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The Spirit is Willing but the Flesh is Weak

After the resurrection Thomas asked for proof that Jesus was indeed risen; Jesus complied by allowing Thomas to see and touch His wounds from the cross. We call him “Doubting Thomas” and we view that doubt in an unfavorable light, but Jesus didn’t. How do I know? The proof is in the scriptures themselves. Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his “doubt”; He offered the proof. However, He had a much different response to the Pharisees demanding a sign.

The Pharisees came and began to question Jesus. To test him, they asked him for a sign from heaven. He sighed deeply and said, “Why does this generation ask for a sign? Truly I tell you, no sign will be given to it.” Then he left them, got back into the boat and crossed to the other side. Mark 8:11-13

He knew their motives in asking for a sign and He knew Thomas’s as well. The Pharisees were defiant; Thomas was desiring that it be true, that His Lord was indeed risen. Sometimes we have doubts as well, but the Lord knows your heart also. He said, “seek and you will find Me”.

Oftentimes we struggle against our flesh. I know I do. In my prayer time my heart is moved with compassion for the ones around me that are lost – my boss and my co-workers – and I pray earnestly for their salvation and for them to come to know the Lord in a real and powerful way that will change their lives.  Yet when I am there with them “in the flesh” I feel much differently. In my flesh I am aggravated and exasperated and impatient. I am spiteful at times, and say and think things I should not. Why? Because the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak (Matthew 26:41). Don’t let Satan fool you about this, friends. Don’t let him make you think you are less than you are because the flesh is weak. Press on and know that this is simply a validation of the reality of God.

This is how I know the Holy Spirit lives in me and works through me, that I can be moved by the plight of others when I meet with God in prayer. My heart aches in the spirit for the very people that my flesh recoils from. Yes, I am called to “be Jesus” to them and I do strive for that every day, but I cannot let how I act in the flesh to cause my spirit to fail as it says in 1 Samuel 12:33, “As for me , far be it from me that I should sin against the Lord by failing to pray for you.” Far be it from me, Lord, I pray. Amen.

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  1. Thanks Sonya,I can identify with this. I constantly battle the fleshly urge to feel irritated when those around me just don’t ‘get it.’ That is my human response but the Holy Spirit will keep my attitude in check. Also, many times the Holy Spirit has impressed upon me that I need to look deeper at myself than being critical or impatient with others, and how I can help the person who is the source of my aggravation. I am reminded of how patient our Lord has been with me and that I can (and am called to) do the same.
    I would like to see the ‘sign’ that spiritual growth is taking place. But the Spirit reminds me that I just need to be obedient and realize that it’s God’s job to change hearts. I am simply to follow His example of love. Indeed the spirit is willing, but at times the flesh can be weak.

  2. Thanks, Melinda. The signs are there, but sometimes it takes awhile to recognize them. I find that I will think that I am not making progress, but then I will realize that I have changed; it has just been so gradual that I have not noticed it.

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