Anger, jealousy, bitterness, resentment, fear, worry, offense, unforgiveness, acts of sin and alike, equal walking in the flesh where Satan wants believers.
Peace, patience, self-control, love, joy, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, equal walking in the Spirit where God wants believers.
If you see yourself more in the flesh than in the Spirit, don’t let this condemn you. There is no condemnation under Christ, period. God made us a promise in John 3:16 and you are saved the moment you place your faith in Christ. But it is your choice to walk in the flesh or the Spirit and you can let your symptoms help you, as a guide. If you are caught up in anger, worry or fear, for example, admit that you are walking in the flesh and there is no victory in the flesh. The flesh is where the enemy wants you to walk. This is where he can attack you. God desires that we walk in the Spirit so that we will walk in His victory in this life, doing living works. This is God’s answer to naturally overcome the flaws and failures of the flesh we see in our lives. It is the only way that works. If we are to learn anything in this life for eternity, it is how to walk in the Spirit as opposed to the flesh. One day our flesh will actually die and in an instant, we will be fully in the Spirit, no faith required. But, by faith, seeing through the eyes of God, we can walk in the Spirit today, in this world.
If we see ourselves more in the flesh, humanities natural way is to try and force ourselves to walk in peace, patience and self-control through law keeping and behavior modification. This will not lead you to walk in the Spirit. But it will lead to the flesh walk of frustration, guilt, burden, pride, self-righteousness, burnout and possibly rejection of the faith. It will also lead to condemnation when a person sees themselves failing to manufacture these attributes. Another attempt humanity makes is to change circumstances to walk in peace. This method is also temporary because it is based on the temporary improvement of circumstances. Therefore, when difficult circumstances appear, circumstantial peace, patience and self-control are nowhere to be found and the flesh rises to the surface in frustration and unrest.
There is an easier and permanent way to rid yourself of all the flaws of the flesh I listed, but we cannot do it our way, we must do it God’s way. God’s way leads to a natural transformation. His way starts with a renewal of the mind to the truth of who we are in Christ and our complete and total forgiveness in Christ. It is all about walking in faith and seeing ourselves in the Spirit as God does and no longer under the letter of the law in our crucified and dead flesh. What you need to do is to learn to walk in the Spirit, by the Spirit, so that the fruits of the Spirit naturally manifest in your life as you abide in Christ. Over time, the fruits will overcome and replace all the works and symptoms of the flesh.
The following verses in Galatians are telling us the way to defeat the flesh and all those fleshy symptoms we have struggled with for years.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Gal 5:16-18 NAS
The answer is to walk by the Spirit, to walk in the Spirit, “walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh.” If by faith, we focus on who we are in the Spirit, we will see the fruits of the Spirit rule our lives as the Spirit of God rules in our life and the flesh and its old ways fall off into obscurity. The Bible says you are a right now a new creation in Christ. This new creation is not who you are in your crucified and dead flesh; it is talking about your born again Spirit. Walking in the Spirit happens when we focus by faith on what is unseen in the flesh, but God says is true. We walk by faith and not by sight.
I accept that in Christ I am:
Greatly loved by God - Ephesians 2:4 - Forgiven of all my sins - Ephesians 1:7
Free from the law of sin and death - Romans 8:2 - Righteous - Rom 5:19
Complete - Colossians 2:10 NASB - Justified - 1 Corinthians 6:11
Sanctified - Hebrews 10:10 NASB - Holy and without blame - Ephesians 1:4
Perfected - Hebrews 10:14 NASB – Under grace and no longer the law - Romans 6:14
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Heb 11:1 NAS
We use our Spiritual eyes to focus on who we are in Christ, in the Spirit, and the Spirit rises to the forefront and reigns in our life, overcoming the flesh. We walk above our circumstances and have great victory and become of great use in God’s kingdom as we reach down and help lift others to victory in this life.
The enemy will do all he can, through circumstances and thinking to try and resurrect our crucified and dead flesh, to lead us to walk in the flesh where he can easily get to us. He does not want us walking in the Spirit where he cannot reach us. The flesh is a painful place to exist. But in the Spirit, we walk in God’s peace and power in all circumstances. This is why God calls us to see our flesh as crucified and dead as He already sees it. The death of our flesh happens only one time before we are born again in the Spirit, in Christ. It dies before we are born again one time, not over and over again as many think. In error, man often makes the death of the flesh into a continuing work, trying to stop the flesh by force to overcome the flesh, which is not faith. When they deny things by the flesh to the flesh, they believe they are crucifying the flesh daily. This attempt only keeps eyes on flesh where Satan wants us and off Spirit where God wants us. It keeps the person tangled up in the vicious cycle of the flesh battling the flesh for victory in the wilderness, which will never work. The flesh will never defeat itself. It is a deception from Satan to think it will.
