I was recently reminded by God of something first hand. How to walk in the Spirit instead of doing the Adam struggle, walking in the flesh.
I have been staying with a close friend for a while, in very tight quarters, trying to help him out. When I step into the flesh, I can get frustrated with him. Then I can have moments of grumbling and complaining in my head about things he does. Satan also tosses in all kinds of suspicion and off the wall stuff about his motives. If Satan can tempt me to think along those lines, that slope gets slippery quick and I start moving faster and faster in the wrong direction. This negative line of thinking feeds the flesh and the flesh will take over a Christians life when given any opportunity.
It had been about a day and I could see it happening. Flirting with negative and suspicious thoughts in my head about my friend had a tremendous amount to do with it. I even got short with my best friend, my dog, which I very seldom do. Sadly, at that moment, my little loving dog did not even look like my best friend. Following the negative and suspicious thoughts led me more and more into the flesh where I found myself doing the Adam struggle, exactly what Satan wanted. My flesh loves being the center of attention and the more time I allow my flesh to rule, the further I dive into the flesh. Everything looks different in the flesh, not in a good way. The works of the flesh include selfishness, frustration, impatience, worry, fear, doubt, pride, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions and more. If I see any of these surfacing in my day, I know I have veered off into the flesh and need to correct my thinking. There is no selfless love in the flesh.
This was not the first time I had been tempted by Satan to walk in the flesh with my friend. Unfortunately, this time I had let it go on too long and my flesh wanted to hold on to its brief resurrection. I caught it after a couple of days and started praying for the best for my friend, for his victory in life and great blessings and success from God. I also changed the record in my head back to who I am in Christ and Jesus finished work.
Shortly, Jesus peace prevailed again. My little Jack Russell looked so sweet now. And even though my life it is filled with uncertain circumstances and enormous change, I had great contentment and peace that can only come from God. I really need nothing from this world.
Satan is always trying to tempt me back into the flesh. If you examine Satan’s temptations of Jesus in the wilderness, they all had to do with trying to get Jesus to walk in the flesh, selfishness, pride and greed were the works of flesh that would have prevailed if Jesus had given into those temptations. Yet, Jesus continued to walk in the Spirit, even though He had a body of flesh that experienced temptations just like we do.
Today, I know for certain I can't afford to waste any time in the flesh, in worry, doubt, fear, anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, etc. I also know that Satan has made it part of his mission to tempt me to walk in the flesh. When I step into the flesh, it is as if I am trying to take care of myself, instead of trusting that God will take care of me. And even though Satan tempts and entices me to go off into the flesh, he then always beats me up for my actions in the flesh. In the past, I would end up wrestling with myself, trying to control my flesh by my flesh through rules and regulations, because I knew I did not want to be acting out in the flesh. Attempting to force my flesh into compliance by my flesh never worked in the long run and just led to more frustration, failure and condemnation. The flesh is a place of struggle, restlessness, turmoil, strife and sin. There is no victory or everlasting peace in the flesh. I call walking in the flesh, doing the Adam struggle.
The first thing I do to put an end to the Adam struggle in the situation with my friend and most, is to accept that my friend has the God given right to make whatever choices he desires in this life, even if I know they are misguided and will cost him. He often resists stubbornly, if I push it, I pay and so do those around me as I end up walking in the flesh. I cannot force anyone to do anything, to think differently leads me into the flesh and frustration. If he wants to live in the flesh, that is his choice. I do not need to let his choice lead me into the flesh. I need to stay in the Spirit, where the fruits of the Spirit will be of great value in helping him the best he will allow. Christians struggling in the flesh are not the light on the hill God wants us to be, doing nothing to lead others to Christ. Walking in the flesh in my life does no good for anyone, including my friend and especially me.
Doing the Adam struggle only pleases Satan. Satan wants believers to walk in the flesh. Walking in the flesh is the polar opposite of faith that pleases God.
And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him. Heb 11:6 NAS
"However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:8b NAS
Walking in the Spirit comes when we walk by faith. This overcomes and defeats the flesh.
But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. Gal 5:6 NAS
My main solution to return to my walk of victory in the Spirit is to pray heavily for my friend, especially when Satan wants me to go in the other direction. I ask God to help him and bless him greatly, even if my flesh tries to step in and resist. In addition, I then re-captivate my mind and thoughts to who I am in Christ and His finished work. Doing this is like completely changing the record in my head and works much better than trying to capture individual negative thoughts. These actions place me back in the Spirit, where thankfully, I reside the vast majority of the time these days. Life in the Spirit is where the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, etc.) rise up and overcome the works of the flesh supernaturally. No more Adam struggle.
Are you doing the Adam struggle? Maybe in your marriage, in other relationships or because of your circumstances. Read some of my New Covenant Bible Studies and study the New Covenant exclusively for a year. Learn to walk in the Spirit all of the time and to recognize when you have veered off the path.
More New Covenant Bible Studies that Apply:Walking by the Spirit is Gods Will for Your Life, Guaranteed
How to Walk by The Spirit
How to Walk in the Spirit Instead of the Flesh
Look Through the Eyes of God and Walk in the Spirit
Can a Christian Walk in the Flesh and Still be a Saved?
Your Flesh is Dead Christian, Not in School
If Your Faith is in Christ, Your Flesh Has Been Circumcised, Cut Off
How Does Jesus Set Us Free from Our Body of Death?
How is the Flesh Crucified?
Are You Praying for The Wrong Kind of Peace?
Prayer for Peace in All Circumstances
How to Stop Fear and Worry
How to Have Peace in All Circumstances
Chasing Circumstantial Peace Leaves Us with No Peace
How to Walk in Jesus Peace No Matter What
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