Last night I went to a party for a very dear friend. It was not her birthday or anniversary or anything like that—it was a celebration of what God is doing in her life. What a wonderful reason to celebrate! As she told her journey of faith, she shared a quote that has become very meaningful to her: "In the battle between flesh and spirit do you know who will eventually win? The one you feed the most." It was nothing new to me—she and I had actually read it in the same place, and we have talked about it many times over the past few years. But last night, this quote took on new meaning to me as I recognized for the first time the key words in those sentences.
The first word that stuck with me was "most." I feed my spirit every day, and that is great. I enjoy waking up first thing in the morning and reaching for my Bible before my feet ever hit the floor. But just taking one step isn't enough. The question is not, "Am I spending time with God daily?" It is, "Am I turning to God more than I am feeding my insecurities and jealousies (my two biggest struggles)." When struggles arise, do I give them over to the Lord or do I wallow in them? When I'm not in a struggle, am I praising God or am I proud of myself? Am I spending time with the Lord throughout the day or am I checking Him off my task list when my Bible reading is done?
The second key to this quote involves the words "battle" and "eventually." Even when I am giving my temptations and sinful nature over to the Lord, even when I am walking with Him and spending time with Him and feeding my spirit more than the flesh… there are still battles. God doesn't call us to a life free from struggles or pain or heartache. He calls us to a life of perseverance. If we remain in Him and seek Him through the battles, He will give us the victory—eventually.
As I celebrate my friend's victory, I feel myself being called into battle. I am praying this week that God will show me concrete ways to feed my spirit and to turn my struggles over to Him. I pray also for each of you, that God will lead you to victory in the battle between flesh and spirit.