“For the flesh is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. That’s why those
who are under the control of the flesh can never please God.” Romans 8:7-8 (author’s)
If we are to have a deeper life with Christ we have to claim it, it doesn’t come automatically. Paul says, “The thing that keeps us from a deeper life with Christ is “the flesh.” He isn’t talking about our bodies, but about the desires that tend to dominate our lives in this bodily world.
What keeps us from going deeper with Christ? When we live to satisfy our desires, no matter what, and we say we can take care of ourselves, no matter what, that’s “the flesh” speaking. And Paul says, “That will kill you.” It will literally take you down. If you watch television for ten minutes, you can see that’s where America is: food, sex, drink, pleasure, comfort, security, possession of things, position, power. The world says, “That’s all you can get, so grab it while you can.” That’s “the flesh” talking.
When you have given your life to getting things and your desires and your comfort, the only thing that matters to you is getting your way. That’s the flesh and that’s what’s killing us. That’s what consistently blocks you and me from going deeper in the Lord because there’s always that voice whispering in the background, “If you really surrender your life to the Lord you won’t get all your desires satisfied, you will have to give up neat things, that stuff you spent your life getting, and, worst of all, you’ll have to give up getting your own way. You don’t really want to go deeper with the Lord.”
But I say to you, “Oh yes, you do!” There is such freedom in the deeper life in Christ, such peace and joy. How do we go deeper with Christ? How do we bring our spirit to life? Paul says, “You have to claim what’s yours.” Claim God’s Spirit for your life. If you are a Christian then the Holy Spirit is in you. He’s yours and mine. If you are in Christ you are in the Spirit, and you will never get more of the Holy Spirit than you got when you accepted Christ. But the Holy Spirit needs to get more of you. Will you stop living for the flesh and let the Holy Spirit change you?