Never surrender to flesh, ever-surrender to Jesus

Published On May 13, 2014
By Rhonda Rhea

Eating on the healthier side of the food pyramid is a battle for me. My pyramid is much more … shall we say … prismatic. And probably at least a heptagonal prism at that. 

I hear I’m not the only one. For those of us who struggle with food geometry, some days “diet victory” means we chewed the donut before swallowing it. (I would mention the “ring torus” here, but I’m really not that good at geometry.) 

That battle to eat well? That’s on the front lines. But related skirmishes break out in the conflict. I went to war this morning, for instance, with a pair of jeans. They started it. 

When I finally conquered that top button, there was a great deal of satisfaction – maybe even a little gloating. It felt like victory. That is, it felt like victory until somewhere around lunchtime. That’s when I realized that the feeling of victory also sometimes feels like getting slowly pinched in two. 

I know there’s a lot of war-talk here, but I do try to handle as much as possible through peaceful negotiations. So after lunch I took those jeans into my bedroom and had a long talk with them. I won’t tell you everything that was said, but I will tell you I came out of the bedroom wearing sweatpants.

Yes, I do realize that sweatpants are essentially the “I give up” of daywear. Sometimes, though, you have to choose your battles. Sometimes I choose breathing.

The spiritual battle against the flesh, however, is a different story. I’m not giving up there. In Rom. 13:12-14, Paul says, “The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.”

Sometimes what we wear is more important than breathing. We are called to take off sinful living like so much cast-off, nasty-dirty laundry. And we are to put on Jesus. We’re to be clothed with the very presence of Christ Himself. 

Wearing His presence is being controlled by His Spirit, letting Him rule our hearts and our minds. “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace” (Rom. 8:5-6).

Ah, life and peace. It’s a peace that requires no negotiations. As we stop allowing our minds to go to those sinful places that result in sinful actions, and as we set our minds on Him, that peace just is. 

Never surrender in the battle against the flesh. Ever-surrender to the Lord Jesus. It’s there that those battles bring real and lasting peace.

As far as the pinch-me-in-two jeans, I’ve tried to make peace there too, but we’re still having some issues.

So this message is for you, jeans:  Don’t be giving me that innocent look. You know what you did.

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Rhonda Rhea

Rhonda Rhea is a radio personality who says, “a good psychosis is a terrible thing to waste.” She said she’s milked hers–even as a Bible teacher. Rhonda is a funny lady who speaks at conferences and events nationwide.

Rhonda is a pastor’s wife, happily married and living in the St. Louis area. She is a humor columnist for publications in the U.S. and Canada and is the author of 10 books with more on the way. She says she will keep cranking them out as long as the Lord allows. –And the psychoses hold out.
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