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"To be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace." (Rom. 8:6)

My blood was boiling! There I was on my way to a spiritual meeting. Born again, spirit filled, and anointed of God for ministry - I was on a mission and late for my plane. With my wife Cathy in the passenger seat and our six year-old daughter in the back, I had been making good time.

Then another car came flying out on the road. From a fast rate of sixty miles an hour, the car slowed to thirty-five miles per hour. I tried to pass, but the driver thought both lanes belonged to her.

You've probably been behind a man or woman who drove like that. I went to the left - she went to the left. I went to the right - she went to the right. Soon Tabasco sauce was coming up my legs: "God, DO something with this woman!"

I began to shout through the windshield to her. "Hey, if you can't drive the car, park it!" Finally, I thought, "Brother, if she just goes to the right a half inch, I'm going to put my foot in the carburetor, slam to the left, hit the grass, ride the median - whatever - I'm going to pass that woman!"

I fussed. I fumed. But before I got my chance to pass her, the muffler fell off her car. I was too close to miss it. Two of my tires were destroyed. As she puttered off across the horizon, I shouted, "Why you...if I could catch you...."

Then out of the mouth of babes...."You'd tell her that Jesus loves her, huh, Daddy?" my daughter interrupted.

What had I done? I had a fit - a fit of carnality.

Had Any Fits Lately?
You've had your fits, too. Don't try to tell me you haven't! It may have happened after you watched a dessert commercial on television - and before you knew it you were in the kitchen stuffing cake in your mouth as fast as you could. It may have happened when an anointed church service went past lunch. It may have happened with someone you love - one day you were saying, "I love my wife so much. I can't live without her." The next day you were saying, "How'd we get together? Get out of my way!"

These are fits of carnality - fits where you let your flesh take over. Jesus knew what they were. Paul knew too. He'd had his share. In Romans 8:6-8 he tells us very clearly about fits of carnality: "For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God."

What was Paul saying? That "your fits of carnality have almost cost you your life." Any time we get out of the realm of faith, we get into the realm of carnality, or flesh and death. We get into a realm where we cannot please God, because without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Any time we get out of faith and into the carnal realm, we have set ourselves up for a fit of carnality.

A Dead Cat and a Disobedient Woman!
Soon after I was saved, the pipes froze and broke on our little house in Southern Louisiana. I had been a rock musician, not a handyman, so I was not looking forward to this chore. I pulled on my coveralls and dragged myself through a sea of cold water and mud in thirty degree weather. I was aggravated, uncomfortable and needed a helper.

So I asked Cathy, "Cathy, I need some help."
"Oh, I can't come underneath that house," she said. "There's spiders under there." That made me so mad. "I NEED SOME HELP!" "I can't crawl underneath that house. It's dirty," she said. "But I'll help you."

"How?" I wondered. "All right," I said, but I just got madder. Then I cut myself on a piece of broken glass. And I busted my knuckles trying to break the old piece of pipe out. But finally, I got the cold line fixed.

"Cathy," I hollered through the floor, "there's two knobs, one on the left and one on the right. Don't touch the left knob. That's the hot water. Turn on the right knob, because the cold line's fixed." "Ok."

An instant later I was being scalded with hot water. She had turned on the left knob! "Cathy, turn it off. I am being burned!" Cathy turned it off, and came to apologize. As she looked down under the house, she said, "Oh, Jesse, don't move! There's a dead cat by your head." I had smelled a strange odor, but only then did I see it - a cat with its brains hanging out.

"GRAB IT!" I told her. "I don't touch dead cats," she squealed. And then I had a fit. "Woman, when I get out from under this house...." As I pushed the cat, a thorn jabbed me in the back. "What is this?" I wailed. "Oh, I threw some cactus underneath the house," Cathy said.

Cactus...dead cat...scalding water. Did I ever have a fit of carnality. With cuts in my body and a cat in my hand, I was tearing out from underneath that house ready to tell Cathy what I thought when I was greeted by my unsaved neighbor.

"How you doing, preacher?" he asked. "You know I wouldn't touch that dead cat if I were you. What's the problem anyway?" I'd been witnessing to this man. Suddenly, I didn't know what to say. But he surmised things pretty quickly. "Your wife won't help you, huh?" I said, "How'd you know that?" "Well, I busted a pipe earlier this morning and tried to get my wife to help. She wouldn't do it either. You want me to give you a hand?"

