“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” Romans 7:24-25
In our natural state, apart from God, we seek to do whatever makes us feel good or whatever seems right in our own eyes according to what we have learned through the world. But then, when we allow God in, suddenly we are thrown into the fight between good and evil, between two laws. We are saved, but there remains the fight because Satan does not want us to realize there is a victory to be claimed, lived, and proclaimed. Satan does not want us telling others about Christ, so he fights to get us back into the chains.
Pharoah did the same. The Israelites were set free after many diplomatic sanctions by God to convince Pharoah to let them go. But then, he realizes he has lost his work force, and so he chases after them to prevent them from serving God, and return to serving him. He fails dramatically, for God will not be defeated, and through the faith and action of Moses, Pharoah was delivered a death blow.
Satan was dealt the same death blow by Jesus in the Cross at Calvary, yet he tries to take the believer’s eyes off the Cross and place them into anything else. And so, we battle. But, brother, there is victory for us in Christ. Sister, there is nothing that can wrestle us from the palms of Jesus. All we need to do is believe that, and stand on our belief.
The prophet Daniel shows us this when he purposes in his heart to do the will of God, and refuses to eat the king’s meat and wine, holding to the diet appropriated by God in the scriptures. And so he does, he and those three Hebrew children, and they all bring glory to The Lord in doing so. The Apostle Paul does the same, purposing to follow the leading of the Spirit to go to Rome. And so he does, bringing glory to The Lord in converting hundreds, if not thousands, as a result. Barnabas actually exhorts the brethren he comes to in Antioch that they might purpose in their hearts to cleave unto The Lord. And so they do, and the believers in Antioch became the first to be called Christians, bringing glory to Jesus!
So, what is the pattern? To say it in layman’s terms, it’s “mind over matter.” With the mind of Christ in us, we can choose to do right. We can overcome the desires of our flesh that cries out with a mind focused on Jesus. We can purpose to obey, and with God’s strength, we can. That is what the Biblically successful followers did. They chose in their mind to believe God and follow His statutes and He was faithful to help them to do so. May we do the same and with our own minds purpose to serve the law of God, and not with our flesh the law of Sin.
“This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.” Galatians 5:16
Set your mind on Christ and let the Spirit do His mighty work within to empower you to obey the commands of Jesus, and experience the victory over the world, the flesh, and the devil in your everyday life.