Memorise: 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. – 1 Corinthians 9:27
Read: 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (KJV)
24 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
25 And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
26 I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
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.
Bible in One Year: 1 Corinthians 5-7, Psalms 9:1-10
One of the three expressways to sin is the flesh. Our first parents did not take note of this and so they fell into the trap of the flesh. The Bible says: “And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food…”she fell for the lust of the flesh. It should be recalled that it was food that made Esau lost his birthright. The greatest birthright, of course, is the place Jesus went to prepare for the elects and no child of God should trade his Heavenly mansion for a morsel of food. It is written.
“16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” - Hebrews 12:16-17
This is the categorisation John the beloved Apostle made in his first general epistle when he wrote:
“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” - 1 John 2:16
There are terrible products of the flesh as listed in Galatians 5:19-21 which will not allow anyone enter into the Kingdom of God. Paul, another apostle of Jesus Christ did not underplay the havoc the flesh can do and determined to keep his body under and subject it to spiritual authority, so that he could make it to eternity with his God. It is not a surprise that Paul decided to subject his flesh because he knew the evil it perpetrated against his soul as revealed in another of his epistles where he lamented:
“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” - Romans 7:24
He however found solution to the devastating effect of the flesh in Jesus Christ, as he wrote further in Romans 7:25a.
The lesson we can readily learn from Paul’s experience is that we can overcome the negative influence of the flesh if we accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour. Our annual resolution to live a godly life cannot help in this regard. Only with the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ can any man overcome the flesh. This is why Jesus is calling everyone, particularly a reader of this devotional; He says:
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest.” - Matthew 11:28
As Paul overcame, we can also overcome the flesh and we shall be able to say like him:
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” - 2 Timothy 4:7
May the Lord give us victory over the flesh in Jesus’ name.
Prayer Point: Father, help me to uproot every seed of sin that the devil has planted in my life, and give me victory over my flesh in Jesus’ name. Pray for Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye, that the grace and anointing of God in her life will continue to multiply year after year.