My boys play Rock - Paper - Scissors to determine who goes first or gets first dabs or gets to choose something. Rock crushes the scissors; scissors cut the paper; and paper covers the rock. This game is a quick and easy remedy to settling disputes and moving on.
Only recently did I give thought to how adequately and simply the Word of God deals with our fleshly desires. The drive of our flesh, it appears, is but small stuff when held up against the power of the Word.
The Bible tells us that the Word "pierces" (Hebrews 4:12) to the dividing points between soul (psyche) and spirit (pneuma) and joints (harmos) and marrow (myelos). Soul might refer to our mind and thoughts whereas spirit would be our very life force or breath. It is curious that "harmos" is related to the word "chariot" causing me to envision movement or function. And marrow we know to be the soft, interior substance in our bones that is integral to our immune or lymphatic system.
So let's see. This Word (the Bible) we study and this Word (Jesus Christ) we have come to know are razor sharp and have the supernatural ability and precision to penetrate and divide the deepest parts of who we are, our very essence.
But what does our flesh have to do with it? In the literal sense, our flesh covers our bones. In order to reach the marrow, our skin, tissues, and bones must first be divided or cut. In the figurative sense, our flesh represents our human desires and otherwise worldly, carnal tendencies. In order to overcome temptation or sin, the flesh must first be pierced...and ultimately crucified.
Is your flesh "winning" these days? Oppose it to the Word. What you will find is that the Word always wins. It is a rock (that crushes and destroys); it is paper (that covers with love and grace); and it is scissors (that cuts as the double-edged sword). Is it painful? You bet.
If you find that sin continues to reign, this may mean you are not counting yourself "alive to God in Christ Jesus" (Romans 6:11). When we have life in Christ, we partake of Living Water and are refreshed and made strong. We enjoy real life and are blessed. There is a mystery involved - but somehow the sweetness of victory over time outweighs by a landslide the momentary and fleeting delight of sin and the insufferable guilt that follows.
"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Heb. 4:12).
Confession: This is easier said that done. I have been battling for months to avoid enjoying sweet treats and snacking late into the evening. It seems like only a small resistance to these cravings would be sufficient, but dang it! I quickly give way to the cravings, often justifying the choice with "just this one scoop of frozen yogurt" or "Geesh, I'll start tomorrow." I'm sure I'm not the only one who struggles with food cravings, and I know that for me there is some twisted emotional connection... plus hormones... plus age... (Am I justifying?!)
In addition to the Word, sometimes we may need an action plan (accountability, support groups, prayer, modified behavior, etc.) to help us overcome serious addictions and trappings. We will remember that Jesus was tempted in His flesh to satisfy his hunger while in the dessert for over a month. His response was simple: " Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God" (Matthew 4: 4). Jesus put bread in its place, so to speak, and encourages us to seek the Word for true and lasting sustenance. He replaced something tangible with a non-tangible. We do need "bread" to live obviously, but we cannot let this "bread" get the most of us or control us.
What is the "bread" that is getting to you? How do you handle your fleshly cravings? Have a victory story to share? My saga...to be continued. :)
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