The Battle to Honor God | Choosing Between Spirit and Flesh
For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.Galatians 5:17
I constantly struggle between my Spirit and Flesh. Do you?
As a Christian homemaker, I try my best to serve God and my family, and do the right thing in all areas as best as I can. I am realizing, though, how my sin impacts moments throughout each day.
My “flesh” wins when I give into sin. My flesh wins when I lose my patience with my 8 year old son, when I talk negatively about my husband, or when I care more about myself than I do for others who need something.
My flesh also wins when I want my kids to leave me alone so I can write a new blog post (kids, leave me alone so I can write about intentional parenting). I’m a mom and I love being a mom…so why do I expect that my kids should ever not need me in some way?
My “spirit” is God’s words in my heart, living and breathing and changing me daily to be more like Jesus. I feel this spirit when my day begins with thoughts of God and what He has done for me. His Spirit is at work in my heart when I stop myself from saying a hurtful comment.
I’m choosing to live in spirit when I want to lay on the couch and tune out, but instead I serve my family by prepping dinner ahead of time. My spirit wins when I get on stage at church to do a skit…‘cause God knows my flesh does NOT want to do that.
Don’t Overthink It
Don’t get me wrong…when you watch TV, it doesn’t mean you’re sinning. I’m simply talking about being obedient to what God has called you.
That means using your talents for Him, submitting your “job” to Him, or living out the fruits of the Spirit to honor Him. It could also include other things God has called YOU to do. Each of us is in different places in our faith and we all have unique gifts to use.
Women also need to make sure they take care of their own well being. It’s ok for us to relax sometimes and recharge. It’s ok for us to do things that fuel us and make us happy. Read more about Soul Care for Women: The Recharge You Need.
But we also have to be taking our plans to God, laying them at His feet, and self-reflecting to determine if we are using our time to glorify Him.
A Still Small Voice
Are you listening to that “still, small voice” as mentioned in 1 Kings to Elisha? I love how this idea is described at Got Questions. “…the gospel is a gentle voice of love, grace, and mercy, of peace, pardon, righteousness, and the free gift of salvation through Christ.”
God often whispers to us throughout our day and it’s our choice whether we listen or whether we’re too preoccupied to hear Him.
He can most easily speak to us as we read the Bible and meditate on what He is saying. I’ve heard before that reading the Bible is God’s way of speaking to us, when prayer is our way of speaking to God. This isn’t the only way God speaks, but it is a really simple way to hear from God daily.
It’s often in those quiet times of reflection that we experience His goodness, grace, and love. We can calm our minds and know that He ultimately wins, no matter what.
>> Read Also Resting in God’s Grace: a Quick Guide for Moms
My Battle with Spirit and Flesh
Throughout most of my days, I struggle to not give into my sinful emotions. It’s so easy to fully give into this and allow your attitude to go wherever it wants.
When I’m tired is when I’m weakest. I can be short-tempered, self-serving, and hurtful with my words. On those bad days, it’s usually my husband and kids (who I love the most) that get the worst of me.
It’s much more challenging to be self-aware when your thoughts are of your flesh, than it is to go about your day and not be mindful of your thoughts.
Paul talks about the struggle in Romans that he has between his Spirit and Flesh.
Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!Romans 7:21-25
What To Do
By recognizing this battle between your Spirit and Flesh, try to submit yourself to God each day. It’s so important to come to Him with your plans, your praises, and your struggles.
4 Tips to Focus
- Start your day with God
- Recognize your weaknesses
- Use your gifts
- Remind yourself throughout each day to refocus on your goals
We are never going to be perfect. We’re going to be selfish or hurtful on our bad days. But if we keep in mind this battle between our Spirit and Flesh, then we can grow closer to God and honor Him more with our lives each day.
Friend, please join me in this—when we feel our flesh getting the best of us, let’s think “I will not allow my flesh to win.” Then, let’s say a little prayer and refocus our minds on living out of our spirit.
I pray that you figure out whatever it is that God is calling you to, and that you do it with excitement and joy. I pray that you recognize when your flesh is winning and you are able to correct it and find God’s spirit within you.
We are all on a journey…I know I have a long way to go…but as we seek Him more, joy will fill our hearts and love will help us to win the battle over Spirit and Flesh.
If you’re a mom struggling to find balance between all the demands of life, read Modern Christian Homemaking to get 5 practical tips to help you take care of yourself while homemaking.