Monday, January 24, 2011


I've been thinking, lately, about how often we make provision for the flesh.

What is it, to "make provision for the flesh"?

I don't think the scripture is talking about providing food for our stomach.

No; our flesh is more than bodily appetites - though those are included. It's those longings we have that stem from the old man. Those desires that come from selfishness, pride, and other wrong motives.

We know we shouldn't desire certain things. But we play with ourselves. We show ourselves things we know we can't have, and shouldn't want. Our imaginations run to places they shouldn't go, and we soothe our consciences with the thought that we "wouldn't really do that."
We just want to play with it. Watch other people do it.

What are we really doing when we look at things we know we shouldn't do or have?

We are wishing we could do it, or have it. Even if we don't admit it even to ourselves. The fact that we find it attractive betrays us. We aren't treating it like something our Lord hates. Instead, we are pampering that old man inside us; showing him what he longs for.

Do we really expect him to stay content, to be dead to sin, when we keep tantalizing him? He won't be pacified by looks. Sooner or later he'll act. Because he's human.

To provide for the flesh is to make sinful options available. Just in case. Just on the chance that we have to give in. You know. Like sticking that chocolate chip cookie on the counter instead of in the jar, just in case we get hungry.

Or keeping that questionable book on our shelf, just in case we change our minds.

Or hanging that "iffy" shirt in our closet, just in case it doesn't look so bad the next time everything else is in the dirty laundry pile.

Or keeping our computer turned on and within reach, just in case we give into the temptation to waste time when there are other things to do.

What are we doing?!?! What happened to fleeing temptation?

A verse in Proverbs 19 struck me along the same lines. It tells us what to do in these cases: "Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge."

It's so simple; if something causes you to err, to be less interested in the words of God, stop listening! Turn it off. Shut it up. Throw it away. Whatever you have to do.

The huge simplicity of this concept has occupied my mind often during the past few days. It is a marvel to me, how alluring sin is. I wish it wasn't. It is amazing to me, how enticed mankind is by sin. We go for it, like a dog to poisoned meat. The only thing strong enough to keep us away is love. The Bible says love is stronger than death. It's stronger than anything. The only way we will stay away from sin is if we love the Saviour more.

What are you doing today to foster that love?


Kathryn said...

You hit the nail on the head when you touched on our imaginations! I find it almost sickening to think how creative we can be in our imaginings sometimes. But "thanks be unto God which always causeth us to triumph in Christ!" (2 Cor. 2:14) I appreciate the reminder to continue to starve our fleshly appetites by drawing ever closer to the heart of Jesus!

The Road in Patience said...

WOW this post was so eye opening. Thank you so much!!!

Amanda said...

Oooh! This post hit home! Especially that last bit about the computer! It IS hard sometimes to keep from wasting time on it; thanks for the reminder. I think I'll shut it off now! LOL