens my heart and convicts my soul, as I grasp the ugly fact that I have grieved and saddened my heavenly Father.
But thankfully I don’t have to live in the defeat of the flesh as “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord,” that the Holy Spirit stands ready to come to my aid, help my “infirmities,” guide me to victory, and “lead me into the land of uprightness.” When I lean on His strength and “walk in the Spirit,” the battle is no longer mine, but His.
Galatians 5:16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.
Lord, help me to rely on Your Spirit, for I do not have the power in myself to battle my carnal flesh. When I fall into sin, help me to seek Your forgiveness and get back into the race again.<div class='sharedaddy sd-block sd-like jetpack-likes-widget-wrapper jetpack-likes-widget-unloaded' id='like-post-wrapper-164683012-2349-63d7d4f01b065' data-src='https://widgets.wp.com/likes/#blog_id=164683012&post_id=2349&origin=wp.blog.grandmasgleanings.com&obj_id=164683012-2349-63d7d4f01b065' data-name='like-post-frame-164683012-2349-63d7d4f01b065' data-title='Like or Reblog'><h3 class="sd-title">Like this:</h3><div class='likes-widget-placeholder post-likes-widget-placeholder' style='height: 55px;'><span class='button'><span>Like</span></span> <span class="loading">Loading...</span></div><span class='sd-text-color'></span><a class='sd-link-color'></a></div>