Thursday, November 09, 2006
No Longer Flesh Bags
I am saddened.
Whatever Ted Haggard did (Senior Pastor of New Life Church, and President of the National Association of Evangelicals), and he has admitted to sexual immorality, I can tell you what happened.
His flesh got the best of him.
And the flesh gets the best of us whenever any of the following is true:
· we begin to believe fleshly desires come from our selves
· we begin to believe fleshly behaviors come from our selves
· we begin to focus upon obedience and good works, rather than upon knowing Jesus
· we begin to fight ourselves
· we stop living by the Spirit as the spirits we have become.
I have written and spoken about this before, but it bears repeating: the awful thoughts and desires, as well as the sinful behaviors of your life do not come from you, but from the flesh. And you are not the flesh.
The “flesh” (a word the NIV unfortunately translates “sinful nature”) is mortal man on his own, separate from the life of God, and bent upon living independent from Him, a condition and trait that you and I inherited from Adam. It pushes us to have an opinion different from His and to follow it, the flesh presses us to do anything apart from what He would counsel us to do, and it induces us to look anywhere but to Him for the power to live in our day. The flesh can make us look good (Paul writes about how great he looked while under its’ influence in Phil 3), and it can make us look bad (he also wrote to the Galatians about the ugly fruit of the flesh, which included sexual immorality, envy, rage, etc.). The problem isn’t only what we do, it’s that we do it without the power and life of God. So, either way, looking good or looking bad, it’s flesh.
Before we received our new selves and became spirit, before we became new creations, all we could do was flail away at life, mere flesh-bags without any life. That’s how we lived – no choice because we had nothing else.
How did that happen?
(To be continued…)