Relying on Flesh Instead of the Spirit
A devotional by Monique M. Anderson
“I say, then, walk by the Spirit and you will certainly not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is against the Spirit, and the Spirit desires what is against the flesh; these are opposed to each other, so that you don't do what you want.” –Galatians 5:16-17 (CSB)
This was the second time she told me. It took two mentions before I listened and moved on the word God told her to say to me. My close friend told me months prior that God wanted me to attend her church. I had visited her church several times over the years and never felt a pull to join. Therefore, hearing this didn't excite me. I didn't “feel” led.
After the second time, I sought God for myself. I said, “Lord, if you truly want me to attend this church, please tell me for yourself.” Hours later I found myself on the church's YouTube channel watching a sermon series. I don't remember what led me to it. However, I would receive my confirmation here.
The series was called "Time to Make a Change". It’s about transforming into who God wants you to be. Before watching these sermons, God told me I was in a training season to prepare me for what He wants me to do for His Kingdom. I had no idea joining this church was a part of that call from God.
The Holy Spirit fire hit me while I watched part two of the series. Something the pastor said shot through me like lightning. I started speaking in my heavenly language and heard God say, "This is where you will continue your training."
The tears and the tongues would not stop flowing. God has spoken. What else could I do but obey? So, I started attending my friend’s church.
When I started my walk with Jesus Christ years ago, the Lord told me He wanted me to disciple new believers. Back then, I didn't even know what the word “disciple” meant. It would be years before that work would begin.
After a few months of attending the new church, I started to waver. Lord, where is my training? I didn't see it nor “feel” it. I stood in the middle of service one day, questioning the Holy Spirit-filled confirmation I had months prior.
The following week, I received the answers I was seeking. The church announced they needed volunteers to join the prayer team to disciple newly saved believers. I almost fell off my chair. I thought about the question God asked me years prior, “Will you disciple new believers?” I thought about my Holy Spirit-filled confirmation, “You will continue your training here.”
It all started coming together. Everything fuzzy and out of focus was beginning to come into focus. This is where I would train to disciple those who had just given their life to Christ. To think I almost missed it because I didn't “feel” it.
I was looking for things to feel right to affirm what my friend said. I was looking for my flesh to confirm what the Spirit was doing. We often look for a feeling to verify whether or not we've made the right decision or are heading in the right direction. However, when situations are spirit-led and filled, we cannot look to our flesh to confirm anything.
When the Holy Spirit guides you into something new, it may not feel right or make sense to you. For example, I was looking for a new church home, and because I had visited this church several times and it never “felt” right, it didn't make sense to me that it would be a place for me to join. I didn’t realize at the time that’s where God was calling me to be.
I allowed a feeling to lead me to disobedience. It took my friend two times to get me to heed God's instructions. Delayed obedience is still disobedience.
Coming to this church didn't feel right. It didn't make sense. I had tried it out before, so what would be different this time? Well, this time, I am in a different life season. I am in a season where it is “time to make a change”.
The scripture above describes the tension between the flesh and the spirit perfectly. They are both constantly at odds. I encourage you to seek God's confirmation if you feel that your flesh is telling you one thing but the Holy Spirit is telling you another.
We cannot rely on our feelings when God tries to do something new. Believing the feeling can lead you to disobedience. Instead, seek God, repent, then obey.
Let’s Pray: Heavenly Father, forgive us for believing our feelings more than the promptings of the Holy Spirit. Forgive us for seeking confirmation outside of You and Your will. Father God, we desire You and You alone for direction and all of the instructions we need as we journey through this life. You are our only reliable source! We thank You, and we love You, Lord. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.
Monique M. Anderson is a writer, creator, wife, and bonus mom. She was born and raised in Mount Vernon, NY, where she still resides. She released her always present yet hidden talent of writing to the masses in June 2019.
Monique always felt like God was chasing after her but was never ready to surrender. Finally, she reached a point in her life when things started going left, and she no longer felt in control. At this point, she was ready to hand over the reins to God. After forming her relationship with God, she always felt compelled to share the revelation’s that His word gave her. She felt the Holy Spirit prompting her to write but was afraid of what people might think. So, her writing started in her journal. The journal turned into a book and the book into a blog.
Her obedience provided more opportunities. In late 2021, Monique became a partner with the notable YouVersion Bible App as a Content Creator. With her first Bible plan debuting in December of 2021, she will continue to provide content for the app as long as God allows her to.
In 2021, God revealed her prophetic gift and how He wants her to use it. Monique always felt compelled to pray for others but had no idea God would use her in this way. Through this gift as a prophetic intercessor, she’s not just writing about what God can do but showing what God can do.
Since God has shown her who He created her to be, she now feels it is her life’s work to help those taking their first steps in their walk with Christ. She is doing so through her blog, prayer, and soon-to-be-published works. She is excited to extend her reach to YouTube, podcasts, and speaking engagements soon.
Her blog is the stepping stone to fulfilling the vision God gave to her – “Sharing God’s revelations so we can all better reflect his image and fulfill His purpose.”
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