Putting The Flesh In Its Place
Your experience of life, both on this Earth and in eternity, is going to depend upon who controls your soul. Your soul is comprised of your mind, your will, and your emotions. Your mind and your emotions work together to produce a decision. That action (the decision you make with the free will God has given you) will fall either on the side of life and blessing, or on the side of death and cursing (see Deuteronomy 30:19).
Put another way, what you think (mind) combined with how you feel (emotions) influences your choices and morals (will). Now your soul can be influenced by your born-again spirit; allowing God to be the controlling influence through your spirit (see 1Thessalonians 5:23), or your soul can be influenced by your body (i.e., the flesh) putting you in the precarious position of being body-ruled.
Are you body ruled? You can tell by checking your “body language” for a distinct preference toward earthly-mindedness. Prior to being born-again, everything you learned was experienced through your five senses: taste, touch, sight, smell, and hearing. Therefore it should not be surprising that everything with which the body concerns itself revolves around an earthly nature: eating late at night . . . watching late-night TV when you have to get up early . . . napping during church, etc.
The body talks only of earthly things — it has no capacity to talk about heavenly considerations. In fact, the body has three topics of interest: me, myself, and I. This perspective is all that interests the body and it consumes the body from sunrise to sunset (see Gal 5:17-21 for a primer on the flesh, and see Gal 5:22-23 for a contrasting picture of the spirit).
When God’s Holy Spirit influences your soul, life and blessing are imparted to your spirit man. The Holy Spirt can then make your body a servant to the awesome plan of God (see 1Cor 1:7-8).
Under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, your gifts will come forth as you yield more of yourself to God. However, if you are body-ruled, the enemy can sweep in and influence your soul toward death and cursing.
For assuredly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “Be removed and be cast into the sea,” and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Mark 11:23
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