I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish.
One of the dreams of computer technologists is to develop robots or computers which operate fully as artificial intelligence (A.I.). It processes information fed to it and “learn” from those data and any conclusion derived from them. A machine that thinks on its own, and decides on its own. There are of course, pros and cons to a full A.I. The usefulness of it depends almost entirely on the data we feed it, and the thinking process we create for it. If the data we feed it are erroneous or the thinking process is bias, an A.I. may turn out to be a destructive monster!
Man is made up of spirit, soul and body. The body or as the Bible often refers to it as “the flesh”, is sort of an A.I. It operates following the natural desire of man. On its own, it records data collected over time from experience and information fed to it. It has a memory of pain and joy. Just like an A.I. Because of sin, the flesh on its own is against the things and Spirit of God. It cannot receive nor comprehend God’s truth. But God has through the finished work of the Cross, given us His Holy Spirit to reveal God’s truth to us. The flesh is at war with the Spirit. As the flesh is very much part of our body, God has provided an avenue for us to deny the controlling power of the flesh over us while we live this life on earth: “And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Galatians 5:24). It means, if we choose to allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, guide us into God’s way, we will not walk according to the way of the flesh.
For us to live a life glorifying and pleasing God is not to first focus on behavior modification, to choose “mind over matter” in life. It is not to exercise our will to change our behavior. We must win this war against the flesh within us first. The only way to overcome the way of the flesh and not to be overcome by it is to submit to the Holy Spirit. Choose, to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit, even if it is inconvenient and unnatural. Choose daily, to crucify the flesh on the Cross. Then, we will do the things that we agree in our mind with God.
Go ahead, win this war! Victory is yours!