If you have died with Christ to the elementary principles of the world, why, as if you were living in the world, do you submit yourself to decrees, such as, “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch!” (which all refer to things destined to perish with use)—in accordance with the commandments and teachings of men? These are matters which have, to be sure, the appearance of wisdom in self-made religion and self-abasement and severe treatment of the body, but are of no value against fleshly indulgence. Col 2:20-23 NAS
Transformation can only happen by faith as we see things as God sees them. God is outside of time and everything is finished in His eyes. God sees our flesh as crucified and dead on the cross with Christ, like we are supposed to by faith. After the one time death of our flesh, we are supposed to focus on the new creation we are in the Spirit, so the Spirit takes over our life and the fruits of the Spirit are naturally produced. Before we come to Christ, our flesh looks at God’s law as if in a mirror to see that we need a savior. After we come to Christ, we see Jesus looking back at us in that mirror as by faith we see our Spirit as he is - righteous, sanctified, holy and perfected before God.
But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit. 2 Cor 3:18
This is not make believe or about having enough faith to make it so. This is God’s truth from His word. Jesus one-time perfect offering has sanctified our Spirit, made our Spirit holy, made our Spirit righteous and perfected our Spirit. This is what we focus on continually, the new creation we are in Christ. The new creation that we became the day we first believed. You will not see this perfection with your physical eyes in your flesh, in the mirror. You can only see it with your Spiritual eyes by faith. We walk by faith and not by sight. This focus is what transforms us more and more into His image in this life.
for we walk by faith, not by sight—2 Cor 5:7 NAS
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Rom 12:2 NAS
Using Circumstances and Fleshy Symptoms to Remain in the Spirit
As soon as you see your fleshy symptoms appear, you know you are walking in the flesh. If you take notice of this, you can catch it quickly, using the circumstance for your benefit and learn to remain in the Spirit. Think of fleshy symptoms as a warning sign. Straying into the flesh always comes from wrong thinking fostered by unbelief in God’s word, reliance on the flesh and Satan’s deceptions. The problem is not your circumstances or your reaction; the problem is your faith walk. We make a firm decision to reject the ways of the flesh, to walk in the Spirit, to see ourselves and others in the Spirit by faith. We look at our circumstances and our reaction as more of a reflection of where we are at, in the Spirit or the flesh. We accept our circumstances – people, places, things and situations as they are at the moment and use them to help teach us to walk by faith in the Spirit at all times. It is a much better way to look at our difficult circumstances in this life.
Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
In the Spirit, in Christ, we rise above and overcome all circumstances, walking above them like Peter walked above the water and waves, his circumstances at that moment.
"These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world." John 16:33 NAS
We worship God in Spirit, God is Spirit and true worshippers of the Father worship Him in Spirit and truth.
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 NAS
I want to leave you with one more thing God keeps putting on my heart when I think about this topic. In Genesis 25-43 HERE. In this story, Jacob understands that whatever is focused on will grow; transformation will take place. In the story, Jacob gets Laban to agree to let him have every spotted lamb as his wages. Then Jacob sets before the lambs that will mate spotted branches. The lambs constantly see these branches when they feed and the result in a great increase in spotted offspring that go to Jacob. The flock naturally produced what they focused on. God calls us lambs, so think about it.
Dear Father, Open my spiritual eyes and help me to no longer regard myself and others as in the flesh, help me to see myself and all other believers in the Spirit, holy, righteous, sanctified and perfected, to step outside of time and see everything already finished just as you do. Help me to do living works in this world, to encourage and build up the faith of others in your promise of salvation and eternal life for all who believe. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Amen
New Covenant Bible Studies that Apply:
How is the Flesh Crucified?
Your Flesh is Dead Christian, Not in School
If Your Faith is in Christ, Your Flesh Has Been Circumcised, Cut Off
He is Dead, We Have Got to Drop the Charges
Walking by the Spirit is Gods Will for Your Life, Guaranteed
How to Walk by The Spirit
How to Defeat Sin, the Lusts of the Flesh
Doubting Your Complete and Total Forgiveness is What Keeps You Sinning, Christian
I Am a New Creation IN CHRIST
I Am Holy, I Am Sanctified, I Am Perfected
Why Don't I look Like a New Creation in Christ in the Mirror?
Many more New Covenant Bible Studies HERE. Jesus poured out His blood for the New Covenant of grace and truth, replacing the Old Covenant law of Moses. Believers are exclusively under the New Covenant, the last will and testament of Jesus that began after the cross.
And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, "This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood. Luke 22:20