If only the flesh would sit still so that we can slay it! In The enemy within, Kris Lungaard reminds us that it will fight all the way. He likens it to a wounded badger that will scratch and claw at us. He gives three specific ways that the flesh will fight back along with a provocative response to it.
1. It aims at your weaknesses – telling you to strengthen yourself – “you’re tired, take a break”, “you’ve done enough”, etc. Lungaard concludes saying:
If you don’t imbed it in your mind that prayer and meditation are indispensable, and seek God’s grace every day to resist the sluggishness of your body, you will hit the snooze button all morning rather than kneel before the throne. And if you snooze, you lose.
2. The tyranny of the urgent. The old “I’m too busy” excuse.
So when it seems you don’t have enough time to do your work, care for your family, love your friends, and devote yourself to prayer and meditation, the problem isn’t God’s providence. The problem may be that you’ve taken on yourself more than God intended.
3. Duty Swap. You’ve prayed with your family, or you went to church. You’ve done your spiritual duty for the day. Ever heard yourself telling yourself that?
If you buy that argument, you’re sunk.
4. The big promise. “You can pray and meditate next week, after you get past _____”
Right. This is the cheer of the perennial loser: “We’ll get ‘em next year!”
Lungaard doesn’t hold punches, but this is his point. If we want to defeat the flesh, we need to be dedicated to the task and consider it as a no holds barred war.