Your Nearest Enemy
Your nearest enemy is your flesh. You can sometimes find sanctuary from the world and when you submit yourself unto the Lord the Devil will flee from you. But your flesh will remain with you until the day you die. Your flesh is the part of you that, when there is something you ought to do for the Lord, will find excuses not to. When you ought to study the Bible, it will want you to watch TV. When you ought to pray, it will rather sleep. When you ought to witness, it will work against that. When there is some work you ought to do for others, it will be lazy. You won*t be able to count all the excuses your flesh will come up with.
Blessedly, the Holy Spirit can be your nearest ally.
Galatians 5:16, 25: This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. . . . 25 If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.
Most of us have another wonderful ally sitting on a coffee table or on a shelf somewhere in our homes. I am referring to the Bible. As a general rule, I find that the individuals who study their Bibles the most sin the least and those study their Bible the least sin the most. And those who study the Bible the most will have the most victories over their flesh.
Psalms 119:11: Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.
Those who study the Bible the most will sense the Lord speaking to them in the circumstances of their lives the most. They will also hear His still small voice the most. He will impact their thinking, their speech and their actions the most. The more you learn of the Bible, the more quickly He can speak His truth to you through your mind.
John 10:27: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
1 Kings 19:12: And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.
Isaiah 30:21: And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.
Psalms 46:1: God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
2 Corinthians 10:5: Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
Psalms 141:3: Set a watch, O LORD, before my mouth; keep the door of my lips.
Psalms 37:23: The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.
Just now, your flesh is probably telling you that God does not speak to us and is not able to guide us, so we cannot possibly obey Him. It is probably telling you that you cannot know God*s will. Your flesh is probably telling you that you cannot control it or defeat it. Sometimes God*s guidance will be wordless. It will be a sense within us that this is what we ought to do. And when it is His voice, it will never disagree with any Bible principle. So it is vital that we learn everything we possibly can from the Bible.
1 Corinthians 9:27: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
The same God who helped the Apostle Paul bring his body (his thoughts, words and actions) into subjection wants to help us bring our bodies into subjection. When I first became saved I had not read the Bible very much and my flesh won way too many victories. Now that I am a little more acquainted with the Bible I win more battles with my flesh.
Proverbs16:3: Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.
Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
When we are committed to doing what the Lord wants us to do instead of what our flesh wants us to do, He WILL guide us.