Works of the flesh are contrary to what the Holy Spirit produces in us; Gal 5:22-26. Some works remain hidden, that only God can see while others are obvious and plain for all to see. They are what temptation has given birth to, and are various forms of sin; James 1:14-15.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19-21
When we operate in the works of our flesh we are under the rule and authority of the satanic kingdom. No matter how much we may say we are ‘in Christ’ our actions reveal this is not true. We are walking according to our old nature and we are warned that those who do will not inherit the Kingdom of God.
Let us take out the washboard of the Word of God so we may examine ourselves and what we ourselves may be producing through the works of our flesh and rid ourselves of its filth!
Humans are a peculiar thing as we most often are our own worst critics, but on the same hand, we also put ourselves high above what we really are! In reality, we carry around our human flesh and are not without sin, but it is the practice of sin – that produces the works mentioned here. One sin does not produce murder, but unconfessed sin may lead that way if we do not deal with it.
We can learn much in the tending of a garden. Being vigilant in picking out the weeds and seeking to deter pests aids significantly in the success of the garden. We cannot expect the garden to grow in health without any care and maintenance as the same is true in our lives as believers in Christ. Likewise, carelessness is dangerous to our health and growth as a Christians for it opens up a door to all kinds of spiritual pests.
Today’s environment and culture foster works of the flesh and we can partake without even realizing it as Romans 1 warns us because we approve of them. What we take pleasure in often can be of this nature particularly in movies, sitcoms and the like. Violence, murder, adultery, and the mockery of God can all be found in a half hour program these days. We must be so careful to scrutinize what we take in to our minds and find pleasure!
One area which deserves our examination is our mindset. We may carry out our day-to-day with a wrong mindset, it can be that we are just having an off kind of a day or for some we have come to accept our funny and maybe obstinate ways as just being normal. We have accepted something that is wrong as being right just because ‘this is the way I am’.
These wrong mindsets that we think are ‘who we are’ often develop in childhood, when we experience something that causes distress or confusion. Since we are a child we will come up with childish reasoning and a wrong mindset may begin. In the case of a child experiencing the divorce his parents, he may feel he is the reason not understanding the complexity of the situation is beyond him. The devil takes advantage and jumps in to distort this youngsters mind with all kinds of crooked ideas about themselves, relationships, fears and so on. So as an adult, they may be fearful and mistrusting of forming lasting relations with others. They may paint a broad stroke over marriage altogether saying it is ‘not for me’ for fear of failure.
We can also adopt wrong mindsets in adulthood and may display in what is known as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which is nothing more than a wrong mindset. Anxiety disorders and depression are inspired by wrong mindsets as well as harmless but no less annoying habits that we do without even giving it a thought.
Addictions are the result of wrong mindsets in past mistakes, the harm done to us or by us and the list goes on. Simply quitting will not solve our problem because it will just find somewhere else to spring up in our lives! The works of the flesh, at best are indicators that we must go back – and deal with why we are not free from them. If we want to be free, we must be willing to find the root– in every case (of the works of the flesh) without exception. Many address problems such as pornography, anger, or anxiety – by trying to stop or find a way to quit or alleviate them but they are not the problem just the result or outcome of the problem.
The Good News is we have the Ultimate counselor to help us get back on track!
Take a look at His resume listing His attributes and credentials:
The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him—
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the Lord—
and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. Is 11
With the Lord, we can seek reconciliation in these areas in our lives that ennare us to serve our flesh, lust, and mind.
The key to being set free are these:
- First be willing to recognize our lusts, fears, and/or wrong mindsets
- Then go to the Lord to acknowledge that we have been operating in the works of our flesh in these areas and confess them as sins.
The process looks simple enough but the difficulty is it requires consistency and commitment.
- We can then ask the Lord to reveal to us where the root of these strongholds come from.
- And lastly, we forgive if there is a need to forgive for what He shows, or we renounce our behavior or participation in whatever He has revealed to us as the root.
- Once identified we dig it out like the nasty root it is and nail it to the cross. And rejoice in the Lord’s most gracious times of refreshing He gives us! Acts 3:19.
Our lives as believers in Christ are maintaining our gardens in the light of the Lord. Nothing is to remain hidden from His eyes and we will be victorious and full of (His) life and glory!
This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10