If there is one thing that surely makes this battle between the flesh and the spirit a very difficult one, it is this: you are fighting an enemy you love.
I don’t believe that any one of us would be cool with fighting somebody we love. As life would have it, I have had minor fallouts here and there with my folks, my brother, close friends, from time to time and it’s never anything pretty; I would avoid it for anything. I know that the reason it hurts and has me restless is because I love these people far beyond the wrangle.
Have you ever thought that you actually do really love some of your enemies? And because you love them so, you struggle to fight them? I hope you’re up to date from the last piece because this one well complements it.
Recently, I had an eye-opening, life-changing revelation that is the breath of this piece. It took God to use a dear close friend to get me to see. I found myself in between the right thing to do and my big head that was too proud to willingly do it and my friend said to me, “ahaaaa, I know why it’s hard. It’s because that’s the enemy you love!” (pride) In my head, I wanted to be offended but my spirit knew he was right. Flesh and blood did not reveal that to him for sure.
If there is one thing that surely makes this battle between the flesh and the spirit a very difficult one, it is this: you are fighting an enemy you love. You love lying that’s why you don’t like being called out for it. You love gossiping, that’s why you’ll come with the phrase, “si kwa ubaya lakini naniii…..” You love how coitus feels despite your unringed finger that’s why you sideline your accountability group because “it’s none of their business anyway”. You love your enemy so much that’s why “only God can judge me” is your second favorite Bible verse (if it is one anyway..lol). You’re too proud, excusing it for assertiveness, that’s why you find it hard to say “sorry”.
I’m sorry. I’m toe-stepping. It’s ouch for me too and I’m working on it. Our flesh wars with our spirit because our flesh actually really loves all these things that the Spirit despises. The Bible says that the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit.
“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.”
Our minds are much like the homes in which we live: we must daily keep up with the process of organizing our mental clutter and cleaning up the cerebral dirt and grime that accumulates in our thought patterns, not to mention scrubbing the dark and dusty corners of our brains; otherwise, spiritual havoc will quickly ensue. The enemy is a deceiver. Thus, he will deceive us into thoughts of evil and eventually have us conforming to these patterns and getting comfortable in our sin. This is why some of us excuse or downplay some of our struggles because we have even stopped imagining our lives besides them.
Sin doesn’t come from temptation
I grew up thinking temptation was where sin came from. On any given day, I would be going about my business and temptation would spring to life. Temptation was the enemy and defeat meant sin. But the problem is not temptation. The real problem is in the heart where our desires lie. Temptation cannot exist where desire does not first exist. You cannot be tempted to do something you do not first want.
The Bible teaches that desire brings about temptation. “Each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin, when it is fully grown, brings forth death.” James 1:14-15. Temptations do not produce desires but desires produce temptations.
What’s in your heart? What thoughts dominate your mind? What are the innate desires you have? It’s in there that it all begins, when fighting the enemies you love.
Nothing but love,