Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Overcome the Works of the Flesh

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Galatians 5:19-21 (NET) Now the works of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity, depravity, idolatry, sorcery, hostilities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish rivalries, dissensions, factions, envying, murder, drunkenness, carousing, and similar things. I am warning you, as I had warned you before: Those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God!

Kenneth and Bode were brethren who prayed together and had many things in common. Bode got a huge contract that turned him into a millionaire. It appeared that Bode's doors kept opening and things got better and better for him. Kenneth, on the other hand, appeared to be decreasing in many areas of his life. He used to walk in the visible power of God and the anointing, but even that was no more present in his life.

It now appeared that the better things went for Bode, the worse they became for Kenneth. That was the way Kenneth was interpreting it.

Kenneth became so troubled that he took out some days to seek the Lord (in prayer and through His Word) concerning what was going on. As he read the verses of today's scripture during his study, he was reminded that those who practice the works of the flesh would not inherit the kingdom of God. It was clear to him that the power [and reality] of the kingdom of God was no more [manifesting] in his life. The Holy Spirit helped Kenneth to see that when Bode got his first contract, he was envious and never dealt with the envy in his heart. Because of that work of the flesh he allowed to grow in his heart, he was no longer able to appropriate the power of the kingdom of God, and that was why since that first contract Bode got and envy entered his heart, it appeared that Kenneth's life kept diminishing and Bode's life increasing. Bode on the other hand noticed the fruits of Keneth's envy but continued to love and treat Kenneth like a brother.

I believe that one reason the Holy Spirit led the Apostles to mention the works of the flesh in scripture is so that the believer can identify them and get rid of them if any begins to sprout in his heart. Practicing the works of the flesh produces spiritual death and hinders our participation in the realities and power of God's eternal kingdom and divine life(see Romans 8:13, Galatians 6:8). Many believers are not nearly as powerful as they should be because there are certain works of the flesh that abide in them that are left untouched because they don't seem as bogus as idolatry or fornication.

Go into today remembering that it is no small matter to continue to practice any work of the flesh, no matter how small it might seem.

Prayer: Ask the Holy Spirit to help you identify and overcome any work of the flesh that seeks to overtake you.
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