Keep Your Flesh In Check Rom. 2:15 CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO
If you were to follow the appetites of your flesh all the time, you would kill yourself trying to please your insatiable appetites [Jas 1:14-15]. Fulfilling your fleshly desires provides temporary pleasure, but you must keep feeding your desires in order to keep having pleasure. The truth is that whatever it takes to temporarily please you today, it will take more tomorrow. That’s why we say that your fleshly desires are insatiable.
God gives us at least five things to help you keep your flesh in check. He gives you:
Your Conscience – Rom 2:15 – your conscience tells you when something you are doing is wrong – when you give in to your flesh and do something that you know you shouldn’t do, your conscience troubles you about it – and it should; that’s the way God designed it – so, you need to listen to your conscience – but you can sear your conscience, 1 Tim 4:2, by continuing in sin that your conscience tells you to quit – when that happens, you no longer “feel bad” about doing something wrong; you think that what you are doing is somehow now right [it isn’t, but you think it is] – look at the adulterous woman of Prov 30:20 – she sees nothing wrong with adultery though it was a capital crime and a great sin as far as Abimelech was concerned [Gen 20:9].
The Holy Spirit – Jn 16:8-11 – the Holy Spirit will reprove you gently concerning sin, righteousness and judgment – this is a work he does with lost people because they don’t believe on Jesus but it is also a work he does on saved people to keep them in line with God’s will – Ananias was reproved by the Holy Spirit, but Ananias lied to him [Acts 5:3] – when you get into sin that the Holy Spirit is warning you to stay away from, you quench his voice 1 Thes 5:19 – when your conscience is seared and the Spirit is quenched, you lose two very powerful voices against your flesh.
The Word of God – Ps 119:9, 11 – the word gives you light to see the sin – and when you get that kind of light on your sin, you need to follow it – but you can neglect the words of God or reject them – Prov 1:24-26 – and when you do, they continue to testify against your flesh even though you aren’t listening – that is dangerous business – you need to listen to the words of God and trust that he is telling you the truth.
Godly Reproof – Prov 6:23 – parents and those who give godly reproof will keep you out of trouble – they may see something you are doing or hear of something that you are doing and reprove you for it – you need to listen to them even though your flesh is resisting what they have to say and you want to rebel against them – if you refuse to follow what they say and you quit listening, Prov 5:12-13, the end result is detrimental to you.
Physical and Spiritual Consequences – Gal 6:7 – reaping what you sow is a natural law and a spiritual law – you can be sure that if you are giving in to the sins of the flesh, you are going to reap what you have sown – often the fear of these consequences is enough to protect someone from doing something foolish – take a young girl who is being “pushed” by a young man to forsake the guide of her youth and the covenant of her God [Prov 2:17] – the fear of what may happen to her if she gives in is sometimes enough to convince her to say “no” – but if you forget about these consequences, Prov 7:22-23, when your flesh is demanding that you give in to your appetites, you are still going to reap what you’ve sown – you can silence the voice of these consequences but they are going to still come upon you – like the Bible says, “Be sure your sin will find you out.”
Conclusion: Your flesh is as demanding and selfish as an incorrigible little child – so God has given you five witnesses against it to keep you flesh in check – listen to them and forget the screaming little child of your flesh – these five voices will keep you out of a lot of trouble and away from a lot of future misery.