“Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” (Gal. 5:24; NASB)
The events of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ are well known to most Christians. He was ridiculed, mercilessly beaten, forced to carry His own cross, and finally died a horrific death. All of this at the insistence of His own people. All of those whom He loved demanded He be punished and put to death by others that He loved. Most physicians would agree that no man could have survived the beatings and torture that led up to His being hung on that cross. He knew He was going to have to endure this treatment before He willingly subjected Himself to it, and yet He allowed it to happen. There is an important point that needs to be taken from those events.
Jesus said to His disciples “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow Me” (Luke 9:23). They could not understand what He was referring to at the time since He had not yet been crucified. I’m sure it became clear to them later on, but it was not only for them that He said it. He made that statement for all of us. The point of this is that the process of crucifying the flesh can be painful but the result is freedom. As we die to our passions and desires, they no longer torment us. We are no longer slaves to those behaviors that cause so much destruction, loneliness, guilt, depression, and anxiety, in our lives. There is a reason Jesus said we must take up our cross daily. That reason is we have an enemy who wants to kill and destroy us and will use every opportunity to do so.
In Christ, we are no longer slaves to the schemes of the devil, but we must be watchful and willing to put aside our right to do what we want when it is against what God desires. This means no longer lying to get out of trouble or get what you want. It means not acting on our fleshly desires just for temporary pleasure. It means putting the needs of others before our own. It means loving others and loving yourself enough to resist any temptation you know is ungodly. These can all be difficult at times. They may even seem impossible. But God makes us over-comers when we trust in Him and faithfully obey His word.
Pray for God to show you where you need help and trust that He will answer by giving you the strength to overcome your weaknesses. He does not always do it for you. He may at times take an ungodly desire from you, but we are expected to deny those desires with our own will to do the right things. When you show the desire to obey Him, He will enable you to succeed.
Have a great week and God bless.