Are you tired of struggling with the flesh and trying to deal continually with all the problems of your human nature? The Scriptures tell us to lay aside the old self and put on the new self. This means that rather than struggling with it, we can simply take off the old nature like a garment and put on the new nature. Let us take faith, with the Lord’s help, to reach into this scriptural truth and get out of this cycle of perpetual struggle in the flesh.
When we read Ephesians 6:12 that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, we normally interpret that in the context of spiritual warfare. In other words, our intercession is to deal with spiritual forces and not with external flesh and blood on a natural level. But we can also apply this Scripture to ourselves internally. We are not to struggle with our own flesh and blood. The reality is that we continually struggle with the problems of our own flesh, and yet the Scriptures tell us that is not the way to deal with those things.
The Lord made this real to me in a recent spiritual experience. I saw myself wearing a heavy coat with all kinds of trash and clutter clinging to it. I understood this clutter to be all the negative things of the flesh—all the negative ways of acting and being and thinking about myself. Instead of focusing on those things and trying to deal with them, I simply took off the coat. This is a key that we read in the Scriptures. We are to lay aside the old self with all its corruption in the flesh and put on the new self that has been created in righteousness and holiness in the image of God.
This is how God deals with your flesh. He is not focused on wrestling with you or arguing with you over your old manner of life. He is setting before you the new life that He has created for you in Christ so that you would lay aside the old self and put on the new self. We are not in a war with ourselves. We are not in a war with God. We simply lay aside the old and have our minds renewed with our focus redirected on Christ. Drop off that old heavy coat with all the fleshly problems attached to it and “put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Ephesians 6:12. “Our struggle is not against flesh and blood.”
- Ephesians 4:17–25. “Lay aside the old self … and put on the new self.”
- John 5:19. “The Son can do nothing of Himself.”
- Ephesians 2:8. “By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves.”
- Hebrews 12:1–2. “Lay aside every encumbrance and the sin which so easily entangles us.”
- Colossians 3:9–10. “You laid aside the old self … and have put on the new self.”
- James 1:21. “Putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted.”
- 1 Peter 2:1–2. “Putting aside all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander, like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word.”
- Romans 13:14. “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”
- Galatians 3:27. “All of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”
- “We cannot be in a wrestling match with our flesh. We cannot be struggling with the flesh and its issues with the natural man. We must find another way to deal with it.”
- “We go back to grace. We have learned Christ through grace, and we have to go back to the way we learned originally.”
- “We have to take off the old in order to put on the new. And then we will be able to run with endurance this race that is set before us.”
- The problems we face that make our walk with God difficult seem to be the same problems over and over again. We focus on dealing with those problems and find ourselves in a continual struggle with the flesh. But the Scriptures show us that is not the way to get rid of those things. Instead of struggling with our flesh, we are to take it off like a coat.
- Dealing with the flesh is not something we can do for ourselves and by ourselves. It is done by the process of God’s grace in our lives. We simply give it over to Him to deal with. In baptism we washed away the old self, our old manner of life. We simply let it go and left it behind in the water of baptism and were raised up and clothed with Christ.
- It is a matter of redirecting our focus. Get out of a wrong focus on the old self and keep your eyes on Yeshua (Jesus), the author and perfector of your faith. God gave us His Son so that we might focus on Him and put Him on. He gave us His Son as the provision. When we put Him on like a new coat, all His provisions become ours so that we no longer make provision for the flesh.