"My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
We just returned from an amazing few days with our youth group. We were able to attend summer camp at Orange Beach with about 50 of our youth. We had such a challenging speaker and a wonderful worship band. As we are all immersed in God's Word for five straight days, it was hard to imagine not living for Christ every moment of every day. Nothing else competed with my time and attention. It seemed like we all left there feeling empowered and motivated to live every moment for Christ.
Now, less than 48 hours later, I can feel the inner struggle going on inside of my heart. I want to follow Christ with all of my heart more than anything else, but I can feel the world and sin trying to choke out that desire. I can feel my sinful attitudes trying to take over and squelch the joy that lies within my heart.
I wish we could just stay in that place of complete surrender: that we could just worship Christ all day long without worrying about anything else. But, in this life we must daily battle our sinful attitudes. We must face difficult relationships, screaming children, selfish entitlements, and tough decisions. This is our life here on earth.
But, amidst this daily battle where I know I will still fail, I can still choose to ask God to search my heart and to show me what it means to daily live for him. It won't be easy like it was at church camp. It's easy to focus on God when all the distractions are removed and when everyone around you is focused on Him as well. No, it won't be easy to focus on Him when sinful battles are raging all around us, but it is still possible. I'm learning more and more that this must be a daily decision. Yes, I am forever His child when I ask Him to be Lord and Savior of my life, but if I want to live for Him each day, this means I have to die to myself every day. If I don't do this daily, then my flesh will win.
As the verses in Galatians state, our flesh desires the opposite of the Spirit, and they will be in conflict with one another. May we take the time to prepare ourselves against this daily battle by spending time in His Word and in prayer each day. If we are not prepared for battle, then our flesh will win. I want to walk by the Spirit, and the only way I can do this is to lay my desires aside each and every day.
"So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
"So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want..."
“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”