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For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
(Rom. 7:15-16)
Does that sound familiar? Can you relate to this scenario? In modern language Paul is saying, "I don't understand myself. I fail to do the things I want to do, and the things I don't want to do, I end up doing!"

Who among us hasn't felt like that at one time or another. "I want to start eating healthy and exercising," I've heard many times, "but I just seem to keep falling into the same old patterns."

As Jesus told his disciples when they couldn't "tarry one hour" with him in prayer but rather kept falling asleep: "The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak."

Let me give you a prime example of this battle to which you can probably relate.

Let's say you start watching one of those infomercials for exercise equipment that you see all over the airwaves these days. You look at the trim, toned, muscular model and say to yourself, "That could be me. I can do that!"

So, with your motivation high, and your resolve strong, you decide to get a membership to your neighborhood health club.

Of course, you have to look cool, so you go buy a bunch of new workout clothes and a $100 pair of Air-something-or-others so you'll look the part.

You arrive for your first workout, looking good, feeling motivated and ready to sweat. In other words, your spirit is willing.

You choose a piece of high-tech, state-of-the-art exercise equipment and vow to stay on it until you've burned 400 calories or spent an hour, whichever comes first. You begin.

After what seems like a painful eternity, you look at the clock and only three minutes have gone by. You've burned a total of about 11 calories.

After another three or four minutes of pain, you stop. Your willing spirit has been washed away in a rising tide of weak, screaming flesh.

Who Shall Deliver Me?
In the same chapter of Romans, Paul goes into greater detail in describing this struggle between the part of us that desires to please God and the part that wants nothing but to please self:
Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
(Rom. 17:17-24)
Paul is describing a war between the flesh—which he says contains no good thing, and the part of him he calls the inward man—his spirit, which he says delights in the law of God.

Sow To The Spirit
Paul was describing himself at a time when the desires of his flesh were consistently dominating the desires of his born-again spirit.

Living like that left him thinking, "O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me...!"

But Paul didn't stop there, and praise God he didn't! He didn't leave us and himself in the wretched situation. In the very next verse he says:
There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
(Rom. 8:1-2)
Paul tells us that all we have to do to break this cycle of defeat and condemnation is to walk after the Spirit instead of walking after the flesh.

That's just another way of saying, "Sow to the Spirit instead of sowing to the flesh."

When you walk after the Spirit, you feed your spirit-man until it dominates your flesh. A man or woman who does so won't be wretched and defeated for very long.

Source: SOS: Help My Flesh Needs Discipline
by Creflo A. Dollar Jr.
Excerpt permission granted by Creflo Dollar Ministries

Author Biography

Creflo A. Dollar
Web site: World Changers Ministries
 
Creflo Dollar is the founder and senior pastor of World Changers Church International (WCCI) in College Park, Georgia; World Changers Church-New York; and a host of fellowship churches throughout the United States and internationally. WCCI also has offices in Australia (serving the Asia-Pacific region), South Africa, Canada, the United Kingdom, India, and the Ukraine.
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