Does your flesh have a voice? Mine certainly does. My advantage is that I know who is speaking in sometimes the sweetest most soothing tones with words I totally want to hear. These are often words of comfort that encourages me to avoid a challenge. Can you relate? I thought so.
Flesh seems to talk to you in the areas you’re in need of discipline: social media, juicy conversations, sexual pleasures, food indulgence, unnecessary purchases, etc.
After months of failing to launch, I decided to begin a workout regime that I would not break until it becomes a habit (over 21 days non-stop). Before now, the goal seemed elusive.”Discipline!” Interestingly, some of us are disciplined in some areas but fall flat on our chest in other areas.
For six days I resolved to fling my flesh before the screen and sweat. To arrive at this place I refused to consult my feelings. This time I didn’t check for results in order to be motivated to come back. No, this time it’s all about the discipline of doing it.
So, early in the morning before I started the day, a conversation began in my head.
Said Flesh, “you do know that you’re tired, right? You’ve been going. This is the day to skip and get some rest.”
Said I, “Oh really, that’s true. I am tired. Yes, didn’t they say you should rest between work outs?”
Said Flesh, “Ahh…there you go. You’ll catch back up soon.”
As the conversation ended, I was resolved that this was the plan for the already hectic day.
What a strategy! Before I could think straight a plan of failure that soothed my flesh was rolled out.
Thankfully, as the morning wore on I became smarter and accepted a new resolve. I took on an aggressive workout that riveted my deal with discipline.
So what are you tripping over owing to the flesh talks? Not because it’s a thought means it’s “a thing!” Go for a fresh new thought in the direction of your goal. You’ll find one. Firstly, you have to have a goal in mind. If that is not clear, indiscipline will feed on you like hungry piranhas.
Beyond flesh, be careful not to give feelings too much of a place of prominence in your decision making.
It might not be exercise for you, but you must be in control or something else will master you. When your flesh talks, talk back with the Word of GOD.
How? For sinful urges…confess “Be holy as I the Lord am holy.” “Yes GOD I agree…I know I can be holy since you told me to be holy. ” Seek verses applicable to your challenge and confess them. We are training our flesh to comply with the Spirit.
For indiscipline…”I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.” 1Cor 9:27.
You have the help of the Holy Spirit…ask for it. You’re not left alone. “Submit to GOD, resist the devil and he will flee.” James 4:7
If there is a pet peeve I have in life, it’s watching an under-interested guy waste a well-meaning girl’s time. Gliding by and watching these relationships ensue…I get a “Color Purple” flashback!
Singing…“Sister…you’ve been on ma mind…sister we’re two of a kind…oh my dear Sista..I’m keeping my eyes on you.”
I’m keeping my eyes on you…make sure you have an inner circle of sisters to speak truthfully and lovingly into your life. There are two sides to the powder puff. Some sisters have now abruptly retired from this role because friends pulled away having heard a word of caution and have even resolved that they were jealous of the relationship. Yes, I understand. A wise friend often knows when to go mute on certain topics, especially at the risk of losing the friendship all together.
On the other side, there are girlfriends who meddle in relationships while trying to manipulate it for their own benefit. Truthfully though, not every friend is an inner circle (Icy) friend. So there must be those you can allow to prayerfully watch over your relationship. They will see what’s in your blind spot and possibly save you some wasted years. Pinpoint those “Icy” friends and value them.
Who wants to be in a relationship with someone who is not passionate about them? Sadly some relationships are about filling a gap…or just having something to do. Aren’t you worth more than that? In such a relationship, you get the feeling that you’re a side order, which can easily be done without. Who’s got time for that when you could be building the foundation of lifelong relationship. This is why dating all kinds of people is tiring. Some of you ladies know you’re the one wasting a gentleman’s time when you’re just occupying your time. Please step out of the way of that woman’s husband. I hear a woman all the way at the back of the auditorium shouting and clapping ..”yes..yes!” One woman’s trash is another woman’s treasure!
Do not allow anyone to come and park his car at you front door when the relationship is going no where. Often times you excuse the lackluster treatment hoping for a brighter day. I must say, if there is no sense of cherish now, he’s not convinced he’s found his “good thing.” You are someone else’s “good thing”-he will confirm it with a ring. I recently asked a gentleman if a girl he’s been seeing is worth it. He quickly responded, “No, not really!”
