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Pastor Nathan Leigh   /   May 17, 2015

Reading Exodus 13, we see God leading the Israelites as they begin their journey by the way of the wilderness to the Red Sea. God went before them in a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guard them on the way. By this time Pharaoh is regretting his decision to free Israel. Pharaoh orders the Egyptian army, including 600 chariots, to capture the Israelites by the Red Sea. In great fear and anger, the Israelites cried out to Moses “Our Egyptian slavery was far better than dying out here in the wilderness.” Moses reassures them saying, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand where you are and watch the Lord rescue you.”

As you go through Exodus and the Old Testament, this problem of abandoning all trust in God is repeated over and over until the time of Christ. And at the time of Christ, it’s repeated again, and this is not just an Israelite problem; this is a human problem. The problem has to do with the flesh.

Have you ever noticed that you’re more vulnerable right after a great victory than after a trial? Take the Israelites who have just come out of Egypt, just seen 9 unbelievable plagues and then the 10th that was incredible. An angel went through the camp and killed every human being that was firstborn and every animal that was firstborn, except those in houses that had the blood on the doorpost. God’s intention was to show Himself as God and save His people. Unfortunately, Israel’s dilemma was in allowing their mind and heart to be controlled by their flesh.

The flesh is the gateway to the power over your life and it’s dangerous. To do right is of the Spirit, but the flesh doesn’t care about what is right; the flesh cares about what’s pleasurable and easy. You want to lose control over your life? Live in the flesh. Be like the Israelites who allowed their hearts and their minds and their dependence to be controlled by their flesh.

It’s clearly stated in Galatians 5:16-17, “But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. The Bible states that the Spirit is going to do what God wants and the flesh is going to do what the world wants. The way of the flesh is the doorway over control of life in the world. Jesus said in John 6:63, It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. It’s the Spirit of God that empowers and makes us have the kind of life that God wants us to have and not a slave to this world. We all have that gateway of the flesh, the question is; how big is it? What are you doing to make sure that gateway remains closed as often as possible?

The key to victory over the flesh is to think only God’s thoughts. You have to train your mind how to act and if you are lazy and you react by thinking in the flesh, that’s how you’ll be controlled. Be proactive by getting the Word of God in your mind constantly. Guard your heart by submitting to God only, no other authorities. Don’t submit to your circumstances, your lust or your fears, your goals or ambitions, submit only to God. Depend only on God and not in your position, nor your family, wealth or fame or intellect. Always remember that how you think shows what power source you have. Romans 13:14 says, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.”

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