While I'd been telling this man "Jesus is the greatest thing in the world. My God gives. Jesus can handle anything..." my actions were adding..."except a broken pipe and a dead cat and a disobedient woman!" You can take this to the bank: Every time you have a fit of carnality, somebody is going to see you do it. So how do we stop ourselves from having these fits?

Sound Words Are Salvation Words
First, do what Paul told Timothy to do: "Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed unto thee keep by the Holy Ghost which dwelleth in us." (2 Tim. 1:13-14)

That day, years ago, as I was driving to the airport, I had a choice. I could have prayed this: "Lord, I'm kind of in a hurry. Would You mind moving that little lady over to the side?" But it seemed like it was much easier to holler through the windshield. I didn't hold fast to the form of sound words.

Instead, I gave myself over to "no" words - words that had no power to bring God on the scene of my need. Sound words are salvation words. They are the words that can change your situation. They are words that feed and strengthen your spirit.

You will not overcome fits of carnality by focusing your efforts on the flesh. There's no good thing in the flesh. If you think in your finite mind that you're going get this flesh to become holy, you have missed it by 100 miles.

First Corinthians 2:14 tells us that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."

But if you will feed and strengthen your spirit on sound words, you will become no longer conformed to this world, but transformed by the renewing of your mind (Romans 12:2). Sound words will turn your spirit into a dynamo that totally regenerates the thought processes of your soul (mind, will and emotions).

And then from that mind, will and emotion (soul) will come a cross that crucifies your flesh on a daily basis. If the weight of the Cross is on your mind, will, and emotions, you will speak words of faith. Any time you are speaking soundly, a fit will not take place.

Submit Yourself to God
Second, when you see a fit of carnality coming on, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." (James 4:7) What we typically want to do first is to deal more with our anger than with our submitting. We want to start rebuking the devil. But that's the wrong order. Before the devil is ever mentioned, before we have our full-blown fit of carnality, we must first submit ourselves to God.

To submit to God, we must first know what God has said. If we know what He has said, then we should be repeating what He has said. We should speak sound words, and submit ourselves to what we are speaking. You may be saying and believing the right things, but if you don't submit yourself to what you believe, you'll have a fit of carnality every day of your life.

Resist (Don't Assist) the devil
Finally, resist the devil. Notice the order in James 4:7, "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you." First submit to God, then resist the devil. For years I didn't know how to resist the devil. I blamed my temper on my Cajun heritage. Finally the Lord said, "Jesse, it's just you assisting the devil!"

As long as we are assisting the devil instead of resisting him, he's going to be running toward us and not away from us. We'll actually just be helping him with our fits of carnality, and the way we grow is by submitting ourselves to God.

Then we can begin to resist the devil instead of assisting him. Soon we'll find Satan beginning to flee from us instead of coming toward us, and our fits of carnality will happen less and less.

Watch the Devil Run!
Don't misunderstand me. I'm not saying this life is easy. Everyone has aggravations. But an aggravation does not have to grow into a full-blown, no-holds-barred fit of carnality. Hold fast to the form of sound words, which you've heard of God. Live as a child of God, led by the Spirit of God, and submitted to Him.

"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." (Romans 8:14) You can walk in the spirit-all the time. The promise of that walk is life and peace (see Romans 8:6).

As you allow yourself to be led by the Spirit, He will give you opportunity to take authority over that aggravation so that it doesn't become a fit of carnality. Satan always works through a fit of carnality. If you will jump this hurdle and take away his ability to work up a fit of carnality in you, you will have closed the door to almost anything he could ever do to you. And whenever you're around, all he'll have left to do is to turn his tail and run!

Source: One Word From God Can Change Your Formula For Success by Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.
Excerpt permission granted by Harrison House Publishers

Author Biography

Jesse Duplantis
Web site: Jesse Duplantis Ministries
Jesse Duplantis is a dynamic evangelist who has traveled throughout the world since 1978 preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He is the founder of Jesse Duplantis Ministries (JDM), which has its International Headquarters in America and additional offices in the United Kingdom and Australia.

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