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2246 Flesh versus Spirit

Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Rom 8:8-9a ESV

Paul warns us not to live “fleshly” (or “carnally”). The word “flesh” for him refers to our sinful nature, our tendency to exclude God, decide for ourselves, be self-centred – as well as all the wrongs that result from that. The flesh is the ego that we already talked about. The question Paul asks is this: Who is in control? Your own ego or God? The ego, for a fact, wants to be in control (that’s what the ego does) and certainly wants a part of the acknowledgement, gratitude and honour! Even in church there is a lot of ego going around: when we compete for positions or influence or when we want to show how “spiritual” or “humble” we are, how much we pray or how wonderful God is working through us. True spirituality and true spiritual growth is something else. Paul’s solution is to surrender control, to let the Spirit take over, to have HIM guide and lead you. The Holy Spirit will help us overcome our self-absorption and self-centredness – help us forget yourselves – and turn us into useful instruments. Oh, we so need it!

Holy Spirit, take control in my life. Help me get over myself! Amen.

Give control to the Spirit!

These devotions are part of a series on discipleship. Follow the whole series!

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