A man who does not acknowledges his own struggles in his own life, does not understand his own nature. Nobody is exempt from the nastiness of his own flesh. The flesh is NEVER Born Again, renew or restored. The flesh will NEVER cooperate with the plan of God. The flesh will always resist God. Galatians 5:17 tells us, “For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another…” There is an inner struggle taking place in the heart of every believer. Paul described his struggle very well when he states,
I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wants to do good. 22 For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man,23 but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:21-23 (NASB)
Some argue that Paul is describing himself back in the day when he was an unsaved Pharisee; but this cannot be further from the truth. This is a man of God who understood himself. We are spirit, soul and body. Jesus told us in Matthew 26:41 that the Spirit in us is willing, but the flesh is ALWAYS weak; this is a biblical truth. The spirit in us is the ONLY part of us that is Born Again. In John 3:5-8 Jesus says,
“Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (NIV)
We can say that our willingness to do good flows out of our spirit. Something else flows out of spirit and that is, the greatest honor we can give to God, our worship (John 4:24). That is why we are encouraged to walk in the Spirit (Galatians 5:16). The Bible points at the direction to take, but that does not mean that there is no struggle.
The flesh does not go away! On top of this we have to deal with our soul. In our soul we find our mind (the way we think), our will (our decision making) and, our emotions (how we feel). The soul is going through a divine restoration process, we are changing the way we think and our decision making and, as the direct result of these changes, our emotions are affected positively. John stated in 3 John 2:2,
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers. (NASB)
David understood this principle when he states in Psalm 23:3, “he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.” (NIV) It is actually scary when I hear a man speaking as if he has no struggles because that is totally against Scripture. He is setting himself up for a great fall and he is potentially, spiritually, killing folks around him with the Word of God. People with this kind of mentality are a weapons of condemnation in the Body of Christ. They are, without knowing, living by the law and when we do so, they carry the curse of the law. Galatians 3:10 tells us, “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse, as it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.” (NIV)
We are all struggling; we don’t use that struggle as an excuse to sin, but we know the Holy Ghost is working in us and through us. Romans 8:26 acknowledges our weakness as the Word tell us, “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words;” (NASB) The Holy Ghost is doing a work in us and He does give us victory and deliverance, but as soon as we get victory in one level, he takes us to the next and we discovered more garbage… this is the PROCESS of sanctification.
Positionally speaking, the Born-Again man walks as if he or she is perfect and without sin before God, not because of our works, but because of Jesus. We are made right with God because of Jesus (Romans 3:22-26). At the same time, the Holy Ghost, as established before, is working in us. Beloved that is the Good News, that is the Gospel; John wrote it this way, “For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace. John 1:16 (NASB). There is nobody exempt from grace; we have all received grace upon grace. To deny your struggles is hypocrisy, to deny your struggles is denying your need for grace and, to deny your struggle is to deny the cross and the gospel of Jesus Christ.