The Battle Within

May 31, 2017

The excited chatter of the siblings rang through the house as they carefully climbed up to sit at the breakfast table.  To an outsider, the ‘Which one of us will get fed today?’ and ‘I wonder if I’ll get to eat today?’  may seem odd – but that’s what could be heard amongst the clattering of silverware and the opening and closing of the refrigerator as breakfast was prepared.  Mother glanced at her children and smiled, nary a hint of what her plans might be for the day.  The children’s legs swung back and forth as they waited.  Spirit was small and spindly.  Her narrow face and sunken eyes were proof that she hadn’t eaten in days.  She had pulled back her unbrushed hair into a clip and was hoping that mother would notice her today and give her some attention and nourishment.   Spirit was much older than she appeared.  Mother had brought her into their home just nearly 16 years ago – but as the excitement of a new family member wore off… Spirit found that the tending, caring, and meals also wore off. 
With a sigh, Spirit looked up at her older sister.   Flesh was mean. She was confident and well-fed.  Mother spent a lot of extra time nourishing her first-born not only with food, but also with quality time.  They would watch movies together, but they were movies that frightened Spirit – so she would hide in her room.  Mother and flesh would go on the internet together – but the images that flew across the screen were too much for Spirit – and she would drift away, hoping that the laptop screen would close soon and that mother would remember that she’d promised to spend time with her. 
Flesh looked across the room and noticed mother counting up her credit cards. A shopping day.  Although mother didn’t have much money, the credit limit was high and shopping always made her feel better for a moment.  Shopping days always ended with feelings of guilt and Mother would often have a few drinks with dinner in an attempt to wash the pain away.   Flesh smiled as she noticed her sister’s bright and hopeful eyes change as she, too, figured out Mother’s plan for the day.  
A single tear slid down Spirit’s face as she climbed down from the table.  Mother had completely ignored Spirit as she served Flesh a hearty breakfast with the promise of a fantastic day.  Spirit called out ‘Mother, I’d love to spend time with you today.  Maybe we can take a walk and enjoy the sunshine…’ As she talked and nobody heard her, Spirit slowly faded away.  She couldn’t dwell in this type of home.  She packed her bags…and she left with Flesh’s laughter ringing in her ears. 
Unmarried, married, children, or not – we all have ‘flesh’ and ‘spirit’ craving our attention – and we can only spend time with ONE.  Spirit and flesh are in a constant battle.  Flesh is our sin-nature, we are all confronted with it every day, and as Christians - we have to fight it.  Who are we going to feed?  Who are we going to spend time with?  Flesh and Spirit cannot dwell together.  They don’t enjoy the same kinds of things.  Flesh is older, bolder, and louder – but it is also a liar and it will pull us into thoughts, activities, and lives that we’ll regret with the promise of feeling good.  Spirit is younger and will eventually leave if she doesn’t get attention…leaving us with only our ‘flesh’, and feeling empty and alone at the end each day. 

 

{Hear the full teaching associated with this blog here. Other full sermons and teachings can be found at www.calvaryhampton.org/listen }

 


 

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