For several posts, we’ve been meditating on Romans 13:14: “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.” Here’s one last thought.
I think the best way to not make provision for the flesh is to be aware of what we’re rehearsing. Since “making provision” carries with it the implication of preparation, what we rehearse and focus on, especially in preparation of something, has a huge impact in our reactions “in the moment.” We may think, “Now why did I act that way?” or “Now why did I say that?” And it may seem like a mystery. But chances are, in some way, we made “provision” for that reaction. And it’s most often by our thought processes based on our belief system.
I remember a time I felt rejected by someone important to me. What they said haunted me. I thought about it over and over again. I defended myself in my mind. I stored up all the reasons that person was wrong. I shored up all the reasons I was right. I wrote out script after script of what I should say to them. Then they would be humbled to see I was right and they were wrong. I would be vindicated.
Was it any mystery then that one of my comments to them was tinged with sarcasm and pain, even though I’d committed to trust in the Lord and allow Him to handle the situation? I’d made provision for letting my flesh produce ungodliness even though I thought I’d released it to the Lord.
How is your thought life today? Especially about something painful in your life. Second Corinthians 10:5 gives us an important caution: “…take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.” That’s closely linked to “make no provision for the flesh.”
What are we thinking about? What are we believing? What are we defending? What are the scripts we’re writing in our minds? It could be we’re setting ourselves up for putting on the flesh. Let’s put on the Lord Jesus Christ instead. Let’s think His thoughts. Allow Him to defend us. Believe that He will raise us up at the right time if we humble ourselves. And see others through His eyes because He loves them as much as us.