Believers oftentimes say, “Lord kill my flesh”. This prayer, though beautiful, is poetic at best. Scripture speaks about the existence of 2 natures within every born-again human being, the “sinful nature” and the “spirit”.
The sinful nature is also known as the adamic nature or the “flesh”. Galatians chapter 5 verse 17 speaks about the sinful nature being in opposition to the spirit:
“…For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do…”
The trend I have observed in scripture is that of the many references to the flesh dying, being killed or put off, there is none (to my knowledge at least, I am quite open to being corrected in this area) that indicates that it is God who does the killing or putting off. The reason for this is quite simple, God has no “flesh nature” or “sinful nature” to kill or put off, humans do.
When Adam and Eve committed the first sin of disobeying God’s laws in the garden of Eden (Genesis chapter 3), they immediately lost the immortality and eternal access to the presence of God and power of God that they possessed, in accordance with the edict that God declared in Genesis chapter 2, verses 16 to17:
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die”
God declared death was the punishment for disobedience and that death meant a number of things, including a separation from God and eviction from His presence, as well as a physical death.
Now one may at this point ask the question, “what is the sinful nature and how is it killed?” Very simply put, the sinful nature is the part of us humans that contains our desire to disobey God.
All our desires for everything that displeases God and our every inclination to do what we want instead of what God wants, reside in our sinful nature. We are born with this curse and the only way to escape our wretched fate is to repent.
Before we get there however, a note on “killing the flesh”; it most certainly does not mean committing suicide but rather enlists the power of God to deny the appetite of the sinful nature. Starving the foul beast, until it keels over and dies.
Imagine for a second that you are infested. Yes, an unpleasant reality is that we were all born infected and infested. We NEED to understand that no amount of praying and begging God to take our sinful nature away will work.
Because God has extended to us an open invitation to use HIS power to defeat our sinful nature.
The issue here is not merely saying “no” to self. It goes a bit deeper to a precondition to that “no” and that precondition is a relationship with the true ‘flesh killer’ - God himself. God has the power to truly defeat our fleshly desires and purge our hearts of its stain, but he will not wield it on our behalf.
Our relationship with God through His son Jesus Christ allows us to receive the Holy Spirit, who makes our spirits alive and united with God, restoring our pre-fall state and rendering us capable of warring against the flesh by His strength.
Galatians 5:24 “…And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires…” We ought to do so with an awareness that this act of crucifixion is us utilizing the power alive inside us by God, to truly kill our sinful nature.
Romans 8:13 “…For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live…” see that? “By the spirit put to death the flesh”.
God is directing us to use the power He has given us as a part of our salvation. The unbeliever is unregenerate which means he/she has no authority to crucify the flesh. They are ruled by their sinfulness and mastered by their desires.
I Implore you, if you don’t know Christ, repent and enter into relationship with Him, and receive the power to kill the flesh and its deeds. If you are a believer, stop asking God to kill your flesh.
Behead the foul beast yourself with the power He has given you.
Victor Brown is a Christian Creative and singer-songwriter from Kingston Jamaica. He enjoys reading and writing as well as creating music. He is currently a worship leader and creative director in Michigan USA.