The Flesh

bicycle leaning against a gold colored wall

The Bible uses the word “flesh” in three basic different ways. The first has to do with that substance on your arms and legs and the rest of your body. It is that matter on our bodies that surrounds the bones. The second meaning is seen when authors use the phrase “all flesh.” That meaning has to do with the human (and possibly animal) world at large.

The third idea is the most important to us for our daily life and is also the most widely misused and misunderstood by most people. The Greek word is “sarx” and is rendered “flesh” is most translations. It’s that part of us that “wars against the Spirit” and is not our nature. Rather, it is our custom designed package, personally developed set of coping skills.

As we have journeyed through life, both before and after redemption, we have relied on our historical expertise at “coping” with the stressful situations that occur each day. As we developed a method of handling our day to day problems out of our own strength and resources, our on-board computer system called the brain, stored the mechanisms in our history banks.

As we have practiced these methods, many of our techniques have become engrained habits which can no longer be readily “broken.” Think of it like learning to ride a bicycle as a youngster. If you have acquired that skill, tell me, can you ever unlearn how to ride a bicycle?

Some of the labels attached to these strategies of meeting the overwhelming and even smaller apparently negative events in our lives are called “myths.” These myths are also referred to in 2 Corinthians, 10:3-5 as “strongholds” or “fortresses.” For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh, for the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.

Notice that our weapons are “divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses” and every “lofty speculation raised up against the knowledge of God.” The very idea that you or I could figure out how to handle, take care of, or fix any problem by our self is pretty lofty, wouldn’t you say?

We even think if we live right, or holy, or do everything our church asks of us it will somehow make us better, or maybe “closer” to God, or who knows what other “lofty” idealistic yet sordidly paltry thought.

These mythological coping mechanisms became our “flesh” and we can be controlled by it more than we are even aware of. In fact they are the strongholds Paul tells us that need “divinely powerful weapons” to destroy. We might define a “stronghold” as a mindset that accepts a circumstance as unchangeable even though we know it runs contrary to the will of God.

Do you sense a situation in your life is unchangeable though you know it’s not God’s best? Are you interested in how you can discover and use these “divinely powerful weapons”? Give us a call at 864-224-5557 or visit our website at to begin your journey to freedom from the wiles of your flesh.

How long since you rode a bicycle?