How could we then expect him to love her as Christ loves the Church and gave himself for her? When he is convinced about his “good thing” his answer will be different.
Me-alistically speaking…the basic principles of the Bible wrestle against the common culture of me-ology. Me-ology is the study of self and what pleases self. Imagine your precious soul grappling with the concept of putting others first, verses that of “just do you.” Come on, we all would love to hear that we are free to do “us.” “Yay! I can do what I want, when I want to and the way I want to! Is this not freedom, O!”
Ok, stop your old school dancing now! It won’t work! Actually, you know deep down that it cannot work. Truthfully speaking, there is a gravitational pull toward me-ology everyday of our lives. It’s only the resolute who can actively deny self-worship and share their light with others. Otherwise, we jealously guard our space. “You’re in my space,” we think loudly as we’re pushed to entertain someone beyond our comfort zone. Not to mention that there is but so much time that we can afford to give to someone else’s cause before returning to “my issues.” Don’t worry… the gravitational pull to be selfish is great on us all, whether we choose to admit it or not. Married or single.
I wish I could tell you that I found in the Bible the verse which says, “love yourself.” It would be the most quoted! Instead…Jesus had this to say…
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. Mt 22:37-39 ESV
I can imagine the disciples listening to how we ought to love GOD while wait to hear the assignment to love yourself. Jesus seemed to skip over that one and went on to talk about loving our neighbors! Tucked underneath that verse is “as yourself.” This statement presupposes that we already love ourselves. The work then is how to love others with that same careful attention paid to ourselves. This is why I say Christianity is not for wimps! So muscle up!
If JESUS ever loooved himself, we would never hear of the cross nor the verse which says “greater love hath no man than this, than for a man to lay down his life for his friends.”
So if you’re in love, let me tell you what you’re signing up for. If you love your friends, family, co-worker let me shed some light on that commitment. It’s a commitment to sacrifice your meological thinking for the good of others with no strings attached. Let’s take a closer look at love…
4 Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud 5 or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. 6 It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. 7 Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. 1Cor 13:4-7
Wait! Before you walk away saying, “In that case, I don’t love nobody!” There are illustrious blessing for loving selflessly like this! Here is another principle for you…when you sow love, it grows exponentially and you and your children will reap a harvest. You have it in you to love much stronger than you have, if JESUS is within you.
Meology cannot be your life’s theology if you intend to do life God’s way.
Catch up on the previous blog “Me-ology”
Here I was thinking forever. Years of conversations knitted our hearts together. No telling where my dream began and where his ended. We were woven into a knot…yes bonded. It wasn’t because we didn’t have problems, doesn’t everyone?
We were music, notes, melody – a strong song. I couldn’t tell the color of those waving flags along the way. But I could see myself caring for him until I was old and gray.
Feelings of indigestion with things that didn’t settle with me. I toughened up lay them aside…I sacrificed for “we.”
Then in one surreal moment… rhinos ran ransacked my reality. A slight dissent brought us to a calamity…I was sure he was joking. My words like a cushion I’m tossing… across the room but he’s not catch it. I’m lost! No smile back. He wrapped up the years with a bow on top. “You’re a misfit for my future.” The room reverberate my shock!
I can’t say I saw it coming…haven’t seen much lately…like my personal identity… or my faithful friends who warned me…you’re wifing way too early. Imagine me…wifing before the ring.
“It looks like it. Is it? I’ve prayed for this and waited patiently and impatiently. I thought I knew how it would come and the way it would be presented. Still, this thing does have every element of what I have prayed for, but this is just not how I would imagine GOD delivering this answer. Now that I’m looking closer, the package is a little uncertain. Maybe I asked for the wrong thing…I’m not sure about this.”
Have you ever had your prayers answered and all of a sudden feel threatened by it? You may begin negotiating its relevance, which clearly indicates that while you were waiting for the answer you had no plan for its arrival. It could be that you only interfaced with it in your imagination and when it shows up it threatens your reality. Guess what, you’re either not prepared for it or you’re afraid. Why? You know you can really mess it up! Often times it feels like you are not the one in control and that makes you feel quite uncomfortable.
Yes, you have to let go and receive what GOD has for you even if it’s not a mirror image of what you had in mind. Receive by faith. So if those feelings come to tell you how you will certainly wreck this, talk to Father GOD and allow Him to realign your quivering heart.
If the answer has not yet patted your shoulder, be real about welcoming the answer and prepare yourself.