Did you know that even the apostle Paul struggled with doing the right thing?
Yes, this is the same Paul who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament.
Paul was very transparent about His struggle in Romans 7:15:
For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.”
I can relate. How about you?
Paul is talking about how his actions were not lining up with his will. He wanted to do good, but he was not finding the power to do good in his flesh:
For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.”
What Paul is describing is a “no-win” situation. That is a terrible position to be in.
How many times had I struggled to do the right thing in my own power, only to fail and then condemn myself for it? In my case, my struggle was binging and overeating (gluttony).
I failed too many times to count.
Paul discovered that the real problem was that he was looking for power to do good in the wrong place!
What is the right place?
This is essential knowledge if you want the victory in your weight loss struggle.
Here is the reason why looking to the flesh for power to do the right thing is the wrong place to look:
For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will (Romans 8:7, New Living Translation).”
According to this scripture, the flesh will never want to do the right thing. That is the reason why willpower does not work ultimately.
It’s like expecting a fox to guard the hen house!
Looking to his flesh for power to do good left Paul feeling frustrated and defeated.
In Romans 7:24, he cried out:
O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
But Paul didn’t leave us in suspense; he gave us the answer immediately.
I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Jesus could handle whatever happened to Him! He was victorious in every situation.
In Him is love, power, strength, wisdom, grace, and truth.
Scripture describes the enemy as like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (see 1 Peter 5:8). For victory over him, you need a greater power – the Lion of Judah!
The power of the Christian life is in allowing Jesus to live out His life through us, His disciples.
He does this by the power of the Holy Spirit. Just as Jesus lived in dependency upon the Father, so we live in dependency upon Him.
According to Romans 6:4-11, you were crucified with Jesus and you were buried with Him.
Because of this, you are no longer a slave to sin.
The best news of all?
Because Jesus rose again, so did you. The man (or woman) who went into the grave is not the same one who comes out!
You are now united with the resurrected Christ. You are a new creation, indwelt by Him through the Holy Spirit:
- Romans 8:10: “But if Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, the spirit is life because of righteousness.”
- Galatians 2:20: “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
- Ephesians 3:17: “That Christ may make His home in your hearts through faith.”
- 2 Corinthians 4:6-7: “Because the God who said, Out of darkness light shall shine, is the One who shined in our hearts to illuminate the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not out of us.”
Isn’t it wonderful that you can rely on Jesus’ power to live a life that honors Him, not your own effort?
That old way is exhausting, not to mention the result is usually a superficial change.
However, when you allow Jesus to live out His life through you, He gets all the glory for your victories, not you.
How do you allow Jesus to live His life through you?
In Romans 7:25, Paul gives guidance:
So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Decide daily and as often as necessary throughout the day to turn each issue that concerns you over to Him through a simple prayer:
“Jesus, I can’t do this in my own strength. Live out Your life through me.”
This is not about you trying harder and then stacking Jesus on top of your own efforts!
It is about seeing every situation through Jesus’ eyes.
While you have the mind of Christ (1 Corinthians 2:16), you need to renew your mind from those old, dead ways of thinking.
How do you do that?
Through the study and practice of God’s word. You receive His wisdom and power to do the right thing by faith.
When a difficult situation comes to your door, you send Jesus to answer it through faith or as a popular song goes, you pray, “Jesus, take the wheel.”
This will feel weird at first. When I started with this approach, it made me uncomfortable to realize just how much I was looking to the flesh for power to do the right thing – just like Paul!
But I soon realized that the flesh only wants to satisfy, justify, glorify, and even magnify itself.
Whether that satisfaction was from giving in to the flesh’s desires, justification from achieving certain goals, glorification to obtain the approval of man, or magnification to feed my pride, my actions were still flesh-driven and self-centered.
The flesh is like an “Affluenza” child: “I want what I want when I want it.”
But as a child of God, the flesh is not the real you; your renewed spirit is the real you.
Your old man was buried with Jesus, remember?
It felt uncomfortable to say “No” to my flesh when I wanted to do something that was not good. During those moments, I sent Jesus to the door in a quick prayer: “Jesus, live through me.”
