As we saw last week, God’s enemy takes 4 forms: Satan, sin, the world, and the flesh.
How can we defeat Satan and sin? Nothing could be simpler. Christ, in His death on the cross, has already completely defeated both Satan and sin. As long as we have been baptized, and thus are identified with Christ in His death on the cross, Satan has absolutely no power over us as long as we confess our sins and are washed with the blood of Christ.
But the world and the flesh are not so easy to defeat because the flesh is part of our very being and the world always offers us the things that our flesh desires.
Why is this the case? It is because the flesh cannot be dealt with by a miracle. The flesh never improves. Regardless of how victorious and strong we are in our spirit at any particular time, in one minute we could fall back into our flesh. This is the reason why there are so many failures and ungodly behavior from Christians – the flesh of a Christian is just as bad as that of an unbeliever.
So what is God’s way to save us from the flesh? The flesh is not a problem of what we have done; it is a problem of what we are. So in order for us to defeat the flesh, God needs to change what we are.
How does He do this? It is by reconstituting us. What does this mean? It means that we have to learn to take Christ as our food.
This can be seen in the picture of manna in the book of Exodus. God brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, which signifies the world. He did many wonders for them at the red sea, at Mara, and at Elim. But this didn’t change them. They still desired the Egyptian things. So what did God do? He gave them manna to eat.
Manna was a fine bread like substance that fell from the sky. God gave them manna to eat. They had to gather it every morning.
Food impacts our life more than almost any substance. When my diet is healthy and balanced, I feel healthy and balanced. When I decide to splurge and eat a ton of junk food, I usually end up feeling so sick to my stomach that all I want to do is go to bed and stay there forever. There is an old saying “you are what you eat”. This is really quite true. When we eat a certain type of food, we assimilate this food into us.
It is the same with Christ. Have you ever heard that Christ wants to be your food? It is perhaps an odd concept, but the Lord Jesus Himself said it, so who am I to judge?
John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; And the bread which I will give is My flesh, given for the life of the world.
What does it mean to eat Christ? It means that we spend time (especially first thing in the morning) to pray to the Lord, to read His word, to muse and pray over His word, and to come to Him as the living source of everything. It sounds so simple, but this is what will revolutionize our lives and allow us to defeat the flesh. This is because when we truly eat Christ, we take more and more Christ into us and allow Him to grow in us.