This is an extremely important question. Let start by looking at Romans:
For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those living according to the Holy Spirit, the things of the Spirit. For to be focused on the flesh is death, but keeping your mind focused on the Lord through His Spirit is life and peace. Because the fleshly mind is at war against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can it be. So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God. [Romans 8: 5-8]
That seems important to me.
What are the things of the flesh?
Don’t be fooled. This is not just talking about the five senses—sight, sound, touch, taste, smell. These are clearly part of it.
But it includes emotion, intellect, and will—your conscious life. The will is key here. You can choose to use your will to focus on the Spirit or the flesh. But there is a major area of misunderstanding here.
Until you use your will to decide to walk in the Spirit, by the grace of God, you are walking in the flesh
Back to the question: what are the things of the flesh? These are all the areas of your life which are part of the world. I’ve talked about the Kosmos, or the world system ruled by Satan many times.
- Self promotion
- Illicit sexual gratification
- Food and diet
Do you really think God created money?
If so, we need to have a talk.
The list of things of the flesh goes on and on. Yes, I know that you can be led to participate in any of these areas by the Holy Spirit. But you need to be aware that these things of the world are ruled by the enemy who is trying to destroy you. You are walking in the enemy camp.
Exercising rigid self-control on these issues is also walking in the flesh. Paul made this clear in Colossians [I’ll use the New Living Translation].
You have died with Christ, and he has set you free from the spiritual powers of this world. So why do you keep on following the rules of the world, such as, 21 “Don’t handle! Don’t taste! Don’t touch!”? 22 Such rules are mere human teachings about things that deteriorate as we use them. 23 These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. [Colossians 2:20-23 NLT]
Eliminating saturated fats will not help you get into heaven!
Nor will good financial management or the “right” political party or group or only watching G-rated entertainment or getting in shape. In fact, all of these things are of the flesh and only to be entered under the direct leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit.
You need to give the Lord control!
- What Are We Without The Spirit Of God? (pastorpaulvbsblog.blogspot.com)