For most of my Christian life I had it all wrong. I lived as though God was “up there” somewhere and that He and I were separated by an invisible gulf and I had to work hard to reach Him. Though I knew in my mind that God was in me, there was conflict between my mind and heart with that reality. Most Christians live in this conflict.
We were trained all our lives to live in our flesh. What is the flesh? Many think it’s something evil like fornication, adultery, idolatry, etc.… These are some of the works of the flesh, but they are not the flesh itself (Galatians 5:19-21). The flesh is living according to our five senses. It’s living a life dependent on what we see, hear, feel, smell, and taste. These five senses are related to our body and they do whatever it takes to satisfy the desires of our body. Everything in society caters to our flesh. All advertising feeds the flesh and makes it more and more powerful and demanding.
Most Christian churches do not talk about the flesh. Frankly, I don’t think most Pastors understand what the flesh really is and they are unconsciously cheating the body of Christ from being freed from its power. When a person is born again they are not taught about the flesh and the need to crucify the flesh in order to live from a new source, our human spirit (Galatians 5:24; Romans 8:1-10).
Jesus, the man, was a perfect example of what we are to become. He was born of the Spirit and lived according to His spirit that mingled with God who is Spirit (Matthew 1:20). He lived according to what He saw and heard from the Father who was within Him (John 5:19,30; 8:26, 28-29, 38). This is why Jesus was able to operate in the supernatural. As a man, Jesus was living from the inside out. If we would do what Jesus did, we would have the results of Jesus. He was in constant contact with His Father through the Holy Spirit who was within Him, just as He is with us.
We have everything Jesus had. We have His life, power, and authority because He and the Father live in us! We can tap into the supernatural by focusing on the One within and disciplining the flesh without, just as Jesus did. How did Jesus discipline his flesh? First, He was baptized to fulfill all righteousness. Secondly, He was led by the Spirit into the wilderness and fasted for 40 days. Fasting is a way to discipline our flesh. The flesh screams for food to satisfy the body, but the Spirit puts His foot down, so to speak, to say “No! You are not having your way! I rule, not you, old man!” Fasting awakens our sensitivity to the Spirit within our spirit and dulls the senses within our flesh. Jesus prayed several times all night. Prayer is also a flesh tamer. Prayer promotes dependence on God and crucifies our fleshly longings. Finally, he was constantly on the move to the point of exhaustion. The flesh is all about comfort and Jesus gave it none.
Paul was the same as Jesus. He labored according to God’s grace and not according to the power of his flesh. Paul disciplined his body to bring it into strict control (1 Corinthians 9:27). No way was he going to let his body (flesh) take the lead. He was determined to live from the inside out. Paul promoted such a living at the end of his letters, “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit.” (Galatians 6:18)
It’s time that the body of Christ is awakened and curtail the demands of our flesh and begin to live, move, and have our being from our spirit. We need to live from the inside out before the supernatural can be manifested in and through us.