In the dark hours of prayer among the olive trees, Jesus roused His disciples and said, “the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Jesus knew that their battle, even His own, would be between the human will and the Father’s Will. After His own all night prayer meeting struggling with the sacrifice that lay ahead, Jesus Himself said, “Nevertheless, thy Will be done.” It was and is Flesh versus Spirit: Humanity opposing Divinity. It’s a tug-of-war; pulling and grappling for position.
The word “flesh” doesn’t resonate with our generation. It is an odd term, perhaps old in nature. Greater still, the concept of fleshly desires is just as foreign. Modern vernacular does not include these terms. However, the human will is full of lust and pride. Flesh is everything that opposes the Holy Spirit and no one is exempt from this battle. Consider Paul’s powerful life and ministry. Yet, Paul wrote: 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.
Our spirits want to do right, but our flesh is waging a war. There is a war raging inside of our members. Romans 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. We are in the fight of our lives and it is greater than this forum can explain. Maybe this is why the Lord instituted the structure of worship and a sacrificial offering. Both are spiritual tools that put the flesh under subjection.
I have discovered that a scattered, unfocused, and undisciplined life is a haven for the flesh. Seeing that God is a God of order, the opposite can be said of humanity. God instituted feasts and festivals for the Jewish people to give them an order to their year. These were to remind the people of their past and of God’s goodness. They worshipped and made sacrifices to the Lord. Even the Sabbath was to provide structure on a weekly basis. It has been said that while the Jews kept the Sabbath, in reality, the Sabbath kept them.
I submit that Sunday worship is the pivot point of defeating the flesh. I submit that as we keep our Sunday, it will keep us. We are giving rise to the Spirit with worship and sacrifice. We have come to offer Praise and say, “Thy Will be done in my life.”
Pastor Jeffrey Harpole