We’ve been focusing on Romans 13;14: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” (NASB).
As I first started meditating on this verse, I envisioned how “making provision” reminded me of a warrior storing food in their backpack before he/she heads out on a journey toward a battle. That’s a positive image. But our verse is talking about a negative “provision”–“make NO! provision.” Don’t store up provision that will lead to sin through indulging the flesh.
I think we all have different areas where the “flesh” is tempting for us. For instance, I can easily love fashion and my image more than Jesus. That’s “flesh” for me. You may tisk-tisk and think that’s positively silly because it’s not a “fleshly” thing for you. But I begin thinking about how I look because of fashion magazines or fashion TV shows. I begin believing that my image is what defines my worth and value–rather than seeing myself through God’s eyes.
I then begin making provision for my flesh through concentrating on those fashion magazines and TV shows. Reading or watching with my eyes feeds my brain which feeds my soul with the message that if I’m not in style someone is looking at me and thinking I’m stupid or ignorant or ACK! …old!!!!!!
Oh my, the Holy Spirit just did a “soul care” moment on my heart with that last word. I had no trouble coming up with the words “stupid” or “ignorant.” But then I paused and couldn’t get in touch with a deeper message. Then it surfaced. What the fear and dread is really about! Someone is going to see me as old! Wow! If I’m dressed stylishly, then I’m young! And that is valuable. But being old is not.
When Larry and I counsel people (we call it “soul care”), we are led by the Holy Spirit to try to find out the underlying “message” that the person is trying to avoid. God just did a “soul care” on me! I wasn’t aware of the underlying motive of my fashion temptation.
But guess what? I am old! Lord, forgive me for wanting to be other than what I am. What you’ve brought me to. And thank you that I am being old! Because otherwise, I wouldn’t be on this earth. I am looking forward to heaven, Lord, but I want to fulfill all the days you intend for me. And that takes being old. And why am I so hating being old? Because society says it’s not worthwhile.
Oh, Father, forgive me for judging what’s worthwhile based upon the world, the flesh. I have much to offer because of the years that have made me old. Society doesn’t value that but You do! So I surrender to being old. I surrender to being seen as old. I want to value what You value, not what the world values. So I’m not going to give provision to the flesh by agreeing with the world. Thank you, Lord, for setting me free!
Let me tell you that the outline I’d made for this post wasn’t used. My thought processes went in a totally different direction and I’m so grateful to the Mighty Spirit of God. Thank you for listening in. God certainly is creative, isn’t He? Can I recommend that you also ask the Spirit to reveal the underlying motives of your “flesh provisions”? I hope you experience the joy of submission, repentance and surrender that I’m feeling right now.