From our last study we see that Mr. Flesh is the personality of the natural human being. We looked at some of ‘his works’ such as adultery, anger, fornication, idolatry, hatred etc. However, it is important to note that not everything Mr Flesh does is evil so to speak. There are times when Mr Flesh’s works are not particularly evil, but still unacceptable in God’s sight. An example is a desire to be independent. That is the problem with human beings.
Remember the kindergarten story of the goose that laid the golden egg for a farmer every day. One day he killed and opened the goose up to collect all the golden eggs and sell them and become a rich farmer, only to discover that the goose was no different from other geese and had deprived himself of a daily golden egg.
The truth it was Mr Flesh manifesting as a greedy farmer and wanted to be independent of the goose. This independence is also manifested in many who don’t like being under authority. They find it difficult to submit to authority even the authority of God. (Romans .8:7). This ‘I can do it myself’ mentality is contrary to God’s plan for man (Jeremiah 10.23). Remember Eve in the Garden of Eden?
Mr Flesh a.k.a human nature also loves to be noticed, acknowledged, introduced and put in positions of leadership where he can lord it over others. Whenever he finds himself under authority, he becomes uncooperative, complains and finds fault. All this is done subtly (Numbers.16:1-3).
Self is also very defensive. Have you noticed that human beings always give excuses for anything wrong? They are never to blame even if criticism is corrective. This is Mr Flesh! (Exodus 32:21-24, 1 Samuel 15:14-15). It is always somebody else!
In secular employment there are some characteristics that are desired and lauded by materialistic leadership which have crept into the church. One of them is a desire to succeed at all costs. This may be called ambition or goal-getting aspirations etc., but devoid of God, it is simply a selfish desire to make a name for oneself (Genesis 11:3-4).
As a Christian it is important that everything we do begins, continues and finishes with God. Once a person behaves as a human being or is controlled by Mr Flesh, he becomes an enemy of God. See Romans 8: 7-8(GNB).
7) And so people become enemies of God when they are controlled by their human nature; for they do not obey God’s law, and in fact they cannot obey it.
8) Those who obey their human nature cannot please God.
Living by carnal rules or fleshy behaviour will lead to death. Romans 8.6 says that
To be controlled by human nature results in death; to be controlled by the Spirit results in life and peace.
This carnal life can never lead to peace. If you find a man who is not at peace, somewhere along the line he has allowed Mr. Flesh to manifest in some way, along the way.
A person living by and walking in the flesh is no different from an unbeliever who fornicates or a witch. They are all going to end up in the same place. Hell. Such people cannot inherit eternal life. Jesus puts it this way in John.3.5 (NKJV)
5) Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. The only remedy is to be born again John.3.3 (NKJV).
3) Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”
There is nothing that can be done to the flesh. You cannot fast and pray out the human nature in other to transform it. The only way is to be born again. Jesus confirms this in verses 6 and 7 of John chapter three (John.3:6-7)
6) That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
7) Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’
Remember how we arrived here. Even after you give your life and become born again, you must become a disciple. Jesus is not interested in simply being born again. You must then become a disciple. See how Luke.9:23 puts it
23) Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.
We now know what ‘himself’ means. We must deny Mr Flesh. The next stage is take up your cross.