I would then get power to resist by faith and carry on.
During one particularly difficult time, I could only repeat mentally, “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus.”
I pressed into Him for strength to ride through the storm and He gave it.
Submitting to Jesus’ authority and allowing Him to live through you is a process. Galatians 4:19 says: “My children, with whom I travail again in birth until Christ is formed in you.”
Spiritual formation takes time.
If you return to your old habits or find yourself looking to your flesh once again for power, say “I thank God that Christ is being formed in me,” then look to Jesus once again, obeying what He tells you to do.
He is the author and finisher of your faith.
As you go through this process, here are some things not to do:
- Do not condemn yourself for mistakes.
All you do is play into the hands of the enemy. He loves to accuse God’s children. But remember Romans 8:1: “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”
Situations like these show you why you need a Savior. God sent His word to heal you and deliver you from destruction.
- Do not say, “I will never succeed with this.”
When you do this, you are contradicting God’s word. God sees the person He created you to be, even as He is working on the person you are now. He sees the end from the beginning.
He will never give up on you, so you should never give up on yourself. Something glorious is being birthed in you!
Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;”
- Do not trust your feelings.
You are walking by faith, not by sight. You must settle in your heart that God’s word is true, no matter how you feel.
This is very important during times of temptation and pressure.
Feelings can be deceptive, especially when they are generated from lying, manipulative thoughts (those that contradict God’s word).
Some of the lying thoughts that may come up include:
- Jesus doesn’t live in me.
- These habits control me.
- I have to do this. I have no choice.
- I’ll be dissatisfied, deprived, or miss out if I don’t do this.
- It’s not fair that everybody else gets to do what they want and I don’t.
That is your flesh talking, not your renewed spirit.
Remember, your spirit is the real you, not your flesh. So do not agree nor identify with it.
When these lying thoughts come up, send Jesus to answer the door through His word! That is taking your thoughts captive to the obedience of Jesus Christ (2 Corinthians 10:5).
Jesus died so that you might experience abundant life in Him, not to sow to the flesh. He said in John 6:63:
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.”
Power to overcome challenges is allowing Jesus to live through you! When you do that, success is guaranteed and His glory is assured:
Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place (2 Corinthians 2:14).”
Author of the ‘Take Back Your Temple’ Program
P.S. If you are tired of trying diet after diet, losing the weight, but gaining it all back then the Take Back Your Temple program is your solution. You grow stronger Spiritually and heal emotionally as you are losing weight.
Diets can give you information about how to eat but they can’t give you the wisdom nor power to destroy the mental strongholds that are holding you back.
Click the link below to learn more:
Great article, may God continue to bless you in your ministry.
Thank you, Joseph – I receive that!
In order for us to live an overcoming live in Christ Jesus, the believer must crucify the old man and its deeds. In order to do this they must come back to two basic principles read your bible and pray everyday.
Yes, Joseph – these are weapons of Spiritual warfare and the Bible tells us that we must always be ready for the enemy’s attacks. 1 Peter 5:8 says, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” That word “may” stands out to me because we can’t give the enemy permission to devour us through destructive habits. With God’s help, we can overcome!
This article is really helpful.May God bless the author of this article and never stop spreading the word of God.
Thank you so much Miko – may the Lord continue to bless you as He is glorified in both of our lives!
Thanks so much for all your information added with the bible. I love it! Did u go to college to get a degree in what you do?
Hi Evelyn – I am glad that you found the information helpful. All praise to God!
I’ll be saving this artical to read over and over again. As always I am blessed by your ministry, thank you Kimberly .i would love to have your TBYT group study in my church. Surely there must be others in my church who would benifit, I’ll be praying that there would be an opening for such a group as this. I belong to a large church so it’s a little harder for me to approach those in Leadership. Their motto is ” fit in before you stand out” so I’m still trying to ” fit in” ( having only just moved here six months ago.) I guess my first step should be to purchase the study book and the leader guide ( not that I want to be the leader but I do want victory over my flesh and this excess weight and health that needs improving . I’d appreciate prayers of agreement concerning this. Thank you, sherry
I’m praising God for you, Kimberly. Thank you for reposting this message today. It’s Easter Sunday and our pastor gave a very similar message. I tried for years to do this in my own power and felt very defeated and heard all the lies from the enemy. I love your analogy to send Jesus to the door. Thankfully the Lord has been teaching me how to turn to Him instead and fully trusting Him. I even realized I was missing a part of the verse that says to first “Submit to God” then in His power I can resist the devil and flee.
