Do not let sin control the way you live;do not give in to sinful desires. Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. Romans 6:12-13
Nothing can take place unless I allow it. For example, if I want to get up and workout or get up and work on a blog that I feel led to write about, I make that choice. If I choose to go for a run or stay in the bed and hug my pillow, I make that choice. The first step before I do anything is getting my mind and flesh to agree with my will- that I am going to do this. However it is important to remember that the mind, flesh and will are three different perspectives attempting to be satisfied by any means necessary friend.
Nothing takes place unless there is agreement between these. This is important because if my flesh wants a piece of chocolate cake but my will is saying “remember Charles you are trying to lose weight”- there is disagreement. This makes the probability of me resisting the urge of eating the piece of scrumptious, chocolate cake that much more difficult. My mind and will are not on the same page and my flesh is there waiting to be gratified- it does not care as long as it feels good. If I don’t learn to interject or bring my mind, will and flesh under control , there is always going to be turmoil or friction; which means there is no peace.
You may be wondering, “how can I do that?” I am glad you asked. We have to make the choice- it starts with me. If I know something is even “potentially” wrong should I do it? Of course the answer is no but guess what (me just being naked or honest right now) I don’t always listen to or even try to listen to what I should be doing. Because in that moment that which is before me -“appears” to be more important than what the Holy Spirit is trying to say to me. Whether it is a piece of chocolate cake that I should not eat due to trying to lose weight, listening to gossip, or wanting to give someone a piece of my mind in traffic, if I allow my flesh, mind or will to push out the Holy Spirit-that is on me I’ve made that choice and I have made that choice to change.
There are some key words in the above verse that Paul is speaking to the church about that I want to highlight. The first thing, he addresses is sin reigning in your body. He does not ask if possible-he says, “Do not let” which means we are in control of this. I (Charles) have to stop giving so much credence to my flesh. If I do something- I allow it to control me-that is all me! We must acknowledge our part in the script that we play with this flesh.
The second word is “yield.” To yield means to pull back to something greater; to surrender to something else, like in traffic when we yield the right of way. One definition says to give way under force or pressure. The definition defining yielding as giving way under force or pressure is what our focal point will be. Anything under force or pressure is overwhelming and heavy and needs more support in order to uphold. We must stop relying on our strength and our own help to support us-it is not enough family. As much as we would like to say we can control our change-we can’t. But we can allow the Spirit of Christ to come in and support us as we “yield” our flesh, mind and will to the Holy Spirit. To me it is saying, Charles, stop submitting control to whatever it is at that moment that appears to be overwhelming. My attitude, my job, my mouth-wanting to say something when I should be quiet, this flesh- whether it is from laziness, stubbornness, lust and pride-when I yield to these things, I allow them the right of way to control me and not the Holy Spirit. What is one area that you have yielded to that ended with not so pleasant behavior or actions on you? How can you fix it or attempt to mend it?
Last but not least, Paul mentions the word “instrument.” When I think about “instrument” it describes something that has a specific purpose for precision work. For example, a flute is an instrument used in an orchestra for a specific purpose. In the text, he is talking about us being mindful that the purpose we are being specifically used for is extracting the best out of us. You will be used in one way or another but we have to make the choice-will it be controlled by the Spirit of Christ or will it be controlled by that old flesh, mind and will? Make the choice so you can live a prosperous, productive and purposed life.