Many times in life, we come face to face with challenges that seem impossible. These situations make it seem like the only way out is to take the back door; to lie, cheat or steal. Sometimes, even doing nothing may be as bad a doing the wrong thing.
When this happens, we may lament about how powerless we are over the matter; we shrug our shoulders, throw their hands in the air and say “Its not my fault, had didn’t stand a chance!”
The Word of God however paints a different picture:
Therefore, bretheren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh. For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. – Romans 8:12-14
Debtor to the flesh to live after the flesh
Many years ago when I was in primary school, I misplaced one of my classmates toys. After expressing his displeasure in what I had done, he demanded with several threats that I pay him the value of his toy so he could buy a new one. Not wanting this much stronger boy to carry out his threats and beat me up, I agreed to the amount he wanted and promised to pay him part of the money every day of school till my debt was fully paid off.
In pretty much the same way, before we were saved and bought by the blood of Jesus, we were debtors to the flesh; forced to do everything that was dictated to us by our carnal, sinful nature. We owed it to the flesh to act, speak and think in the manner it dictated through the various circumstances of life. However, after we became Believers, we no longer owed the flesh our allegiance. As Christians, we owe it to the Spirit of God to act, speak and think in the way he dictates; all of which is contained and expressed in his Word.
Once I had completely paid off this colleague of mine for his toy, I noticed that he would still attempt to bully and extort money from me; even though I no longer owed him. I eventually stood up to him and made it clear that my debt had been paid and I would no longer give him my lunch money.
As born again Believers, we must recognize that we are no longer debtors to the flesh; to bad habits or actions we know are wrong. Jesus paid the debt on our behalf so we could be free to serve God and follow the leading of the Holy Spirit.
Mortifying the deeds of the flesh by the Spirit of God
It’s interesting to note that we must mortify the deeds of the body. This means, we must put the actions of the flesh to death. The way we do this is through the Spirit; by being led by the Spirit.
We must stand up to those sins and weights that seem to have complete power over us. If we still believe that we have to continue in our bad habits and old sins, we will remain bound by them but if we through the help of the Holy Spirit put these deeds to death, we will live.
In other words, if we will follow the leading of God’s Spirit, we will no longer be bound to obey the urgings of the flesh. And as we continue to follow the Holy Spirit those urgings of the flesh will gradually be put to death.
We are not debtors to the flesh any longer! The devil may try to deceive us into thinking so but our debt is fully paid. As born again Christians, we now have a choice! You can say no to the negative impulses, thoughts and feelings you face from day to day. Being in Christ frees you from your debt and gives you the right to choose to do what God wants. Let us realize this and follow the Holy Spirit’s leading through the Word of God.
As you read these last few words, whisper this short prayer to the Lord:
Father, thank you for paying my debt of sin through Jesus Christ. I believe that I am no longer in bondage to the flesh; to act or speak in ways that don’t please you. I ask you to lead me by your Spirit so I can please you in every area of my life, in Jesus Name. Amen.
David Adeniji is the Founder and President of The Behold File, a teaching ministry founded in 2003. The Behold File provides a platform through which the Holy Spirit opens the eyes of men to see Jesus so they can be changed to be like him.