I thank God for you and this ministry!!! The emails help me so much to “remember”!!
Yesterday I reacted to my Mom’s ugliness the way I would have before I became a “new woman in Christ”. Because of that reaction my daughter’s heart was broken. My mother only has a few weeks/months to live and neither her nor my daughter are saved. This spoke to my heart so loudly! I pray God will use my mess up to bring beauty from ashes for both my mom and my daughter. And help me kill the fleshly anger I still hold in my heart for my mom.
I thank the Lord that God has placed you in my life. You have been my mentor and minister in my christian walk and our common struggle of binging and over eating. As I have come to understand how to daily live and fight the spiritual battle through the power of my savior, Jesus Christ, I longed for a outline or study to refer to and share with others, and this is it! You have perfectly described the battle plan to fight any spiritual war! I praise God for your obedience and ministry. May blessing abound for you, Janeen
Jesus is speaking through you, Kimberly, and the message is just what I needed to hear. Thank you for your obedience to God and for helping me grow closer to the King. Rejoice, again I say rejoice…today and always…during times of joy and times of trials.
I am new to this program. I started today. I feel inspired right now.
I look forward to the journey. I now know that in the “mental” struggle. I AM NOT ALONE!
THANKS – TBYT
Amen, Kimberly – glad that you joined us!
Kim, how I thank the lord for the wisdom and insight He gives you! This is a life changer for me. The combination of the Words that went along with the difference between the flesh and spirit finally put it all together for me. Big hugs! Thank you. I am so grateful to be doing TBYT
Thank you so much for sharing Kimberly . It has encouraged me!
I have allowed my flesh to rule and reign over me. Today it stops it is no longer Irene’s way but Jesus is the way and the truth. That is the only way. I realize this truth that you said that THE KEY TO VICTORY IS ALLOWING JESUS THE LAMB OF JUDAH TO LIVE OUT HIS LIFE THROUGH ME. That is so good . Last night i repented before the Lord for walking in the flesh and I surrendered to HIM completely. I just want to say thank you for all the tools you have ready for those of us who need them in the late hour and fill like there is no hope and giving up. Thank you for giving me what the Lord says. God bless you.
Love this article…like the fox guarding the henhouse! Great mind picture of reMINDing us not to walk in flesh.
Also spoke to my heart about seeing everything through Christ’s eyes and not just stacking Christ ontop of our flesh. Another great mind picture to remind us to live in the spirit.
All your words, Kimberly, God had already confirmed in my heart. I just need to hear them again and again for encouragement. I am so glad I joined tbyt because your spirit speaks to my spirit as it is the same spirit. We serve a powerful God. Thank you for keeping our eyes lifted upward. Praise God!
Oh this really spoke to me. Thank you Kimberly!
“Decide daily and as often as necessary throughout the day to turn each issue that concerns you over to Him through a simple prayer:”
“Jesus, I can’t do this in my own strength. Live out Your life through me.”
These words were so uplifting, so refreshing. I understand so much better how the Holy Spirit works in me. Thank you.
I have been struggling with a coworker who is very difficult to deal with. I have been feeling very defeated because I let my flesh get the best of me. Instead of giving her more grace, I dealt with her the way my flesh felt. Your article has spoken volumes to me. I have asked the Lord to give me another chance. Your articles are very effective, and they deal with more areas than just weight loss.
God really used this today to get to me..The last couple day i have been feeling beat up and torn inside. I’m still new to my walk with Christ and I am on again and off again this year i decided i really wanted to stick to my walk with Christ and this time no turning back. Thank you so much for allowing God to use you. I pray this website will reach others, inspire and move them like it did me.