Page 8 - November 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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ur flesh, the nearest and perhaps   pressure, appearing first in Genesis 3. Eve
               most dangerous of our enemies,   “also gave some to her husband who was
        Oattacks from within. The flesh       with her, and he ate” (3:6). It appears that
        will encourage me to do what I want.   Adam was at Eve’s side during the ex-
        While the world emphasizes pursuits and   change between the serpent and his wife.
        the gain of things, the flesh will focus on   Instead of intervening to protect her from
        experiences that produce pleasure and   what he knew to be wrong,  he colluded to
        gratification. It might include the satisfac-  appease her. The flesh still whispers to us,
        tion of “putting someone in their place,”   “Do you really want to miss out on things
        jealousy, fits of anger, divisions, sexual   that others seem to be enjoying?”
        sin, or the pursuit of gratification through   Hindsight tells us that Eve’s temptation
        addictive or self-indulgent behaviours.   has had far-reaching consequences. It was
        It distorts otherwise healthy appetites,   also multi-faceted. We have previously ob-
        resulting in a misalignment of our desires   served the concerted influences of Satan,
        and God’s. We were made to please God,   the world and the flesh on this occasion.
        but the flesh urges us to please self above   One of the ways she was tempted was by
        all else.                             way of her physical appetite, as she noted
          When Eve “saw that the tree was good   that the fruit was “good for food.” The
        for food … she took of its fruit and ate”   flesh is sly and preys on our God-given
        (Gen 3:6).  Temptation takes what is   desires to produce God-displeasing con-
        “good” and perverts its use. The fruit   duct. When God-designed appetites yield
        indeed was very good, along with every-  to fleshly temptations, the results may
        thing else God had created (Gen 1:31).   include gluttony, fornication, laziness,
        However, the fleshly urging that “it is   substance abuse or even death. If we are
        good, it is natural, and it is from God”
        ignores the truth that good things used   not careful to glorify God in our bodies,
        in defiance of God’s good directives will   which are His,  we will find ourselves
        result in bad and painful consequences.   wallowing in self-indulgence as if they
        The temptation isn’t necessarily to do   were ours.
        wrong things but to do them with wrong   Esau’s sale of his birthright for a fast-
        motivations.                          ² Adam was willfully negligent in his duty to
          The flesh will exploit the power of peer   obey God and to protect his wife (1Ti 2:14).
                                              ³ Paul’s statement in 1 Corinthians 6:20
        ¹ Bible quotations in this article are from the   summarizes a compelling section on the body
        ESV unless otherwise noted.           and fleshly desires.

        328 TRUTH kTidings   November  2023
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