Every time that I think he’s gone and I’ve finally won.
He just keeps coming back and puts me on the run.
I think I better do it now, get my hammer and a nail.
I pray to God that I won’t fail.
Or else he’ll keep me in the jail.
Killing my old man, you may not understand.
He’s a terrible man.
Got to make a stand and kill the old man.
– Bob Hartman
5 Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 On account of these the wrath of God is coming. 7 In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. 8 But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.
Colossians 3:5-10 (ESV)
16 But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 19 Now the works of the flesh are evident: sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, rivalries, dissensions, divisions, 21 envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like these. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.
It’s a battle…it really is. I have to assume that we all struggle with this on some level. I know that for me the battle is real. It keeps me awake at night. It troubles me when I am alone. In yesterday’s post I talked about needing help to make it through this world. I said that when I get up close to God…I am often speechless. I think this is why.
At least I know that I don’t have to do this alone. If it was left up to me to kill the old self…he would never leave. He would be right here with me. Although the analogy isn’t perfect, it reminds me of the old cartoons where there would be a little angel on one shoulder and a little devil on the other. They usually take turns trying to persuade the person to do either good…or bad. It is most often played for laughs but there really is nothing funny about it.
I know that I can’t change who I am…regardless of what the world tells me. Only the Holy Spirit can get deep down inside of me and rewire things. Only the blood of Jesus can wash away all the stuff that separates me from God. I have got to be willing to let the Spirit guide me. I have got to take my old self and nail it up there on the cross with Jesus. It is the only way.
But I can’t do it myself. Like I said yesterday…I don’t have to. For that…I am eternally thankful.