Overcoming the Flesh – Romans 8, by Ty Tamasaka
“12 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.” Romans 8:12-13 NIV
In Romans 8:12-13, Paul tells us that as believers, we have an obligation. Our obligation is NOT to live according to the flesh, but by the Spirit. So that leaves us with a two questions.
1 – How do we NOT live our lives according to the flesh?
2 – How do we live our lives by the Spirit?
To answer these questions, we might be able to gain some insight from 1 Samuel 5.
“After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezerto Ashdod. 2 Then they carried the ark into Dagon’s temple and set it beside Dagon. 3 When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. 4 But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the Lord! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. 5 That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon’s temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.” 1 Samuel 5:1-5 NIV
When the ark of God (which represented the presence of God) was captured by the Philistines, they put it with their false god Dagon (that is similar to the flesh). At first, Dagon fell down. They put Dagon back up and left it with the ark of God. When Dagon was in the presence of God, it fell down again and its head and hands then got cut off. One would think the Philistines would take this as a sign from the real God and learn to trust Him, but they didn’t. Finally the Philistines put Dagon back together and decided the ark of God had to go.
Dagon is a false god that is similar to the flesh.
The way to gain victory your struggles in life is NOT to try and knock Dagon over, but rather to bring into the presence of the Lord. Whatever the Dagon is in your life, bring it into the presence of the Spirit of the Lord and turn on the light of God’s power.
2 Keys to Overcoming the Flesh
1 – Bring in the Spirit of the Lord – The way to gain victory in spiritual warfare is not to knock over Dagon, but to bring in the Ark of God – The ark of God represents the presence of God. Bring in the Spirit of the Lord. Increase in your love and passion for the Lord. Spend time with Him in the Word. Pray. Fast. Intentionally fill your heart with the Spirit of God.
2 – When you find yourself in the dark, you don’t fight the dark. You turn on the light. If you find yourself in a dark room, you don’t scream, rebuke the darkness, try to identify the darkness, give teachings about the darkness or do a study on the darkness – that would all be exhausting and useless. You turn on the light! Too many believers are trying to fight the darkness around them by their own strength. It is exhausting and fruitless. Do you want to overcome the flesh? Don’t fight the darkness. Turn on the light! Bring in the presence of God!
More of You Holy Spirit. Less of me. More of Your power Lord. Less of my weakness. More of Your will Jesus. Less of my stubbornness. More of You O’ God. Less of me. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Ty Tamasaka is an author who hold a Master of Arts Degree from Pacific Rim Christian University in Christian Ministry He is a Bible teacher who loves to encourage people to enjoy Jesus’ grace and extend His Kingdom. Ty just released his new book More than a Conqueror: 5 Pathways to Personal Revival.