Fighting the Flesh

Acts 17:24-27 reminds us that we are born in need, and our desires are from God Himself. However, during the craziness of Covid-19, and the long hours at home in quarantine, I have been tempted to forget the One who gives and fulfills all of our desires.

Idleness and boredom are never a good combination. God purposely designed us for work before the fall. In this time at home, and an increase in free time, I have found that it is so easy for my desires to be flesh-driven instead of spirit-driven. I am shocked and dismayed how easy it is for me to forget the joys that are only found in Christ. Despite my sin, and my temptation to forget the goodness of Christ, God is still a good and gracious Father whose mercies are new every morning! Here is one thing I have learned as I’ve strived to fight my flesh and cling to Christ. 

Christ is our ultimate source of joy. 

The apostle Paul reminds us in Philippians that ultimate joy is found in Jesus. Paul had all of the qualifications of a “good life” during his time. He was a Hebrew of Hebrews, the Pharisee of Pharisees, the most blameless, and the most zealous. Yet, Paul suffered an insane amount of pain and sorrow, yet his joy was always anchored in Christ. He writes whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ. (Philippians 3:7–8) When Paul found the treasure hidden in the fields of Scripture, all the other treasure  had suddenly faded in importance.  He wrote, “My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better” (Philippians 1:23). Paul’s life has been a reminder in this season where I’m prone to grow weary and restless, that Christ is the ultimate treasure. 

Push Through

Even though fighting our flesh, especially during a time of increased time on our hands, seems daunting, we have a greater hope. Romans 8:12-13 says:  Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Those words pierced through to my heart as I wage war against and choose to spend time focusing on the goodness of the Lord and the every-present joy found in him Be encouraged with this: 

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

I hope and pray that this gives you some ounce of encouragement as we push on during this season where life seems like it’s on pause. 

– Kayla Sumile, GEM Missionary

If you’d like to support Kayla as she serves with GEM in Mexico, you can do so HERE. You can also contact her directly to talk further about what it means to be on her support team and find out how you can be praying for her!