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. ~Romans 7:18-19
A turf war is a conflict between two opposing factions for control over territory. Gangs typically fight over territory. Nations or people groups at war with each other fight for territory. The more territory an opposing faction has, the more control they can exert. This morning, we are looking at a spiritual turf war. This turf war involves a constant daily conflict between our flesh life and the spirit life. Our question we face this morning is “Who is winning the turf war?”
We see the spiritual REALITY.
We are in an ongoing spiritual battle between the flesh and the Spirit. Our fleshly nature rebels against God. Our fleshly nature has appetites, cravings, desires and lusts that are very strong. When the flesh is in control, we live to satisfy the fleshly cravings. When the Spirit is in control, we desire to live in the Spirit and please the Lord. There are days when we are making good progress in our spiritual life, and have taken ground away from the flesh and the devil. The taking of ground by the Spirit is a victorious life over tendencies and temptations. On the other hand, the taking of ground by the flesh is indicative of our desires getting the best of us. We must not be presumptuous in thinking that the flesh will go away or that fleshly pressures are seasonal. They are moment-by-moment and seek to claim territory from us all the time.
We see the sad REGRETS.
These regrets are the fact that when we want to do good, we sometimes fail and do that which is evil. We do not intend to fail and sin, but sin taking occasion deceives and defeats us. “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,” Rom. 7:22-23. Sinful tendencies and areas of our life in which we have not gotten victory seek to take and control of those areas of our life. When this happens, we are filled and overcome with regrets that we have failed ourselves, failed God, and failed those who know we sinned. Like Paul, We must recognize that in our flesh dwelleth no good thing. We must not put confidence in our flesh. There is no strength or ability in us to win the turf war.
We see the sufficient RECOGNITION.
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord,” Rom. 7:25a. There is only one sure means to winning the turf war. We need qualified and proven help. That help is our Lord Jesus Christ! First, realize you are in Him. We belong to Jesus and Jesus belongs to us! “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world.” Second, give Christ Lordship in every area of your life. We cannot win a turf war where He does not have our consent to take over. The flesh cringes and backs away when King Jesus is in control of our lives. Third, the strategy for overcoming the flesh is by beating the flesh through supplication and prayer in the Spirit. We are not adding Jesus to our weapon arsenal. We are giving recognition that He is commander-in-chief and King in this battle. The victory accomplished is turf we have given to Jesus, which in turn He allows us to be stewards over. All we need for victory is sufficiently in Christ.
Don’t lose ground in your turf war. It’s time to take back and take over ground that has been in the possession of the flesh and the devil. Let King Jesus have control and be the victor God wants you to be.
Have a victorious God Morning!