Turn from Your Flesh

By John Lysaught


“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace” (Romans 8:6, NIV).

I don’t know about you, but I want my mind ruled by the Holy Spirit. I want life and peace, not death. I don’t want my fleshly body to rule my mind or heart. I want Christ, all of Him. I know I am selfish for saying, “I want all of Christ?” Yes, and I’m proud of it. I want the most of Christ I can get my hands and heart around. Why do I say this? Because I know what life without Christ is like: It is horrible.

Before I knew Christ, all I knew was flesh and the world. The world is not with Christ and by default hates Him. The world is basically evil and dominated by Satan whose main job is to kill, steal, and destroy. Satan is a lost cause and he wants to take as many down with him to hell as he can. It’s scary to think that I was on that side of the fence just a few years ago. I’m on the winning team now. I'm on Christ’s team!

If you are not on Christ’s team, you won’t understand. You’ll read this article and others like it, and tell yourself we are all zealots for Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Believe me, He’s real. He’s alive, and right now there is a battle for your soul between Jesus and Satan. But who wins is not their decision. It’s yours. You get to choose your own destiny. Sounds like a game show, right? It isn’t though, this is real and you’re playing for your eternal destination.

You say, “I have my own concept of what God is and we have a special relationship already and I’ll go to heaven because I’m not a bad person.” I hear this all the time; people playing Russian roulette with their eternity based on false assumptions about how they feel about God. Let me tell you, God is the same today as He was yesterday and will be the same for all eternity: Perfect and of full of love.

 God made a way to heaven for all mankind. That plan is through Jesus Christ. God doesn’t have a separate contract for every person as to what makes them heaven bound or hell bound. The Word of God is clear: Only through accepting and believing the sacrificial blood of Jesus Christ will we be heaven bound. Regardless of what you say about your “special” relationship with your god, God’s plan is what it is and it involves you accepting or denying Jesus.

“Oh, that Jesus name again,” and you say, “He is just a figure in history and He isn’t even real.” If you don’t know Him, then yes, you are right. He isn’t real for you. The world wants you to believe this. Satan (remember he wants to kill, steal, and destroy) wants to keep you as far away from Jesus as possible. He doesn’t want you to even believe that Jesus was a real Person. I was that way. I used to think He was just a figurative person, like a Santa Claus or something, that didn’t really exist, but was made up to keep me in line like Santa did to make us good little children for Christmas presents.

The way the world tries and successfully blinds people to knowing Christ is subtle. It’s not in your face anti-Jesus talk (though that does happen). It’s little nickel and dime ideas, statements, beliefs introduced into society by television, educators, etc. that eventually add up to a dollar and BAM, you are in the boat that believes Jesus isn’t real and you don’t need Him to get to heaven. I was in that boat for nearly thirty years before I saw the proverbial light and jumped from the sinking ship.

If you don’t believe in Jesus, or are not ready to investigate Jesus, then you’ve wasted your time reading this article. If you made it this far, you are either waiting for a punch line or you are a little curious about this whole Jesus “saves” thing. Hold on to Jesus saves because this is the point when the world and Satan will do their best to keep you in their boat with a one-way destination to hell.

It’s important that you feed this curiosity about God, Jesus, and the whole Holy Spirit thing. Stop right now and ask God to help you understand and to let you know if Jesus is real. Then listen to your heart. One of two things will happen when you do this: You will feel in your heart something that you’ve never felt before and will want to pursue more investigation of Jesus, or you will ignore that feeling in your heart because you are scared that you just discovered that Jesus is real.

The world will try to sway you away from Jesus. The world will convince you that Jesus isn’t fun and you’ll have to give up all the “fun” things in life. That’s true. Once you know Jesus and grow in your relationship with Him, those “fun” things you used to do won’t be desired anymore and you won’t consider them in the fun category anymore anyway. You’ll be led to lead a more wholesome existence and won’t miss the old days of “fun” you used to have. You’ll begin to live a life and walk with Jesus in love and peace.

To be honest, my unbelieving friend, being a follower of Jesus is harder than living in the world. Let’s face it -- sinning is easy. You just do what you want to do and don’t worry about the rest of it. Drink and drive, no problem. Cheat on and beat your wife, easy. Be dishonest, not your problem people are suckers, etc. Living for Christ is hard. Let me qualify this by saying it is hard at first.

I remember when I first came to Jesus I noticed things in my heart changed and I was conflicted. With that change came changes in my actions and desires and I was a little confused at first. More conflicted I guess than anything. My flesh wanted to do one thing but my heart was telling me not to do that which I now believe to be wrong but used to do regularly. What you do in response is important.

Listen to your heart. I failed a lot, but as my walk with Jesus continues I fail a lot less and know that even if I do fail and give into my flesh, I am forgiven and can renew my relationship with Christ day-by-day.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, NIV).

If you are still reading this, now is the time to jump ship and swim over to Jesus for eternal life and peace. Ask for guidance and ask for the light of His love to pierce your heart to help you realize the truth of His way. That way is through Christ alone. You want a one-way ticket to heaven? You must go through Jesus to get that golden ticket. Begin your walk with Christ today, right now.

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7, NIV).

Don’t be dominated by your flesh or the world, for both are temporary in the grand scheme of eternity.  Choose life─eternal life, with Christ in heaven and not hell.  Focus on Christ and you won’t be disappointed with your decision. It’s a very important decision so choose wisely. Do you want to enjoy the temporary things of the world or do you want the eternal joy of heaven?

To me it’s an easy choice, and I hope it is for you, too. Give God a chance to touch you and change you. Don’t be embarrassed. Give God a chance in secret if you must.

Find a Bible teaching church to go to and surround your self with followers of Christ. Get involved with church activities like Bible studies or outreach program and other works that the Holy Spirit inspires you to do. When you do and accept Christ, it will be hard to keep your change secret because as you grow with Christ your attitude and demeanor will change for the good, and will be noticed by those close to you. You’ll hear them say things like, “There is something different about you. What is it?”  You’ll know it is Christ in your heart and hopefully you will be able to introduce them to Christ also.

God Bless

John Lysaught