Paul writes: ‘Consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ… Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires… [or] let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God.’ (Romans 6:11–13 NLT) If you let it, your body will lead you astray. It’s not that it’s evil, but it has certain appetites which are always ready to respond to surrounding stimuli, all of which are terribly appealing and temporarily satisfying.
Chuck Swindoll writes: ‘Life on earth is really nothing more than a string of moments… And I don’t want my testimony for Jesus Christ to be shattered by a single moment of indulging my flesh. I don’t want one moment of rage or pride or lust to cast a shadow over a lifetime of walking with my Lord. Frankly, I fear that possibility. And do you know what? I want to fear that possibility. When I stop fearing it—I’m in grave danger.’
So how do you deal with your carnal appetites? The only way is to make God’s Word your code of conduct and refuse to compromise. And if you need a role model you won’t find a better one than Jesus. He said, ‘Whoever wants to be My disciple must deny themselves.’ (Matthew 16:24 NIV) Each day, look for an opportunity to deny yourself in some small area. You’ll be surprised how hard it is! But the payoff comes later when you need to deny yourself in a big area of life that has much more riding on it.