Complaining Flesh

  • Feb. 1, 2008
  • #6720

Joni shares how the flesh is weak, but through Jesus the spirit can win the battle.

The other morning I woke up and... I didn't want to wake up. It's not that I felt I needed 30 more minutes of sleep; that wasn't the point, sleep had nothing to do with it. My hip and the inside of my lower back – way down deep inside – I was in such pain, and the idea of having to face someone coming into the bedroom, giving me a bed bath, exercising my legs, irrigating the catheter, getting me dressed, sitting me in a wheelchair, so on, so on... well, I just felt like turning my head on the pillow and shutting my eyes to the day.

But I want to tell you something because at that exact same time, I felt so excited about the mission for the day! I kept thinking of the letters of encouragement I wanted to write to some people I knew... folks who had received bad medical reports, some that were discouraged... I kept thinking of doing these radio programs, and the fun of praying with other Christians at work... I thought about a message on evangelism I needed to prepare for my visit to Ligonier in March. I lay there and got so thrilled about our Wheels for the World team heading to Mexico soon... I mean I was so excited about getting up. 

Now I know what you're thinking. You're probably thinking, “Joni, how can you at once be excited about serving the Lord that day...yet at the same time, feel like collapsing back into bed from weariness and pain that day?” Well, friend, welcome to the Christian's daily battle. It's the Romans chapter 7 battle where it says beginning with verse 21, "When 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 the members of my body, waging war... "Yep, that's what it is for me, every single morning it's time to get up and wage war.

But just knowing that, helps tremendously! Because I know my flesh; I know my body. It can't fool me. It can't pull the wool over my eyes. I know my flesh likes to whine and complain, and moan and whimper and bellyache and gripe, always trying to convince me that I should, indeed, give up on the day, take three Advil, and go back to bed and make the world go away. Yep, that's my flesh! But although my flesh is weak, thank the Lord my spirit is willing! My spirit wants to wake up praising God for His mercies, new and fresh every morning. My spirit wants to put on the armor and head to the front lines of the kingdom. Yep, I know my spirit! I know how it likes to rise to meet God every day.

And the question every day for me always is, “Who's going to win this battle? Who am I going to listen to – my spirit or my flesh?” Well, that's why I love the rest of Romans 7. Thanks be to God... through Jesus Christ my Lord, I win the day. And flesh? Did you hear that? Well, I want you to remember it tomorrow morning when we wake up. And, friend, when it comes to your flesh, you'd do well to do the same. Put it to death and let your spirit win the battle.

© Joni and Friends

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